Lo a no-go

Pan­thers re­turn with­out sixth man

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE GUARDIAN

The UPEI Pan­thers will miss­ing its iron­man tonight.

Coach Tim Ken­drick said they had to tell co-cap­tain Lorenzo Parker he was not go­ing to play due to a strained Achilles ten­don and calf suf­fered at the Rod and Joan Shov­eller Me­mo­rial Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment on Jan. 2.

He has played 62 straight reg­u­lar sea­son games for the Pan­thers dat­ing back to Nov. 23, 2012.

“He’s a real com­peti­tor and a tough kid,” Ken­drick said. “He cer­tainly would have gone.”

The four-year guard is av­er­ag­ing 14 points per game in 25 min­utes off the bench this sea­son for the Pan­thers.

“Some­one else has to step up or maybe two or three guys,” Ken­drick said. “I think guys are ready to go.”

The Pan­thers host the Saint Mary’s Huskies at 8 p.m. in their first game of the se­cond se­mes­ter of the At­lantic Univer­sity Sport sea­son. Guard Tyler Scott, one of the top play­ers in the coun­try, was nurs­ing an in­jury but is

be ex­pected to play.

UPEI (5-2) is in a four-way tie for se­cond place, four points be­hind con­fer­ence-lead­ing Dal­housie (6-3). Saint Mary’s (3-4) is six points back of the Pan­thers and tied for sixth place in the eight-team con­fer­ence.

“They’re go­ing to be in the fight for one of the byes,” Ken­drick said of Saint Mary’s. “Their record right now is no in­di­ca­tion of the kind of team they have.”

Tonight’s game is worth four points and a Pan­ther win would give them the tiebreaker with Saint Mary’s, as UPEI de­feated the Huskies 89-79 on Nov. 15 in Hal­i­fax. The Huskies have two wins in tour­na­ment play against the Pan­thers.

Ken­drick said it would be im­por­tant to keep their top play­ers un­der con­trol, not give up any eight- or 10-point runs and limit the Huskies se­cond-chance op­por­tu­ni­ties on the glass.

He called them big, ath­letic and tal­ented with savvy vet­eran guards.

“There’s a rea­son they were picked No. 1 in the pre-sea­son by the coaches.”

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