(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds dug an early hole and couldn't pull themselves out of it.
The Varsity Reds allowed the UPEI Panthers to score the first 12 points of the game, falling to the visiting Panthers 80-58.
UNB didn't score its first basket until the 3:40 mark of the first quarter.
Mid-way through the second quarter, the V-Reds trimmed the lead to just 11 points, 33-22, but the Panthers would go back on the offensive before the half, going to the intermission with a 41-23 lead.
The Panthers then started the second half the same way they finished the first… on fire. UPEI scored the first six baskets of the third quarter, extending their lead to 51-23.
Kiera Rigby(Charlottetown, PE) scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Panthers. She was named Subway Player of the Game.
"We felt fairly comfortable and composed the whole game," said Rigby. "We got up by a good margin early, and usually we have a tough time keeping that up, so that was something that we were striving for, to keep that lead and keep the pressure up."
Reese Baxendale(Sussex, NB) added 16, and Jenna Mae Ellsworth(Charlottetown, PE) scored 14.
"We knew they were going to be testing bodies for playoffs, so we were going to treat it like a playoff game. We were expecting a lot from them," said Rigby.
Grace Simpson(Fredericton, NB) grabbed eight rebounds for UNB.
"The only positive I can take from tonight is nobody else got hurt," said Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. "We had a list of five or six things that were keys to the game and I would say, in the first half, we were 0-for-6."
"When you play a really good team like that, I think they're arguably top three in the league, if you let them play the way they want to play, you're going to be in trouble," said Speedy.
The Panthers got all but nine of their 80 points from starters.
The UNB bench, meanwhile, scored 26 of the Varsity Reds' 58 points.
"Four of their starters outscored us by ten points, our entire team, so let's start right there," said Speedy. "We let their starters score the way they wanted to score."
With the win, UPEI improves to 9-and-8 this season, good for fourth in the Atlantic University Sport standings.
UNB is now 7-and-10, and sits in sixth place.
The Varsity Reds host the Panthers again on Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00pm.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics