Dou­ble value

In­juries pro­vide op­por­tu­nity for oth­ers to step up: Coach Ken­drick

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - SPORTS - THE GUARDIAN Women’s bas­ket­ball Men’s hockey gopan­thersgo.ca

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

FILE PHOTO

UPEI Pan­thers for­ward Milo­rad Sed­lare­vic goes in for a dunk dur­ing a re­cent prac­tice.

SUB­MIT­TED

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.

Parks

Don­a­hoe

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