Antigonish, NS – The UPEI Panthers played to an 80-59 victory over the StFX X-Women Saturday night at the StFX Oland Centre in what was the final AUS regular season game of the season.
The Panthers finish the season with a 17-3 record and have already clinched second place in the AUS standings and a first round playoff bye at the Subway AUS Championship next weekend in Halifax.
The X-Women (0-20) were held winless this season in last position in the standings and will look to regroup for next year.
UPEI showed why they are one of the top teams in the league, getting out to an early 8-1 lead in the opening three minutes of the game. They built up a 23-14 first quarter lead on the strength of team leading scorer Jenna Mae Ellsworth (Charlottetown, PE). She notched 13 points in the quarter, including a pair of three-pointers.
The Panthers continued to build up their lead in the second quarter, keyed by Kimeshia Henry (Ajax, ON) off the bench who scored a quick eight points early in the quarter.
The X-Women gave up many easy shots in transition that the Panthers took advantage of. Ellsworth continued her strong play as UPEI were up 36-24 midway through the quarter and 44-28 at halftime.
Brianna Gottschall (Antigonish, NS) had a strong opening half for StFX, scoring 14 points.
The third quarter saw the X-Women get back into the game in a low-scoring affair where they outshot the visiting Panthers 17-16. Nalini Maharaj (East Bay, NS) sparked the X-Women with six point off the bench.
UPEI was up by 15 points, 60-45 after three quarters of play.
Henry scored eight more points for UPEI in the fourth quarter as they outscored the X-Women 20-14 in the final frame as she finished with 16 points on the night.
The lead was too much for the X-Women to overcome as the Panthers took the 80-59 win.
Ellsworth led all scorers in the game with 21 points. Subway player of the game Carla Yepez (Quito, Ecuador) scored 14 points, dished seven assists and had five rebounds.
Caroline Del Santo (Barcelona, Spain) had a double-double night for UPEI scoring 10 points and hauling in a huge 20 rebounds.
For the X-Women, Gottschall led the way with 16 points. Kimberly Kingbury (Nepean, ON) had a double-double night scoring 12 points and hauling in 13 rebounds.
Center Katie MacIntosh (Barrie, ON) scored 11 and had eight rebounds while Maharaj finished with ten points.
Fifth year X-Women guard Samantha Minicucci (Mississauga, ON) played in her final game in an X-Women uniform as StFX wraps up the 2018-19 AUS season.
The Panthers move on to the Subway AUS Championship in Halifax March 1-3 at the Scotiabank Centre. Joining them will be the first place Cape Breton Capers, along with Acadia, UNB, Memorial and Dalhousie.
Courtesy Krista McKenna, StFX Sports Information