(FREDERICTON, NB) Eva Tumwine's (Fredericton, NB) basket with 6.8 seconds to play in overtime was the difference, as the UNB Reds beat the Memorial Sea-Hawks 71-70 in an exciting Sunday morning Atlantic University Sport game.
Tumwine's winning basket capped her 20-point effort and earned her Subway Player of the Game honours.
"Mikaela drew two of them, and then found me open," said Tumwine, of her winning bucket. "I made the shot, and that was it."
Mikaela Dodig (Bolton, ON) scored 17 for the Reds, while Hailie Nickerson (Grimsby, ON) had a game-high 27 to lead the Sea-Hawks.
"Coming back from the loss yesterday, we had to face a bit of adversity, but we all came together as a team and pulled the win off, in overtime," said Tumwine.
In an entertaining first quarter, the teams traded opportunities, and the home team held a 13-11 advantage after 10 minutes.
Things remained close in the second quarter, and neither side was able to establish a significant gap.
UNB led 32-29 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Reds push out to four-point leads, at 40-36 and 49-45, but the 'Hawks hung around.
UNB led 51-49 after 30 minutes.
The back-and-forth nature of the game continued in the fourth.
The teams were tied 53-53 with about 8:00 to play, with Memorial edging ahead 55-53 about two minutes later.
With the Reds up 58-57, and with 3:17 to play, Dodig scored to push UNB's lead to 60-57. The basket gave the fourth-year Red 900 regular season career points.
The Reds led 61-57 with 1:09 to play, but Nickerson drew a foul after a UNB turnover and hit one of her free throws before nailing a three-point shot, with 15.8 seconds to play, to tie the score 61-61.
The teams traded baskets again, with Nickerson drawing the Hawks even, 63-63, with a mere 1.4 seconds to play.
In overtime, Nickerson made an amazing behind the back, arching shot to tie the score 69-69 and then hit a free throw to give Memorial a 70-69 lead.
Tumwine's basket followed on UNB's final trip down the court, and the Reds held off the Sea-Hawks on their final possession.
"It just shows that we're ready for playoffs," said Dodig, of the Reds dramatic victory. "We've been playing some close games and we were finally able to win one. It's good confidence for us, going into playoffs. It's going to be tough. Every team can beat every team, so it was nice to get that win, for sure."
"It doesn't feel good to lose," said an emotional Nickerson, outside the Sea-Hawks dressing room. "It sucks to lose a game that we put so much effort into. It's tough right now, but tomorrow we'll have to move on and think about our next game."
With the win, the Reds are now 9-and-10. That's good for a share of fourth place in the AUS standings.
UNB will host the Dalhousie Tigers in the AUS regular season finale for both teams next Saturday. Game time is 6:00pm.
The Sea-Hawks, now 13-and-5, remain in second place. They return home and host the UPEI Panthers in a pair of four-point games next weekend.
RECAP BY: Andy Campbell/UNB Athletics
PHOTOS BY: Alex Dascalu/for UNB Athletics