(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds began the 2018 portion of their Atlantic University Sport season on a winning note.
Newcomer Cooper Wilks(Sydney, AUS) came off the bench to score 16 points, leading the Varsity Reds in an 80-67 win over the visiting Acadia Axemen.
Baker was named the Subway Player of the Game.
"It was a good job by all the guys," said Baker. "We knew coming out that it wasn't really about Xs and Os, it was about how hard we were going to work and how hard we could push the ball and that's what our team does, push the ball."
Ben Miller(Winnipeg, MB) scored a game high 18 points to lead the Axemen, while Erik Nissen(Quispamsis, NB) added 15 before fouling out.
"We didn't play a great first half, but hung around and then we had some chances, we knocked on the door in the second, but couldn't get over that hump to put some pressure on them," said Axemen head coach Kevin Duffie.
The Varsity Reds led by four after the first quarter, and extended their lead to 40-32 at the half.
Playing without fifth-year standout guard Javon Masters(Kitchener, ON), serving a one game suspension, UNB held off the charging Axemen in the third quarter before pulling away in the fourth.
UNB's bench scored 53 points, while Acadia's bench contributed just 12.
"They played well. They got tons of production off the bench," said Duffie.
Varsity Reds head coach Brent Baker applauded the efforts of his new additions.
In particular, Baker welcomed Wilks' size and play under the basket.
"It's nice having a presence in there," said Baker. "Before Christmas, I don't know if this would've been the result without him there."
"That's what we brought those guys here for, to be big for us," said Dylan Baker. "We've always been a small team, so that's a huge help. Coop played really well, being aggressive and attacking their bigs."
With the win, UNB is now 8-1 and in first place in the AUS standings.
Acadia falls to 6-2, good for third place.
The Axemen visit St FX on Wednesday.
The Varsity Reds visit the CBU Capers Friday and Saturday.
RECAP AND PHOTOS BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics