(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Reds put together a fourth-quarter surge, but it just wasn't enough.
The Reds fell 74-60 to the Acadia Axewomen on Friday night.
Haley McDonald (Port Williams, NS) scored a game-high 25 points, including 18 in the first half, to lead the Axewomen.
"I think just figuring out how to balance their tempo with ours, and we did a good job of that, made for opportunities for us today," said McDonald, named the Subway Player of the Game.
"My teammates are super good. They give me the ball, they set screens for me, they see my opportunities, so those points are team points," she said.
Mikaela Dodig (Bolton, ON) led the Reds, scoring 13 points and grabbing five rebounds.
"I really liked our fourth quarter," said Dodig. "We started to play like we know how to play. I think the way we played, other than the last little bit where they finished it off, is how we need to start tomorrow."
The Reds jumped out to an early 5-4 lead before the defending Atlantic University Sports champs roared to life and pushed ahead, taking a 12-8 lead midway through the first quarter.
At the end of the first, the Axewomen were up 19-17.
Acadia went on a 7-0 run to start the second quarter and extend their lead before the Reds could answer.
A bit of a lull set in during the quarter, where both teams struggled to make their offenses work.
Rachel Clouâtre-Trudeau (St. Jean sur Richelieu, QC) brought that to an end with a three-point shot that pushed Acadia's lead to 31-21.
She then hit a pair of foul shots to make it a 12-point game, and McDonald hit back-to-back threes and Acadia was in front by 18.
Dodig answered for the Reds with a three of her own, her third of the night, to trim the deficit to 15.
Acadia led 43-30 at the half.
In the second half, Acadia continued to build their lead, going up by 21 with about three minutes to play in the third quarter and a 65-45 lead after three quarters.
The Reds then surged to life in the fourth, going on a 9-0 run to start the final quarter, and holding Acadia to just three points over the first 6:40.
The Axewomen scored just nine points in the fourth, but it was enough to hold off the Reds.
Jayda Veinot (Port Williams, NS) added 17 for Acadia, while Clouâtre-Trudeau pulled down 11 rebounds.
Marley Curwin (Halifax, NS) helped the UNB effort with 10 points, while Grace Simpson (Fredericton, NB) had eight rebounds.
"We're going to make a lot of mistakes, but you just can't make the same mistake over and over again," said Reds head coach Jeff Speedy. "We didn't compete on the boards in the first half, so that was very frustrating, and I thought we were still making a lot of defensive mistakes in the third quarter that was repetitive."
The Axewomen are now 3-and-0, while the Reds are 1-and-2.
The teams meet again Saturday, at UNB's Richard J. Currie Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: James West/for UNB Athletics