CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. (from Cape Breton Capers) – To complete To complete the weekend sweep, the Panthers needed a lift from their bench and they got it, as they outscored the Capers’ bench 39-29 en route to a 77-71 win over the Cape Breton Capers.
Led by D’Adrian Allen’s team-high 12 points and timely long-distance shooting from Logan MacDonald (11 points on a perfect 4-of-4 afternoon) and Bryce Corless, the unit combined to shoot an efficient 61 per cent from the field (including 8-of-14 from three).
In his fifth consecutive start, Stefan Vujisic was a beast in the middle with seven early points to open up a 12-7 advantage for the Panthers. The two opponents traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter where UPEI led 21-16.
After quickly extending the lead to 10, the Panthers’ offence went cold allowing the Capers to tie it 28 apiece. But a timeout settled them down, as they took a slim 34-32 advantage into halftime.
It was a balanced attack for both teams in the opening half. Vujsiic scored nine in just five minutes, while Paul Watson (Mississauga, Ont.) had eight for Cape Breton.
“They (Cape Breton) bring a lot of energy from the bench. What I had to do was match that energy – get the guys jumping, get the guys amped – and once we had more energy than them, we thrived,” Corless said.
Looking to avoid the sweep, the Capers trimmed the deficit to six on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter, but the Panthers remained poised and held on for the 77-71 win.
Amin Suleman and Milorad Sedlarevic each scored 10 apiece in the win, while Capers’ Indiana Rotondo (Vaughan, Ont.) (14), Aaron Hayles (Pickering, Ont.) (14), Watson (12) and Osman Omar (Mississauga, Ont.) (11) each finished in double figures.
Cape Breton returns to action on Feb. 2 when they host the visiting Dalhousie Tigers. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.