MUN shuts down CIS leading scorer Javon Masters, split with Varsity Reds
Memorial Sea-Hawks held Canada’s leading scorer to 12 points in picking up their first win of the season in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) basketball play Saturday night at the Field House.
The Sea-Hawks basically shut down Javon Masters in winning 80-76, although the Varsity Reds rookie phenom got a little revenge Sunday as UNB rebounded for an 86-69 victory.
© — Telegram file photo
MUN’s stunning upset Saturday came out of nowhere as the host team entered the game with an 0-8 record on the season.
“I would have liked to have gotten two wins,” said MUN coach Peter Benoite, “because those eight points would have been big for us. Still, I’m certainly happy to get that win Saturday and I think it will help us moving forward.”
MUN held the Varsity Reds, who are tied with Acadia on 8-3 records, to a 32.9 shooting percentage Saturday in taking the surprise victory in front of a big, noisy crowd.
Masters, who entered the game with an AUS and CIS leading 30-points per-game average, led his team with 20 points Sunday, including going eight-for-eight from the free throw line.
Being held to a dozen points the night before was apparently was all the incentive he needed to pick up his game.
“Yeah, I took it personaly,” said Masters about his stronger effort in the second game of the series.
“I wanted to come out and be more aggressive…try to finish more around the basket and get my teammates the ball,” added Masters who also contributed six assists with five steals.
“They (Sea-Hawks) were really physical with me. Some of the shots I usually make weren’t falling, but I’ve got to give them credit. They did a good job in keeping the ball away from me.”
Masters said his freshman season has been “crazy” so far.
He said that while he is surprised he’s leading the country in scoring, he was well prepared for his first season.
“I trained a lot and worked really hard this summer trying to get bigger, faster and stronger for the next level of play,” he explained.
Masters said he’s willing to do “whatever it takes” this season to help his team succeed.
“I’m trying to get the ball to my teammates and they relly stepped up today. If I’m scoring that’s fine, but if other guys are scoring, that makes it even better,” noted the six-foot guard from Kitchener, Ont.
William McFee added 16 points for UNB Sunday and Jordan Irvine scored 15.
MUN’s Vasilije Curcic led all scorers Sunday with 25 points and seven rebounds.
Benoite said he doesn’t think his team was “overly” physical with Masters, but he feels Curcic has had to fight through some tough coverage these days.
“Vasilije is being double and triple-teamed, getting whacked and beat on. He’s really taking a beating,” Benoite said of the team’s top scorer who sank 20 points Saturday.
“The only way to relieve that pressure is to hit some open shots,” said the MUN mentor. “We’re still struggling to score at times. It would be nice if we could knock down a few more shots and relieve some pressure inside.”
Benoite said his team executed its game plan Saturday night, but UNB “did a good job of adjusting to it today (Sunday). They did a couple of different things to relieve the pressure on Masters and they had other guys step up.”
MUN travels to Antigonish, N.S. next weekend to take on the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.
UNB 86, Memorial 69
Vasilije Curcic (25), Caleb Gould (16), Noel Moffatt (6)
Javon Masters (20)
MUN 27; UNB 28
MUN 52.9; UNB 45.7
UNB 13-13; MUN 12-19
MUN 3-8; UNB 9-22
MUN 13; UNB 20
Memorial 80, UNB 76
Curcic (20), Daniel Foo (12), Kieran Hawksley (10)
Jordan Irvine (20)
MUN 40; UNB 41
MUN 16-27; UNB 20-26
MUN 41.4; UNB 32.9
UNB 10-28; MUN, 6-22
MUN 30; UNB 33