The UPEI Panthers will be looking to tighten up defensively tonight as they begin their second half of their Atlantic University Sport (AUS) womenâs basketball season.
The fourth-place Panthers (4-4) are two points back of the Cape Breton Capers (4-3) who come to town for a 6 p.m. contest.
The Panthers lost 82-70 on Nov. 29 to the Capers in Sydney, N.S.
âWe just gave up way too many points,â Panthers coach Greg Gould said Thursday in looking back at the previous meeting. âWe have been focusing on our defence since then and weâre pretty confident that we can defend better than we did in Cape Breton.â
The contest is a four-point game and with six points separating second from eighth it is a crucial game, despite being the first contest of the second half.
âIn this league, itâs not about the number of wins, itâs about the number of points,â Gould said.
The Panthers are dealing with a few injuries, but with a 15-player roster have a full complement to choose from for tonightâs contest.
Gould said fourth-year guard Jenna Jones is ready to go after having a procedure done about six weeks ago to the patellar tendon.
âSheâs moving as well as Iâve seen her move since Iâve been back here at UPEI,â said the second-year bench boss, who coached Jones at Riverview High School.
Rookie Kiera Rigby has also been cleared to play.
The Panthers top scorer is Amy Gough at 13.5 points per game while Amy Keough is averaging 12.3.
The Panthers are looking to gain as many points as they can to improve their seed for the conference championships they are hosting in March.
UPEI travels to Halifax on Saturday to play the Saint Maryâs Huskies (8-0).
âWeâre really looking forward to playing Saint Maryâs because itâs not very often your program gets a chance to compare itself against the best team in the country,â Gould said. âRight now our total focus is on Cape Breton.â