CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The UPEI Panthers stormed out of the gate to start the second half and never looked back Saturday in defeating the Dalhousie Tigers 88-74 in Atlantic University Sport women’s basketball action.
The Panthers scored 17 straight points to start the third quarter after building a 38-33 lead in the first half.
“We always get a . . . small lead, but then we never bury them,” said third-year Panthers forward Jane McLaughlin. “We decided we’re . . . getting ‘er done.”
McLaughlin and rookie point guard Jenna Mae Ellsworth each had six points while Kiera Rigby had five during the pivotal five-minute stretch of the third quarter.
“They switched into a zone and it opened up a lot of shots for me,” said McLaughlin, who finished with a game-high 25 points to go with eight rebounds, four assists and two steals.
We’re pretty happy with the results. . . . We were working hard while other teams were playing ( exhibition games during the Christmas break). I think we rewarded ourselves with that (win). Jane McLaughlin, UPEI Panthers forward
The Panthers also did their damage in transition, outscoring the Tigers 20-0 in fast-break points.
Head coach Greg Gould said it has been a focus during the past month as the team prepared for the second half without any exhibition games.
“I thought we did a good job in transition today,” he said. “To start off the second half, we got stops and go out and ran and got layups.”
The Panthers gave up more points than it traditionally has this season, but Gould said it is partly due to the pace of the game.
“If you’re going to play uptempo, you’re going to give the other team more possessions. When you give the other team more possessions, they’re probably going to score more,” he said.
For him it is not all about points allowed, but the differential at the end of the game.
The Panthers shot 57 per cent from the field and 43 per cent on three-point attempts.
“We just annihilated the zone,” he said. “Jane shot it really well. Keira shot it well. Jenna Mae was great. She hit some good pull-ups. She went to the hoop well.”
He called it a good team effort with contributions from a lot of people, including the girls coming off bench.
While confidence was high after the game, Gould said it would only last until today’s practice as the team prepares for the long trip to Sydney, N.S., on Friday to play the Cape Breton Capers and then the St. FX X-Women in Antigonish, N.S., on Saturday.
And while the win was impressive, there were parts of the game the team needs to work on, including getting more than eight free-throw attempts.
“We got beat off the dribble too much, that was our weakness tonight,” Gould said.
A look at the statistics from Saturday’s UPEI-Dalhousie women’s basketball game.
Score by the quarters
Dalhousie 21 12 20 21 – 74.
UPEI 21 17 27 23 – 88.
Dalhousie – Shalyn Field 19, Diedre Alexander 17 and Michele Tchiakoua 17.
UPEI – Jane McLaughlin 25, Jenna Mae Ellsworth 16, Kiera Rigby 13, Karla Yepez 11 and Carolina Del Santo 11.
Dalhousie – Shalyn Field 10.
UPEI – Carolina Del Santo 13, Jane McLaughlin 8 and Jenna Mae Ellsworth 6.
Dalhousie – Diedre Alexander 5.
UPEI – Karla Yepez 8, Jenna Mae Ellsworth 6, Jane McLaughlin 4 and Kimeshia Henry 4.
Dalhousie – 37.3 (25-67)
UPEI – 56.5 (39-69)
Dalhousie – 38.9 (7-18)
UPEI – 42.9 (6-14)
Dalhousie – 65.4 (17-26)
UPEI – 50 (4-8)