© Jason Malloy/The Guardian
No one has to remind Tyler Scott how the UPEI Panthers last game against the Dalhousie Tigers ended.
The fourth-year guard from Clayton Park, N.S., missed the final shot Jan. 23 in Charlottetown as the Tigers won 79-78. Scott thinks about it every day.
"It still stings," he said Friday, "but that's why we play. Dal is a great team, and we look forward to competing and having a great game against them tomorrow."
Game time is 8 p.m. in Halifax.
Dalhousie dropped a 65-55 game Wednesday to Saint Mary's, giving the Panthers a chance to win the conference.
The Tigers and Panthers are tied with 12-6 records and 34 points atop the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) conference. A four-point win tonight clinches first place for the winner.
"As a kid, you grow dreaming of these games, especially going back home," Scott said. "This game means everything, a first round bye and first place."
Head coach Tim Kendrick said the previous meeting left a bad taste with the Panthers. Now they are healthier and are looking forward to the rematch.
"I think we'll be ready to go tomorrow," he said. "Everyone knows what tomorrow means, so I think we'll see Dal's best shot."
Both teams have one game left after tonight's game. UPEI finishes at UNB while Dalhousie ends at Cape Breton. Both games take place next Friday.
"We thought right from the start this year that those last two games, at Dal and at UNB, are going to be big ones," Kendrick said.
Panthers forward Tevin Sutton-Stephenson was sick Friday and didn't practise. He is out for tonight's game.
The UPEI women can take a step closer to making the playoffs with a win tonight in Halifax.
Game time for the four-point contest is 6 p.m.
UPEI is 5-13 with 14 points with two games remaining. They finish at UNB on Friday.
The Panthers can leapfrog the Tigers (6-12, 16 points) with a win tonight.
Dalhousie has lost three straight games and is without their top player after Tessa Stammberger broke her arm at Memorial earlier this month.
"They lost a good player, but I've been really impressed (with) the way they've overcome that. Everybody else has stepped up," Panthers head coach Greg Gould said Friday.
"Without Tessa it certainly changes the dynamics in terms of how we try to defend," he added, "but I think anybody that would take them lightly would be making a big mistake."
Ainsley MacIntyre has been averaging about 20 points a game since Stammberger's injury.
For the Panthers to be successful, Gould said, it starts on the defensive end and having balance in its offensive attack.
"All of them understand they all need to play well," he said, of the Panthers. "It's not a matter of one person stepping up."