Panthers start second half against Saint Mary's without sixth man
The UPEI Panthers will be missing its ironman tonight.
Coach Tim Kendrick said they had to tell co-captain Lorenzo Parker he was not going to play due to a strained Achilles tendon and calf suffered at the Rod and Joan Shoveller Memorial Basketball Tournament on Jan. 2.
He has played 62 straight regular season games for the Panthers dating back to Nov. 23, 2012.
"He's a real competitor and a tough kid," Kendrick said. "He certainly would have gone."
The four-year guard is averaging 14 points per game in 25 minutes off the bench this season for the Panthers.
"Someone else has to step up or maybe two or three guys," Kendrick said. "I think guys are ready to go."
The Panthers host the Saint Mary's Huskies at 8 p.m. in their first game of the second semester of the Atlantic University Sport season.
Guard Tyler Scott, one of the top players in the country, was nursing an injury but is expected to play.
UPEI (5-2) is in a four-way tie for second place, four points behind conference-leading Dalhousie (6-3). Saint Mary's (3-4) is six points back of the Panthers and tied for sixth place in the eight-team conference.
"Someone else has to step up or maybe two or three guys." Tim Kendrick, UPEI Panthers men's basketball coach
"They're going to be in the fight for one of the byes," Kendrick said of Saint Mary's. "Their record right now is no indication of the kind of team they have."
Tonight's game is worth four points and a Panther win would give them the tiebreaker with Saint Mary's, as UPEI defeated the Huskies 89-79 on Nov. 15 in Halifax.
The Huskies have two wins in tournament play against the Panthers.
Kendrick said it would be important to keep their top players under control, not give up any eight- or 10-point runs and limit the Huskies second-chance opportunities on the glass.
He called them big, athletic and talented with savvy veteran guards.
"There's a reason they were picked No. 1 in the pre-season by the coaches."