By Thomas Becker
Head coach Darrell Glenn and the UPEI Panthers wanted a better performance Saturday night, and they got it.
Less than 24 hours ago, UPEI (2-0) allowed the Capers (0-2) to trim a healthy lead into a single-digit deficit, but this time, they turned a modest halftime lead into a 96-66 blowout.
"I thought we played better on both sides of the ball," Glenn said. "I thought our concentration was a lot better, and we played the way we wanted to play."
Third-year guard Kamari Scott continued his strong start to the year, as he finished with a game-high 27 points on 11-of-19 shooting with six rebounds and two steals. After a quiet night on Friday, Elijah Miller nearly recorded his first triple-double with 16 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds, while Sam Chisholm scored 12 points.
Miller and Chisholm combined for 16 first-quarter points to pull their team ahead 27-18 after one. Fortunately for Cape Breton, Mitchell Mersereau kept his team in it by scoring nine of the 18 points.
Isaiah Ankra was the catalyst in the Panthers' ability to pad the lead before halftime. The fifth-year guard came off the bench and stepped up in a big way in the second quarter, where he connected on three triples and scored 12 of his 15 points. Capers Tyson Cato and Jason Callaghan combined for 14 points, but their team still trailed 53-38 at the break. Callaghan was one of four Capers to reach double figures, as he finished with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Mersereau also had 18 points and eight rebounds, while Cato and Justus Peuser scored 10 apiece.
The Panthers came out of the break strong and nearly doubled the Capers' points in the third quarter, outscoring them 27-14. Scott poured in 10 of his 27 points in the quarter, while the defence held Cape Breton to just five field goals on 33.3 per cent shooting. Through three, UPEI led 80-52.
With the game well in hand, both teams went to their benches to close it out, as the Panthers grabbed the 96-66 win.
"Yesterday, we weren't proud of the way we played and the performance we displayed on opening night in front of our fans," Miller said. "We wanted to show the crowd all the hard work we put in this offseason, and I think it showed tonight."
The Panthers travel to Wolfville next for a weekend series against the Acadia Axemen, while the Capers return home to take on the St. FX X-Men Friday and Sunday.
Photo Credit: Janessa Hogan