Scott dominates in final home game as Panthers defeat Cape Breton 86-82

Photo credit Janessa Hogan
Photo credit Janessa Hogan

By Thomas Becker 

One of the Panthers' all-time greats, Tyler Scott, put on a show in his final home game, scoring 35 points to lead UPEI past the Cape Breton Capers 86-82. 

The Panthers (6-12) erased a 10-point halftime deficit behind Scott's dominant second half, where he scored 23 of his 35 points. 

"It's been a good three years," said an emotional Scott. "I love these guys. They laid it all on the line for me this year and I won't forget them." 

While the season has been a disappointment, the final win at home meant a great deal to the All-Canadian guard. 

"It felt good to get this win," he said. "Last home game, in front of a great crowd, in probably the best gym in the AUS. It was all good." 

Fellow seniors Jake Kendrick, Mark Matheson, Lorenzo Parker and Dut Dut each got the start tonight in honour of their commitment and dedication to UPEI. 

After the ceremony, both teams got back to business. Capers' guard Aaron Hayles caught fire to begin the game, draining three consecutive triples as he led his team to a quick 11-4 advantage, forcing the Panthers to call a timeout. 

Scott took over following the breather, scoring five straight points to trim the deficit 16-13. But the Capers (0-18) responded with an 8-2 run to extend the lead 24-15. Hayles scored all 12 of his points in the first quarter, where Cape Breton led 30-22. 

Both offences laboured in the opening minutes of the second quarter, but an old fashioned three-point play by Kenny Jean-Louis put the Capers up 42-28. He finished with a team-high 24 points and 17 rebounds. 

Jack MacAulay found his shooting touch in the quarter, scoring nine of his 15 points to lead Cape Breton at halftime, 55-45. 

Down big, Parker took it upon himself to drive the ball to the basket on multiple occasions leading to several made free throws. The aggressive plan of attack paid off as UPEI trimmed the deficit to 55-53 behind an 8-0 spurt.  

The Panthers continued to have a strong third quarter, outscoring their opponent 16-8, while holding them to a miniscule 14.3 per cent shooting, But the Capers still held a slim 63-61 edge heading into the final quarter. 

After Scott drained a triple to open the fourth, the Panthers didn't look back. Scott scored 18 of his team's 25 fourth-quarter points to complete the comeback bid 86-82. 

Dut finished with a monster double-double with 15 points and 19 rebounds. He also set a Panther single-season school record with 215 rebounds. 

The Panthers will travel to Halifax next where they'll take on the Dalhousie Tigers. Game time is Feb. 24 at 8 p.m.