UPEI‚Äąmen‚Äôs basketball team moves into tie for first place, women‚Äôs squad drops game
© Guardian photo by Nigel Armstrong
UPEI‚ÄąPanthers‚Äô Manock Lual drives for the basket against a UNB‚ÄąVarsity Reds defender during AUS‚Äąmen‚Äôs basketball action Friday night at UPEI‚ÄąSports Centre.
It‚Äôs a tale of two teams.
The UPEI Panthers men‚Äôs basketball team routed the UNB Varsity Reds 99-76 Friday night to move into a three-way tie for first in the Atlantic University Sport standings.
Meanwhile, the women‚Äôs team dropped their battle with the Reds by a score of 80-69 and remain tied for last.
The UPEI‚Äąmen‚Äôs team dominated from the outset, entered the half up 54-39, and scored at will throughout the game.
UPEI owned the paint, outscoring UNB 60-32.
Manock Lual had a huge game, scoring 27 points to lead all scorers, while adding 11 rebounds.
‚ÄúHe‚Äôs a horse,‚ÄĚ said UPEI‚Äąhead coach Tim Kendrick. ‚ÄúHe can really play. He‚Äôs as tough as there is in this league, and he has been for a long time. I‚Äôll tell you what, I‚Äôm glad he plays for UPEI.‚ÄĚ
Five players finished in double figures for the Panthers. After Lual, Jonathan Cooper had 16, Terrance Brown 15, Geoff Doane 14 and Donnie Moss 11.
Alex DesRoches had 25 points to lead UNB.
‚ÄúThat‚Äôs UPEI Panther basketball,‚ÄĚ Kendrick said. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs the way we roll here now. We‚Äôre going to play hard all the time. We‚Äôre going to be in attack mode at both ends all the time.‚ÄĚFourth-year forward Jermaine Duke said the positive energy and team chemistry stems from one place.
‚ÄúOur coach,‚ÄĚ said the 23-year-old business student. ‚ÄúHe builds great confidence in us. He tells us to go out every day and work hard. He‚Äôs never once been negative on us. It‚Äôs been great.‚ÄĚ
UPEI is now tied with St. F.X. and Cape Breton for first in the AUS.
UPEI let a 44-40 halftime lead slip away, dropping its game to UPEI by a score of 80-69.
Reds‚Äô star Claire Colborne scored a game-high 22 for UNB, who improved to 4-7 on the year, including a three-point dagger late in the game that put her team up by 10.
Jenna Jones led the Panthers (2-9)‚Äąwith 11 points. Katelynn Donahoe, Nakita Newman and Emily MacEachern each had 10.
‚ÄúI think we stopped getting to the rim,‚ÄĚ said head coach Carly Clarke of her team‚Äôs second half troubles. ‚ÄúWe had been penetrating well and finding open shots in the first half. I thought the tempo of the game slowed down a little bit . . . That gave us some trouble.‚ÄĚ
UPEI shot a hot 54 per cent in the first half, but cooled to a low 30 per cent in the second half. More concerning was the fact the team only made 11 of 25 shots from the free-throw line.
‚ÄúOur goal is to shoot 80 percent from the foul line. Today we were below 50,‚ÄĚ said Clarke. ‚ÄúThat‚Äôs not going to get it done. Last week, we were 30 for 34 from the foul line and we were successful. We need to be better for sure.‚ÄĚ
UPEI takes on the Dalhousie Tigers (2-7) today. Game time is 6 p.m.
‚ÄúWe have to move on,‚ÄĚ said Clarke. ‚ÄúWe can‚Äôt dwell on the fact that we got beat. We competed and we‚Äôre competing in games regularly, and we haven‚Äôt done that in a long time.‚ÄĚ