UNB drops first game at Accreon Eric Garland Tourney to UPEI 97-88

UNB drops first game at Accreon Eric Garland Tourney to UPEI 97-88

FREDERICTON, NB – The UNB Varsity Reds Men's basketball team drop their first game of the Eric Garland Tournament 97-88 to the UPEI Panthers.

 Javon Masters shone for the Varsity Reds scoring 41 points with four rebounds and five steals, while it was Lorenzo Parker with 23 for the Panthers. Dut Dut also led with 19 points and a game high 12 rebounds.

The Varsity Reds came out slow, trailing from the get go. UPEI found luck from the charity stripe getting 13 of their 23 chances in the first half.  UNB struggled to get any runs going early, trailing by as much as 14 in the early part of the half.

It wasn't until Javon Masters scored one of his two three-pointers over a UPEI defender, to ignite the crowd and a fire under the UNB squad. Masters would lead his team through the half scoring 16 points, and was a big part of the Varsity Reds eventually taking the lead back.    

It felt great, we have the best fans in the conference or even in the country by far," said Javon Masters.  "So for me to energize them get them back into the game it was a big step that I took."

 After the slow start UNB was now neck and neck with the Panthers finishing the first half only down by one 39-36.
 UPEI were the better team in the field shooting 50 per cent halfway through, but gave up nine turnovers, two fewer than the Varsity Reds.

Out of the locker room, UNB kept their elevated play, not letting the Panthers pull away as they did in the first.

UNB improved their accuracy through three shooting 48 per cent, while maintaining their 75 per cent free throw percentage. All of the UPEI took part, as the Panthers bench scored 26 of the 70 UPEI points through three quarters.  

Near the end of the fourth, UPEI began to pull away, focusing their defense on shutting down Masters and going on a run of their own. 

The Panthers led by 11 approaching the final minute of the game. 

Despite the loss, Javon Masters scored a career-high 41 points. 

"It was good, it would have been better to get the win but to know I scored over 40, it's still a little bit of an accomplishment." 

Both teams will continue play tomorrow, UPEI at 4:00 and UNB at 8:00 at the Richard J. Currie Center. 

Michael Bourgeois for UNB Communications