Pan­thers hold on for win

Aca­dia misses three-point shot at buzzer in 92-90 de­feat

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE GUARDIAN

The Aca­dia Ax­e­men hit three three-point­ers in the fi­nal 15 sec­onds Satur­day, but were un­able to con­nect on the buzzer beater to win it.

The UPEI Pan­thers de­feated the Ax­e­men 9290 in At­lantic Univer­sity Sport (AUS) bas­ket­ball ac­tion in Char­lot­te­town. UPEI was up 12 with 4:37 to go be­fore the Ax­e­men went on a 17-7 run to end the game.

“There’s noth­ing you can do, they hit spec­tac­u­lar shots at the end,” Pan­thers head coach Tim Ken­drick said. “The only thing we talk about is we have to be ahead at the end of 40 min­utes. Tonight, we were, we win.”

The Ax­e­men led 29-21 af­ter the first quar­ter but the score was tied 42-42 at the half and 6565 go­ing to the fourth.

UPEI went on a run that in­cluded two three-point shots and a jumper in three min­utes by Milo­rad Sed­lare­vic to give the Pan­thers their largest lead. The se­cond-year for­ward ended the night 14 points af­ter go­ing 0-for2 in the first half.

“Coach trusts me,” Sed­lare­vic said. “He gave me more than 30 min­utes in both games (this week­end). . . Coach said to me, ‘keep shoot­ing, be ag­gres­sive’ and I just tried to do my best.”

Tyler Scott had a game-high 29 points, but missed two of five free throws in the fi­nal five sec­onds.

Ken­drick wasn’t wor­ried.

“Hey, some­times you miss, but I’ll put my money on Tyler at the foul line late,” he said. “I hope the same thing hap­pens at the Metro Cen­tre in March (in the AUS play­offs) be­cause I’ll tell ya I bet he hits ev­ery­thing there.”

Scott added eight re­bounds, four as­sists and three steals de­spite bat­tling a wrist in­jury.

The Pan­thers used eight play­ers, but two played less than 10 min­utes.

Stefan Vu­jisic ( foot), Lorenzo Parker (Achilles ten­don/calf) and Amin Suleman (coach’s de­ci­sion) did not dress Satur­day. Ken­drick said he was pleased to see his play­ers grind out the win with a short bench.

Brad States had 21 points, seven boards, three dimes, two steals for the Pan­thers while Dut Dut had 16 points and 16 re­bounds.

Ben Miller had 22 points, nine re­bounds, seven as­sists and five steals to pace the Ax­e­men as all five starters scored 13 or more points. Shaquille Smith had 18, Nick De Palma 15, John­ston 14 and Erik Nis­sen 13.

The Pan­thers went to the freethrow line three times more than the Ax­e­men (27-9) and out­re­bounded them 48-37. Aca­dia hit twice as many three-point shots (16-8).

The Pan­thers im­proved to 8-2 while the Ax­e­men fall to 6-5. The teams split their four reg­u­larsea­son meet­ings with each team win­ning both games at home.

UPEI is tied with Dal­housie (73) for first place in the con­fer­ence with 18 points, two points up on Aca­dia and UNB (5-5). Some games in the con­fer­ence are worth four points and oth­ers two.


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