The St. Thomas University Tommies men’s basketball team beat the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus Rams 78-62 at the Lady Beaverbrook Gym on Jan. 30.
“We came a long way from where we were,” said head coach Scott MacLeod. “We were well within our plan of attack.”
Jeremy Speller and Ben Cripps had been popular point scorers last semester, but MacLeod is focusing on getting multiple players involved in scoring rather than just individuals.
MacLeod is concentrating on post game training—with an emphasis on team offence.
The aim was to, “try to penetrate (the Rams) point guards (defense),” said MacLeod.
Rams Neel Amin was the Tommies greatest threat during the game but couldn’t land enough points to overpower STU.
Tommies Ben Cripps faced Cole Yuill at first quarter tip-off. Cripps tipped the ball to Dylan Gallant who brought the ball into Rams zone but was not able to score.
In the first minute both teams showed aggression as Rams Jim Barron wrestled with Tommies Samuel Drummond for the ball until the referee blew a whistle.
Drummond scored the first points of the game with a two pointer.
Shortly, Dylan Gallant landed a solid three pointer.
The Rams responded with a two pointer by Amin but Tommies Gallant responded with another three pointer bringing the score to 8-2 STU.
At 2:30 left in the first quarter Speller landed two free-throws.
Cripps got his hands on the ball and dropped a smooth three pointer that brought the score 23-6 for STU.
The first quarter ended with Gallant shooting a hail-mary that missed its target keeping the score 23-6 for STU.
Samuel Drummond felt the game could have gone better for the Tommies despite their win.
“It wasn’t pretty but we pulled off a win,” said Drummond. “We didn’t score as much as we wanted to.”
Drummond feels the team has experienced, “leaps and bounds,” during the first semester. “When we started it wasn’t a real team,” said Drummond.
It took a semester for the team to organize themselves by, “playing with each other and practice,” he said.
This semester Drummond feels the Tommies are playing as a team.
For Drummond, the game’s success was helped by the offence. “We had good passing and found the open man,” who were able to make some solid shots.
Drummond contributes part of the team’s success to their new training regiment that the coach incorporated into their schedule.
“The coach has us doing yoga all year,” said Drummond. “(It works) joints, hams, and muscles.”
The second quarter ended with a tilted quarter for the Tommies with the score at 43-16.
The second half showed an improvement in the Rams competitive level beginning in the third quarter.
Speller showed the Rams the Tommies were still a team to be reckoned with after he landed one of two free throws brining the score 60-26 for STU.
Speller thought his team played well in the first half but slipped in the second half.
Although the Tommies won, Speller feels they could have played better. He said the team is working on putting themselves in playoff position.
Speller has incorporated cardio as a priority of his workout regiment.
“I do a lot more cardio,” said Speller. “Cardio is a big thing for me,” he said.
For Speller the Tommies ball movement was a strong factor in the game.
“We were looking for the skip pass to give players that chance at shot,” he said.
Speller feels his team’s competitive level is high, “but we can compete a lot better,” he said. “But if we want to reach playoffs we have to pass the limit.”
The Rams made it competitive in the fourth.
Rams Sho Tamura started the quarter with a pass to Amin who passed to Brian Sawler. Sawler passed back to Tamura who passed to Amin who was in Tommies zone and scored two.
As the Rams points began to increase their points, the Tommies called a timeout with 6:17 left in the game with the score at 77-43.
The Rams continued to make a comeback but could not gain the lead.
The game ended 78-62 for the Tommies, who enjoyed the win, but felt that they could have done better.
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