(Charlottetown, PE) - The UPEI Panthers (1-12) captured their first win of the season 71-63 against the Cape Breton Capers (2-11). Panthers Head Coach Daryl Glenn gave kudos to his on and off the court leader, Milorad Sedlarevic, who put up a game-high 21 points (on 6-of-8 shooting, including 8-of-9 from the charity stripe).
With two evenly matched teams squaring off, emotions were high from the opening tip. Panther D'Adrian Allen and Caper Shacier Locke (Mississauga, ON) greeted each other with some shoving before players and officials separated them. Cape Breton used that fuel to rattle off seven straight points to go up 11-5.
A deep three-pointer by Samy Mohamed capped off a 10-1 run for UPEI, as they carried a 15-14 lead into the second. Mohamed led all scorers with six in the frame and finished with 10. Cape Breton buckled down on defence and was able to trim the deficit to two at the break, 32-30. Caper guard Osman Omar(Mississauga, ON) provided a lift off the bench with six points to inch his team closer, while Allen countered with six for UPEI.
The teams traded baskets to begin the third before a Paul Watson (Mississauga, ON) triple gave Cape Breton a 41-39 lead. They'd give it right back before taking a 45-44 advantage into the fourth.
With the support of an excited home crowd and a win in their sights, the Panthers were determined to come out ahead. They hit their stride a minute and a half into the fourth when they kicked off a 10-0 run that lasted three minutes and put them up 58-52. With a little over five minutes to spare, Sedlarevic and his team were not going to let this win slip away. Instead, their defence held strong and led to some easy transition baskets, including a thunderous dunk by No. 12 himself as the Panthers captured their first win 71-63.
The CAPERS will aim for the weekend split as they play the Panthers again on Jan. 28 at 3 p.m.