UPEI squad sweeps Memorial to stay atop conference standings
© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Aaron Robbins of the UPEI Panthers goes up for the shot during Atlantic University Sport men’s basketball action against the Memorial University Sea-Hawks at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre on Saturday night.
The lyrics from DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” pumped from the UPEI Panthers’ dressing room following their latest victory, 100-89 over the Memorial Sea-Hawks Sunday afternoon at the Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre.
The Panthers took both games from the Sea-Hawks at home this weekend, also beating them 95-77 Saturday night.
Sunday’s win pushes the Panthers’ season record to 11-3, tops in the Atlantic University Sport men’s basketball standings.
Point guard Terrence Brown led the way for UPEI, scoring 28 points on 12-for-20 shooting.
“It feels great,” the 25-year-old Brown told The Guardian. “That was our objective from the beginning of the season. To be in first place and get a first-round bye. So far we are accomplishing that goal.
“We still have something to prove,” Brown added quickly. “We ain’t in the AUS finals yet. All these games don’t mean nothing unless we can get a championship. That’s our plan.”
The quick-footed Brown shot early and often for UPEI, who led 50-40 at the half.
“Coach just told me to be more aggressive,” he said of his big game. “Don’t force anything . . . but if I had the shot, take it. That’s what I did and everything worked out well.”
Donnie Moss had 20 points for the Panthers, who cracked the 100-point plateau for the second time this season.
Memorial was led by Robbie Habib’s 33 points. Habib drained eight three’s in the contest.
Coach Tim Kendrick said he was concerned with a lack of poise and focus his players showed at times against last-place Memorial, but said he’d take the wins.
“They don’t all have to be Picasso’s,” he said. “We’re in a position where the two W’s are great. We’ll take them and we’ll work hard this week and be ready for next Saturday and Dal.”
Kendrick showered praise on his point guard’s performance.
“He’s tough,” the coach said. “He’s one of the kids that we really rely on a lot. When he decides to be aggressive like he was today, he’s an awful tough matchup for anybody in this league.”
Sea-Hawks coach Peter Benoite said the Panthers are a difficult team to match-up with.
“They’re athletic,” he said. “They’ve probably got a starting line-up that can contend with any team in the country. They’re pretty tough and they can shoot the ball, and (Manock) Lual’s a heck of a player.”
Benoite said the trio of Lual, Brown, and Jonathan Cooper, are particularly fearsome.
“Game-in and game-out, they look like they’re coming to play. There’s a sense of urgency there, and they’re giving their effort. And other guys are coming along and playing tough as well. It’s good to see.”
On Saturday, the Panthers dumped the Sea-Hawks 95-77.
Small forward Donnie Moss led the Panthers with 26 points, while Lual chipped in 22 points and 10 rebounds.
Sea-Hawks’ forward Jason Shepherd led all players with 29 points. Mike Helsby chipped in 17 points and 12 rebounds in the loss.
UPEI entered the half with only a one-point advantage over Memorial, leading 45-44.
But the Panthers shot the lights out in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Sea-Hawks 26-11 to win big.