Injuries provide opportunity for others to step up: Coach Kendrick
The UPEI Panthers host the UNB Varsity Reds in four-point basketball games tonight
Two UPEI Panthers men’s basketball players have been ruled out for tonight and three more were questionable heading into Thursday night’s practice.
Forwards Stefan Vujisic ( foot/ankle) and Hugh McLarty (concussion) are out while guards Tyler Scott, Lorenzo Parker and Jake Kendrick had all missed some practice this week with a variety of injuries.
“As injured as we are, we don’t expect to take a back seat,” head coach Tim Kendrick said Thursday afternoon. “We expect if somebody can’t go, somebody to step up.”
The Panthers host the UNB Varsity Reds tonight and the Dalhousie Tigers Saturday. Both games are at 8 p.m. and worth four points in the standings.
UPEI (8-2) is two points up on UNB (6-5), Dalhousie (7-4) and Acadia (7-5) for first place in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) standings.
The game could see four of the top-five scorers in the conference on one court with Scott (29.6) and Bradley States (19.9) for UPEI and Javon Masters (26) and Matt Daley (17.1) wearing the Reds jersey.
Given the injury concerns, Kendrick pointed to States, Milorad Sedlarevic and Dut Dut as keys for the Panthers.
“Brad is one of the top players . . . I think in the country,” he said. “I think (Sedlarevic) is coming on great, really learning his role . . . I think Dut has been really good lately. He knows what his job is.”
Tevin Sutton-Stephenson and Amin Suleman both missed games last weekend as a coach’s decision. Kendrick said both responded really well and are available this weekend.
“Now we expect to see their best, just like everybody else, and I know they’ll bring it.”
The UPEI Panthers have lost eight straight games against the top-three teams in the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) women’s basketball conference.
UPEI opened the season with two wins against St. FX before losing four games to conference-Acadia and two games each to Saint Mary’s and Cape Breton.
“We can’t get discouraged,” Panthers head coach Greg Gould said. “We have to pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off and get at it.”
UPEI, which is 2-8 and has four points, hosts UNB, which is 7-4 and has 16 points tonight and Dalhousie, which is 4-7 and has 10 points Saturday. Both games are 6 p.m.
“It’s getting down to that time of the year where we need some wins,” Gould said. “This weekend is a huge weekend.”
The conference has an unbalanced schedule with some games worth two points and others four. This weekend’s games are each worth four points.
“We don’t have to depend on anyone else right now,” Gould said. “Your faith is in your own hands.”
He said defending UNB’s plays off screens will be important tonight.
“Offensively, we have to make sure we attack the baskets, get ourselves some pretty good looks and, of course, we have to make some shots.”
Katie Donahoe is one of the Panthers leaders this season. She barely comes off the floor, averaging a conference-leading 38.8 minutes in a 40-minute game. She is also averaging 12 points, five rebounds and four assists per game.
Mavric Parks remains out of the lineup this weekend for the UPEI Panthers men’s hockey team.
The fifth-year missed the last since sustaining a lower-body injury Jan. 8 against St. FX.
“We’re just making sure we’re taking the right precautionary measures so he’s healthy at the end of the year rather than forcing a nagging injury throughout the duration of the season,” head coach Forbes MacPherson said Thursday.
The Panthers travel to Wolfville, N.S., tonight to play the Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s No. 1-ranked team, the Acadia Axemen (15-2-2), at 7 p.m.
“We need the guys that have been pulling their weight to continue to do so and we need some other guys to continue to elevate their game,” MacPherson said. “We’re just getting into the home stretch here and guys have to be peaking.”
UPEI (9-8-2) is two points up on Moncton for fifth place in the Atlantic University Sport standings.
The Panthers complete the weekend in at Saint Mary’s (116-2) Saturday at 7 p.m. Panther has three games
UPEI Panthers forward Milorad Sedlarevic goes in for a dunk during a recent practice.
UPEI Panthers rookie defenceman Emily March, centre, celebrates her first Atlantic University Sport goal with teammates Cassidy McCabe, right, and Corneila Geib Sunday in Halifax. The Panthers upset nationally ranked Saint Mary’s Huskies 2-1. March is from Toronto. The Panthers (4-10-3) host the St. Thomas Tommies (10-5-1) tonight at 7 p.m. as they look to gain points for a playoff spot.