The UPEI Panthers will be looking to tighten up defensively tonight as they begin their second half of their Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúWe just gave up way too many points,‚ÄĚ Panthers coach Greg Gould said Thursday in looking back at the previous meeting. ‚ÄúWe have been focusing on our defence since then and we‚Äôre pretty confident that we can defend better than we did in Cape Breton.‚ÄĚ
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.
‚ÄúIn this league, it‚Äôs not about the number of wins, it‚Äôs about the number of points,‚ÄĚ Gould said.
The Panthers are dealing with a few injuries, but with a 15-player roster have a full complement to choose from for tonight‚Äôs 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.
‚ÄúShe‚Äôs moving as well as I‚Äôve seen her move since I‚Äôve been back here at UPEI,‚ÄĚ 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 Mary‚Äôs Huskies (8-0).
‚ÄúWe‚Äôre really looking forward to playing Saint Mary‚Äôs because it‚Äôs not very often your program gets a chance to compare itself against the best team in the country,‚ÄĚ Gould said. ‚ÄúRight now our total focus is on Cape Breton.‚ÄĚ