The St. Thomas University basketball teams played hard this week, as both the men and women took on the Holland College Hurricanes and the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus Rams.
The Hurricanes were in town Jan. 24 for a doubleheader. The women showed no fear in the first half, battling the second place Hurricanes who came in on a six-game winning streak. The Tommies were behind 39-36 after the first half. They were not able to bring the momentum to the third quarter, as they lost it 20-12, eventually losing the game 83-72.
The men’s team went in looking to bounce back after a tough 93-84 loss to their rivals, the University of New Brunswick Saint John Seawolves. Travis Valanne started the game hot, nailing three 3-pointers in the first quarter for 13 points in total. After a hard-fought game, the Hurricanes would come away with their 12th win of the season, good enough for first place in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association. Sam Drummond led the Tommies with 16 points and four assists, with Valanne right behind him, scoring 15 points.
Both teams were back in action on Jan. 27 with the women playing first in an exhibition play against the Dalhousie Rams. They looked to bounce back after a hard loss on Wednesday. The girls started the game hot, scoring the first 20 points of the game and would never look back as they took the game 94-20. They are now five wins, six losses in league play, sitting at fourth place in the ACAA standings.
The men’s team went into its match up with something to prove, trying to snap their eight-game losing streak. The game went back and forth with the Rams leading 39-36 at the half. After going back and forth in the second half, things started to get chippy, as players started to play with an extra edge and emotions were shown. Multiple technical fouls were handed out, as Cole Yulli and Robin Grouse of Dalhousie each took one, with Tommies Mitch Claybourn also taking one. Claybourn, the third-year hometown kid, had the hot hand however, as his will power carried his team to victory, as the Tommies escaped a thriller, winning 75-71. He finished with 34 points, having two 4-point plays in just the first quarter. The Tommies are now three wins, 10 losses for sixth place in the ACAA.
Fred Connors, head coach of the women’s team was impressed with their efforts after their game Sat.
“I felt it was a good chance to get everyone in the game and work on things we needed to iron out against live defense,” said Connors.
“We played well and were unselfish against a young program that is just trying to get their feet underneath them.”