(HALIFAX, NS) Javon Masters has always had a flair for the dramatic, and Friday night was no exception.
Masters(Kitchener, ON) scored 27 second half points, and 37 in total, to lead the UNB Varsity Reds to an 83-72 come-from-behind win over the Saint Mary's Huskies.
In the process, Masters became Atlantic University Sport's all-time leading scorer.
A lay-up with 1:50 to play gave Masters 2069 career points, tying a mark set by UPEI's Curtis Robinson between 1991 and 1996.
A three-point basket with 1:10 to play set a new AUS mark at 2072.
"I'm just overly joyed," said Masters. "It's a record that's been there for some time, it means a lot."
The win also meant a lot to Masters.
The V-Reds erased a 17-point half-time deficit to beat the Huskies and improve to 5-0.
"I know the first half wasn't really what we wanted," said Masters. "Coach Baker got us into the room and told us to buckle down, get some stops and get it in transition, and we'd have a good chance to win the game."
Trailing 47-30 to begin the third quarter, the Varsity Reds came to life.
They scored 26 and held SMU to just 12.
Their ascent continued in the fourth quarter, where they scored 27 more and held the Huskies to just 13.
It was truly a tale of two halves.
"Saint Mary's is always a difficult team for us to play, especially here. For us to gut down and grind out a big win here, it means a lot," said Masters. "My shot wasn't falling in the first half, but as soon as I got a couple to the basket and got to the free throw line, I knew that any time I put the ball up it was probably going to go in."
Brent Baker's half-time message to his team was simple.
"We've done some good things, we're just not shooting the ball well," said the Varsity Reds head coach.
"We stopped them in the third and got a little run and got our confidence and Javon made some huge shots. It was a good team effort. A lot of guys came off the bench, Chris Spurrell hit a big shot late and Dylan Baker's defence was really good tonight."
As for watching Masters' historic night, "I've seen every point he's ever scored in the regular season, I've had the best seat in the house."
"It's a tribute to the kid's consistency and durability," said Baker. "The ability to show up night in, night out, and know that they're gunning to stop you, they're game-planning to stop you, that takes a certain mentality, that takes a certain toughness. And he just does it, he embraces it and that's what I love about him."
Dylan Baker(Narre Warren South, AUS) scored 14 for UNB while Nikita Kasongo(Montreal, QC) led the Huskies with 20.
Osman Barrie(Ottawa, ON) recorded a double-double, with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
The Huskies host the Varsity Reds again Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 4:00pm.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics