(HALIFAX, NS) The sixth-seeded UNB Varsity Reds gave up a five point half-time lead, falling 76-70 to the No. 3 UPEI Panthers, in their quarter-final game at the Subway Atlantic University Sport Women's Basketball Championship, in Halifax.
AUS second team all-star, Jenna Mae Ellsworth(Charlottetown, PE) and AUS Rookie of the Year Reese Baxendale(Sussex, NB) combined for 58 points for the Panthers.
The first quarter was tightly contested until UNB went on an 8-2 run to end the quarter, holding the Panthers to 15.8% shooting, and finishing the first quarter with a 16-10 lead.
The Varsity Reds maintained their lead throughout the second quarter, but the Panthers were buoyed by the strong play of Ellsworth and Baxendale who combined for 26 of the team's 29 first-half points.
The Varsity Reds used a balanced attack with eight players contributing points in the first half, led by Hannah Currie's(Collingwood, ON) 12 points and six rebounds., and went to the break with a 34-29 lead.
Baxendale continued her strong play in the third quarter, scoring 13 of UPEI's 22 points and helping them reclaim the lead they'd lost four minutes into the first.
Heading into the fourth quarter the Panthers led UNB 51-48 capitalizing on the Varsity Reds' 16 turnovers.
In the fourth, UPEI would slowly build their lead over the first eight minutes, extending it to as many as eight points.
The Varsity Reds made a late push, with clutch baskets by Laura Kaye(Fredericton, NB) and Nicole Esson(Fredericton, NB) cutting the lead to four before the Panthers would put the game out of reach in the final minute.
Baxendale and Ellsworth led the way for the Panthers with 30 points and 28 points respectively. Baxendale was named Subway Player of the Game.
Currie led the Varsity Reds with 24 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks.
The UPEI Panthers move on to play the Cape Breton Capers in a Saturday afternoon semi-final, at 3:00pm.