Charlottetown, PE - Cape Breton (7-6) forwards Alison Keough(Marion Bridge, NS) and Hannah Brown (North Sydney, NS) got things going early for the Capers, but Jenna Mae Ellsworth scored seven consecutive for the Panthers (7-6) who took an early 11-8 advantage.
Then it was time for the league's top scorer (Rigby) to get in on the action, as she scored four in a row to push the lead to 15-8. She had nine in the quarter. The visiting Capers cut into the deficit with back-to-back threes by Toni Bianchini(Groves Point, NS) and Brown, but the Panthers held on for a 22-17 lead heading into into the second quarter.
After shooting 59.4 per cent in the opening half, the Panthers cooled down in the third where they shot just 27.3 per cent from the field. Their defence, however, remained persistent as they held the CAPERS to 25 per cent shooting in the frame (30 per cent overall). Sandra Amoah's (Toronto, ON) eight third-quarter points helped the Capers narrowly cut into the deficit 59-48.
Cape Breton leaned on their bread and butter (Brown and Keough) in the final quarter and managed to trim it to a six-point game. But Keough's team-high 19 points was overshadowed by Rigby's 31, as the Panthers came away with the 76-65 win.
Brown recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds, but shot just 5-of-17 to get there. Carolina Del Santo was a big part in containing the league's second leading scorer with her strong defence in the paint. She also recorded an impressive stat line that you don't see very often – 11 rebounds, eight blocks, five points and four assists.
The CAPERS aim for the weekend split as they play the Panthers again on Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.