(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Reds rode a hot hand to an 83-70 win over the Cape Breton Capers on Friday, the first game of a two-game weekend series between the teams.
Daniel Levitt (Montreal, QC) added 11 points off the bench.
"It was good to bounce back after a tough loss on the road at Memorial last weekend, but there's still a lot of stuff we have to work on," said Reds fifth-year guard Jesse Kendall.
Osman Omar (Mississauga, ON) led the Capers, scoring 18 points.
Paul Watson (Mississauga, ON) had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the double-double, while Eugene Kankue (Ottawa, ON) contributed 15 points off the Cape Breton bench.
"They hit a bunch of threes to start the game and that kind of put us on our heels and took us out of our game-plan," said Capers head coach Matt Skinn. "They were really prepared, had some jump in their step. They played a great game."
The Reds hit four three-point shots in the opening quarter.
UNB then used 7-0 and 8-0 runs in the second quarter to open a significant 20-point lead at the half.
"It was just energy, in the end of the first and start of the second quarter," said Kendall. "I felt we outplayed them, started running and moving the ball, played our game."
The Capers had a much better second half, even outscoring the Reds in the fourth quarter, but couldn't completely erase the deficit.
"I thought we fought back pretty well in the fourth quarter, but they had more energy than us for longer periods of time and I thought that was the difference," said Skinn.
The win solidifies the Reds hold on second place in the Atlantic University Sport standings. UNB is now 7-3, with 18 points.
The loss ends Cape Breton's three-game win streak, and drops their record to 4-5.
Prior to the game, Kendall was recognized as the 2018-19 recipient of the Wright Family Scholarship.
"I'm honoured," he said. "Any time you get a family like that, that contributes to help me through school and to help me fulfill my dream of playing basketball for UNB is incredible, I can't thank them enough for it."
The Reds and Capers return to action Saturday, in the weekend series closer. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:00pm.
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: James West/for UNB Athletics