(HALIFAX, NS) The UNB REDS fell behind early and couldn't mount enough of a comeback, dropping a 77-56 decision to the Saint Mary's Huskies, in the quarter final round at the Atlantic University Sport Championships, in Halifax.
Bailey Black (Miramichi, NB) scored 14 points in her final game as a RED.
"Definitely not the way I wanted to end my career, by any means," said Black. "I'm proud that we battled it out with them, that was the match-up that we wanted, and we played tough, for sure."
Early in the first quarter, the REDS were able to hang with the Huskies.
Katie McAffee (Lower Knoxford, NB) and Jolianne Guay (Prevost, QC) hit three-point shots and UNB trailed 7-6, but a 6-0 run saw the Huskies open a 15-8 lead and Saint Mary's led 19-12 after one quarter.
In the second, the Huskies continued their push, extending their lead to 13 points before another Guay three pulled UNB back to within 10.
Turnovers and fouls worked against the REDS, and UNB fell behind 35-23 late in the second quarter.
SMU's Clara Gascoigne (Dartmouth, NS) and Alaina McMillan (Brantford, ON) scored three and two respectively late in the quarter, and the Huskies took a 40-24 lead into halftime.
In the third, Saint Mary's pushed their lead to 20, at 51-31, but the REDS found some life.
A McAffee lay-in and a Guay put back with a little more than 2:00 to play made it a 52-39 game. McAffee then hit from long range as the REDS again pulled to within ten.
McKinley Bezanson (Hantsport, NS) hit a three of her own a short time later, and added two more as the quarter expired, trimming SMU's lead to single digits, at 56-47.
But the relentless Huskies' offence could not be stopped and Saint Mary's won 77-56.
"They just got momentum on us and I think we got scared and pulled back a bit, and that gave them all the power to shoot the shots they wanted, and they were going in," said graduating RED Madeline Orlando (Woodstock, NB). "This being my last year, it's upsetting that we didn't get a win, but I love this group of girls and I just know that... I'm overwhelmed with emotions right now."
McAffee led UNB scorers with 16 points, while Guay scored 12. Katie Butts (Ottawa, ON) had seven rebounds for UNB.
Gascoigne led the Saint Mary's attack with a game-high 23 points, while McMillan scored 14.
"We let great players make great shots, they had some players playing very well tonight and they shot the shots they wanted to take," said Black. "We had trouble stopping them for a bit of the game and let it get away."
Long after the game, both Black and Orlando lingered in their REDS jerseys, each knowing they wouldn't be putting one on again.
'I didn't want it to be tonight. That's why I'm still wearing it. It'll take me a while to take it off," said Black. "It's been a pleasure, for sure. I'm very proud to be a RED, I'll always be a RED, but it's been a great five years and I wouldn't change it for the world."
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Nick Pearce/for Atlantic University Sport