Panther preview: Basketball teams hit road for games with Tigers

Jason Malloy
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UPEI men's hockey team at Acadia and Dalhousie

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The UPEI Panthers are facing a desperate team tonight in the Dalhousie Tigers in Atlantic University Sport men’s basketball action.

The Panthers (8-6) are in a three-way tie for second place while the Rick Plato-coached Tigers (2-10) have four points and are eight back of Cape Breton for the final playoff spot.

“He knows they are running out of time,” Panthers coach Tim Kendrick said of his counterpart. “If they’re going to catch somebody, they have to win right away. I know he’s going to have them well prepared and ready to go.”

The records are deceiving, Kendrick said. He pointed out the Tigers have lost eight more games than they have won but their point differential is -40.

The Panthers won both games with the Tigers in Charlottetown in November by one point.

They beat them by three at an exhibition tournament earlier this month “on a 90-foot heave” by Deontay (D.J.) Smith.

“We’re not looking at Dal as anything but a real, serious, good, solid basketball team,” Kendrick said. “They’re tough and we better be ready.”

Smith, who is the Panthers’ leading scorer at 16.6 points per game, is a game-time decision with an ankle injury.

Forward Kashrell Lawrence leads the Tigers at nearly 15 points per game while Devon Stedman and Simon Marr are big forwards who can shoot and score.

“It presents us with some trouble because of their size,” Kendrick said. “We’ll try to turn it into a 90-foot game.”

 

Women’s basketball

The Panthers women’s basketball team can help its quest for the playoffs this weekend in Halifax.

The squad plays the Tigers tonight at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. The two teams are tied for fifth place with 14 points, but the Tigers have two games in hand.

“It’s a big weekend for us,” Panthers coach Greg Gould said. “Obviously, we’d like to win both games and put us four points in front of them.”

The Tigers are one of the conference’s most efficient scoring teams, he said, noting they were down 18 points to Cape Breton last weekend and came back to win.

“We have to stop, or at least slow down, their transition game,” Gould said. “They like to get out and run.

“We just can’t let them get any easy baskets in transition. We have to make them earn their baskets in their half-court offence.”

Candace Smith is out for the Panthers while Jenna Jones is a game-day decision.

The Panthers split with Dalhousie in Charlottetown in November, losing 77-76 and winning 78-71.

 

Men’s hockey

The Panthers men’s hockey team (11-8-3) is in Nova Scotia this weekend.

They play Acadia (17-2-3), which is tied for first place, tonight and last-place Dalhousie (2-19-1) Saturday.

Both games start at 7 p.m.

Women’s hockey

The Panthers women’s hockey team (8-11-1) is off this weekend.

They return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Antigonish, N.S., to play the St. F.X. X-Women.

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Schedule

The following is the UPEI Panthers varsity sport teams weekend schedule.

Tonight

Women’s basketball

UPEI at Dalhousie, 6 p.m.

Men’s hockey

UPEI at Acadia, 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball

UPEI at Dalhousie, 8 p.m.

——

Saturday

Women’s basketball

UPEI at Dalhousie, 2 p.m.

Men’s basketball

UPEI at Dalhousie, 4 p.m.

Men’s hockey

UPEI at Dalhousie, 7 p.m.

****

Panthers preparing

for Shoot for the Cure

The seventh annual Shoot for the Cure fundraiser takes place on Saturday, Feb. 8 as the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball host the country's top-ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies.

Game time is 3 p.m.

Shoot for the cure is a fundraising initiative by the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women’s basketball coaches association to raise money for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, and other related charities.

The following items can be purchased at Panther Central to assist the initiative: T-shirts $12 (also available at the bookstore), paper icon $1, wristband $, a cowbell $5.

 

Apple sale to help UPEI

men's basketball team

UPEI men’s basketball team has teamed up with award-winning Kimberlee Farms, of Centreville, N.S., to raise funds for various UPEI athletic financial awards through the sale of honeycrisp apples.

The farm’s owner, Tim Pearson, is a longtime friend of Panthers coach Tim Kendrick, and is also a Green & White Club member. Ten-pound bags of honeycrisp apples will be sold for $20. Orders can be made through Kendrick, or by visiting Panther Central.

More information is available by visiting Panther Central or calling 566-0368.

Pickup day is Saturday, Feb. 8, from 1 to 3 p.m. at UPEI’s Chi-Wan Young Sports Centre.

Organizations: Dalhousie Tigers, Atlantic University Sport, Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation Green White Club

Geographic location: Cape Breton, Charlottetown, Halifax.The Nova Scotia Antigonish Saint Mary Centreville

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