Congratulations to the Panthers who pounded Memorial today 115-85 to move to 12-6 on the AUS season and completed their home schedule at 10 wins, 1 loss. Another impressive home record for the Panthers, who over the past 3 seasons are 26-4 at home in Charlottetown. Conversely, on the road – with 2 games remaining this season away from Charlottetown – the Panthers have a regular season record of 12-16 plus 1-2 at the AUS tournament for an overall record of 13-18 in AUS regular season and tournament games played away from home. UPEI is presently tied for first place in the standings, with strong hopes to end a 13 year drought without an AUS championship, having last won the event in 2002-03.
Today’s dominating effort over the Seahawks capped a season in which not one UPEI player fouled out of a game in Charlottetown and in every game except for one (first regular season home game vs. X), opponents were whistled for more fouls than the Panthers. Including that X game on opening night in November, the cumulative foul counts were Opponents 211, UPEI 156 highlighted by: Memorial today (21-11), loss to Dal (23-13), Acadia (25-10), Acadia (20-17, 5 of those fouls occurred late when UPEI was up 20). Conversely, on the road, foul counts were virtually even across all their games thus far.
In 2014-15, UPEI played 10 home games, going 9-1 in Charlottetown, and cumulative foul counts were Opponents 211, UPEI 144. Some game-specific foul counts to highlight: X (19-7), Acadia (22-11), Memorial (22-10), Dalhousie (32-18 and 22-13 on consecutive nights), Cape Breton (32-15 and 26-14 on consecutive nights). In 8 of the 10 games played, UPEI had fewer fouls called than opponents – the 2 games they didn’t, foul counts were 14-15 & 19-20. Similar to this season, road foul counts were relatively even.
In 2013-14, Panthers went 7-2 at home and cumulative foul counts in those games were Opponents 182, UPEI 148.
Over the past 3 seasons (that’s only as far back as this particular piece of fact-based research goes), the cumulative foul counts in Charlottetown are Opponents 604, Panthers 448.
Having watched multiple UPEI games both at home and on the road, 6’2″ Tyler Scott is as explosive a scorer as there is in the AUS and 6’6″ Brad States is the most athletic, explosive paint-area player in the conference. Both are very likely to be my choices for AUS First Team all-star status which we plan to publish in the coming days. Panthers play an exciting, up tempo brand of basketball and have several weapons including 6’1″ Lorenzo Parker who had 28 points today and is a knock-down shooter when going well. Panthers are deserving of a top 3-4 placing in the AUS and are among the favorites to win in Halifax.
Coach Tim Kendrick has brought this program back to prominence quickly although Panthers have yet to make it to the Nationals stage, losing the past 2 seasons in the AUS semi-finals to Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Panthers, who now are tied with Dalhousie atop the AUS standings, each with 34 points, have two road games remaining including a showdown at Dalhousie this coming Saturday in Halifax (4 point game) before closing the regular season at UNB in another 4 point game in two weeks.
AUS Standings (including all games through Sunday)
Dalhousie 12-5, 34 pts. 3 games and 12 pts. left: at SMU (4), UPEI (4), at CBU (4)
UPEI 12-6, 34 pts. 2 games and 8 pts. left: at Dal (4), at UNB (4)
UNB 10-7, 28 pts. 3 games and 12 pts left: at Aca (4), PEI (4), ACA (4)
Acadia 10-7, 24 pts. 3 games and 12 pts left: UNB (4), SMU (4) at UNB (4)
Saint Mary’s 8-8, 22 pts. 4 games & 14 pts. left: at X (4), DAL, at Aca (4), at CBU (4)
Cape Breton 7-10, 18 pts. 3 games & 12 pts left: at X, DAL (4), SMU (4)
Memorial 6-12, 14 pts. 2 games and 8 pts. left: X 2 x (4)
St. FX 3-13, 6 pts. 4 games and 14 pts. left: SMU (4), CBU, at MUN 2 x (4).
Next games in the AUS:
Wednesday: Dalhousie at Saint Mary’s (4 point game)
Friday: Saint Mary’s at St. FX (4 point game – make up game postponed twice by weather)
UNB at Acadia (4 point game).