(FREDERICTON, NB) The final game of the 2017 Helen Campbell Tournament turned out to be the best game.
In a clash of Atlantic University Sport rivals, the Acadia Axewomen came from behind to beat the host UNB Varsity Reds 82-69.
With the win, Acadia captures the pre-season tournament title.
The Axewomen were 3-0 this weekend.
UNB finished 1-2.
The home team raced out to a 29-15 first quarter lead.
Acadia cut into that lead in the second quarter, but trailed 42-35 at the half.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Axewomen and Varsity Reds traded the lead before Acadia moved in front to stay.
Kelsey Rice(Beaverbank, NS) recorded a double-double to lead the Axewomen, scoring 19 points and grabbing 16 rebounds.
Chanel Smith(Halifax, NS) added 18 points for Acadia.
Mikaela Dodig(Bolton, ON) and Laura Kaye(Fredericton, NB) both scored 14 to lead the Varsity Reds.
Rice, Kaye and UNB's Grace Wade(Moncton, NB) were named tournament all-stars, while Acadia's Paloma Anderson(Phoenix, AZ) was named the tournament's most valuable player.
"I don't think that team is more skilled than us or more athletic, I think we're right up there with them, if not better," said Wade. "We lost focus or confidence, it was more of a mental thing for us."
Despite the loss, Wade says the Varsity Reds can take a lot from the pre-season tournament.
"Today didn't go as we thought it would. I think we definitely could've had a better showing," she said. "I don't think we gave up at any point, which is a positive, but that's what a tournament like this is for, to see what we have to work on and build from that. Now we know what we need to work on, and have lots of time to do it."
Next up for the Varsity Reds, Ryerson's pre-season tournament.
UNB opens against McMaster, on October 20th. The Axewomen head to Calgary for the Calgary Cup hosted by the Dinos.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics