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Jenna Mae Ellsworth having strong rookie season for Panthers

Jenna Mae Ellsworth is having a great first year with the UPEI Panthers.
Jenna Mae Ellsworth is having a great first year with the UPEI Panthers.

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The numbers don't lie.

She is averaging 13.8 points, 5.1 rebound, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals while playing 35 minutes a game for the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team.

The Charlottetown native said she was unsure what to expect making the jump from the Colonel Gray Colonels to the Panthers lineup in the competitive Atlantic University Sport (AUS).

“It’s a different league, it’s a lot faster,” Ellsworth said. “I just tried my best to work as hard as I could and earn the minutes that I got and do whatever I could for the team.”

Ellsworth is confident and determined on the basketball court.

“Her level of focus and her level of compete is extremely high,” head coach Greg Gould said. “She wants to win, not just every game, but every possession. That’s hard to instill in players. Some players have it and some players don’t.”

Playing women that are four and five years older is a challenge for most freshmen. Ellsworth has been able to make the transition appear seamless while playing the demanding position of point guard. The five-foot-10 Charlottetown native has been able to post a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio, tied for tops in the conference among players with more than 10 minutes per game.

“She’s a complete player,” Gould said. “She doesn't play like a rookie. . . She’s been everything that we could have hoped for.”

Ellsworth also started all 12 games of her rookie season on the soccer pitch with the Panthers. The centre back scored a goal and set up another.

Ellsworth should be in the discussion for AUS basketball rookie of the year and UPEI female athlete of the year.

“It’s incredible to think I could have a chance to win any of those,” said Ellsworth, who is more comfortable talking about her teammates’ play and the team’s success than her own.

Ellsworth went for 35 points a week ago today at Memorial when she hit two-thirds of her shots.

“It just seemed like a lot was dropping for me that day, so I was taking more shots than I normally do,” she said.

Ellsworth and her Panthers teammates host the Cape Breton Capers Sunday at 1 p.m. in their final home game of the regular season. It is worth four points in the standings – key points for both teams as the Capers (12-4) are battling for top spot while the Panthers (8-9) could finish anywhere from fourth to sixth.

Ellsworth is one of three Islanders in the starting lineup and one of three rookies.

UPEI has defeated all of the playoff-bound teams, except Cape Breton. The Capers defeated the Panthers 72-59 in Sydney, N.S., on Jan. 13.

She is averaging 13.8 points, 5.1 rebound, 3.4 assists and 2.8 steals while playing 35 minutes a game for the UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team.

The Charlottetown native said she was unsure what to expect making the jump from the Colonel Gray Colonels to the Panthers lineup in the competitive Atlantic University Sport (AUS).

“It’s a different league, it’s a lot faster,” Ellsworth said. “I just tried my best to work as hard as I could and earn the minutes that I got and do whatever I could for the team.”

Ellsworth is confident and determined on the basketball court.

“Her level of focus and her level of compete is extremely high,” head coach Greg Gould said. “She wants to win, not just every game, but every possession. That’s hard to instill in players. Some players have it and some players don’t.”

Playing women that are four and five years older is a challenge for most freshmen. Ellsworth has been able to make the transition appear seamless while playing the demanding position of point guard. The five-foot-10 Charlottetown native has been able to post a 1.4 assist-to-turnover ratio, tied for tops in the conference among players with more than 10 minutes per game.

“She’s a complete player,” Gould said. “She doesn't play like a rookie. . . She’s been everything that we could have hoped for.”

Ellsworth also started all 12 games of her rookie season on the soccer pitch with the Panthers. The centre back scored a goal and set up another.

Ellsworth should be in the discussion for AUS basketball rookie of the year and UPEI female athlete of the year.

“It’s incredible to think I could have a chance to win any of those,” said Ellsworth, who is more comfortable talking about her teammates’ play and the team’s success than her own.

Ellsworth went for 35 points a week ago today at Memorial when she hit two-thirds of her shots.

“It just seemed like a lot was dropping for me that day, so I was taking more shots than I normally do,” she said.

Ellsworth and her Panthers teammates host the Cape Breton Capers Sunday at 1 p.m. in their final home game of the regular season. It is worth four points in the standings – key points for both teams as the Capers (12-4) are battling for top spot while the Panthers (8-9) could finish anywhere from fourth to sixth.

Ellsworth is one of three Islanders in the starting lineup and one of three rookies.

UPEI has defeated all of the playoff-bound teams, except Cape Breton. The Capers defeated the Panthers 72-59 in Sydney, N.S., on Jan. 13.

UPEI Panthers logo

Jenna Mae Ellsworth

Who – A dual athlete at UPEI. She plays soccer and basketball.

Hometown – Charlottetown.

Height/position – Five-foot-10 point guard in baskeball and centre back in soccer.

Panthers basketball head coach Greg Gould said: “She has the whole offensive package and is just getting better and she’s a good defender.”

By the numbers

16       Games played by UPEI Panthers rookie point guard Jenna Mae Ellsworth

13.8    Points per game

5.1      Rebounds per game

3.4      Assists per game

2.8      Steals per game

44.6    Field goal percentage

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