The Acadia Axemen hit three three-pointers in the final 15 seconds Saturday, but were unable to connect on the buzzer beater to win it.
The UPEI Panthers defeated the Axemen 92-90 in Atlantic University Sport (AUS) basketball action in Charlottetown. UPEI was up 12 with 4:37 to go before the Axemen went on a 17-7 run to end the game.
“There’s nothing you can do, they hit spectacular shots at the end,” Panthers head coach Tim Kendrick said. “The only thing we talk about is we have to be ahead at the end of 40 minutes. Tonight, we were, we win.”
The Axemen led 29-21 after the first quarter but the score was tied 42-42 at the half and 65-65 going to the fourth.
UPEI went on a run that included two three-point shots and a jumper in three minutes by Milorad Sedlarevic to give the Panthers their largest lead. The second-year forward ended the night 14 points after going 0-for-2 in the first half.
“Coach trusts me,” Sedlarevic said. “He gave me more than 30 minutes in both games (this weekend). . . Coach said to me, ‘keep shooting, be aggressive’ and I just tried to do my best.”
Tyler Scott had a game-high 29 points, but missed two of five free throws in the final five seconds.
Kendrick wasn’t worried.
“Hey, sometimes you miss, but I’ll put my money on Tyler at the foul line late,” he said. “I hope the same thing happens at the Metro Centre in March (in the AUS playoffs) because I’ll tell ya I bet he hits everything there.”
Scott added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals despite battling a wrist injury.
The Panthers used eight players, but two played less than 10 minutes.
Stefan Vujisic (foot), Lorenzo Parker (Achilles tendon/calf) and Amin Suleman (coach’s decision) did not dress Saturday. Kendrick said he was pleased to see his players grind out the win with a short bench.
Brad States had 21 points, seven boards, three dimes, two steals for the Panthers while Dut Dut had 16 points and 16 rebounds.
Ben Miller had 22 points, nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals to pace the Axemen as all five starters scored 13 or more points. Shaquille Smith had 18, Nick De Palma 15, Johnston 14 and Erik Nissen 13.
The Panthers went to the free-throw line three times more than the Axemen (27-9) and outrebounded them 48-37. Acadia hit twice as many three-point shots (16-8).
The Panthers improved to 8-2 while the Axemen fall to 6-5. The teams split their four regular-season meetings with each team winning both games at home.
UPEI is tied with Dalhousie (7-3) for first place in the conference with 18 points, two points up on Acadia and UNB (5-5). Some games in the conference are worth four points and others two.