(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds weren't going to be outworked for a second night in a row.
"There was a huge improvement in our defensive intensity over last night, and that's what October basketball is for," said Varsity Reds head coach Jeff Speedy.
The Varsity Reds beat the Lakehead University Thunderwolves 61-44 on Saturday, in exhibition play, in UNB's Helen Campbell Tournament.
For the Varsity Reds, the win came in the wake of Friday's 75-53 loss to the Bishop's Gaiters, a game in which UNB was uncharacteristically outworked.
"I was very pleased with their defensive intensity," said Speedy. "I think we still need a lot of work on poise with the ball in our hands, but there was a huge improvement tonight."
Hannah Currie(Collingwood, ON) led the Varsity Reds with 12 points and 6 rebounds.
Lily Gruber-Schulz(Grand Marais, MN) led the Thunderwolves with 10 points, and Rachel Webber(Ancaster, ON) was named Lakehead's Summit Dodge Player of the Game.
"We started off slower than we wanted to," said Webber. "We didn't play the game we wanted to, we let them dictate play, so it killed us in the end."
"We took our time tonight, and got our confidence back in our play," said Hannah Currie.
The fourth year forward feels the win, even in pre-season play, is something to build on.
"I think it builds a little confidence for us. It shows us what we are capable of doing. Last night, we weren't able to prove that to ourselves and everyone else here… and this is just one step forward in showing everyone that we can do it."
Both teams are now 1-1 heading into the final day of the tournament.
For a Lakehead team hobbled by injuries, the loss was an eye-opener.
"We've learned what our weaknesses are, and what our strengths are," said Webber. "That's a big factor for us. It's sad that we lost, but now we know what we have to do to win those games and get better."
The Thunderwolves conclude their weekend visit when they face the Bishop's Gaiters, on Sunday.
The Varsity Reds will meet Atlantic University Sport rivals, the Dalhousie Tigers.