Antigonish, NS – The UPEI Panthers defeated the Cape Breton Capers 77-65 in pre-season exhibition tournament action Friday evening in the first game of the StFX Invitational.
Jenna Mae Ellsworth paced the Panthers offense with 20 points as they advance to Saturday's championship game at 4:00 pm against the MSVU Mystics.
The Mystics defeated the host StFX X-Women 79-56 to punch their ticket to the final.
The Panthers and Capers played a close first quarter to begin the game with Cape Breton holding a slim 21-20 lead after 15 minutes of play.
The Panthers stormed back in the second quarter and only allowed four points scored against them, taking a 38-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Cape Breton regrouped after the break and outscored the Panthers 26-23 in the third quarter in an attempt to close the gap and were down by 10 points, 61-51 after three.
In another close scoring final quarter - 16-14 in favour of UPEI – the Panthers held on to take the win.
Reese Baxendale contributed 13 points in the Panthers victory while Karla Yepez had a double-double evening with 11 points and 11 rebounds. Carolina del Santo added 12 points and eight rebounds.
For the Capers, Hannah Brown led all scorers in the game with 25 and she had seven rebounds. Monique Calliste netted 14 and Mackenzie Ryan scored 11.
The Capers will play StFX Saturday at 2:00 pm in the consolation final, while the Panthers and Mystics will meet in the championship game at 4:00 pm.