The Tommies basketball teams received a loss and a victory against the Mount Allison University Mounties Saturday afternoon at the Lady Beaverbrook Gym.
The St. Thomas University women’s squad (6-2) sealed the Mounties’ fate with a trey shot from Jayme Hunt in the last 12.5 seconds, leaving the score at 62-59.
The STU men’s team (3-6) fought hard during the whole game, but collapsed under the Mounties’ fast breakouts and offensive rebounds in the last five minutes, falling 78-68.
Tommies men lost last quarter
The Mounties (6-2) had an aggressive three-point run to suppress the Tommies in the first quarter, but STU chased them back with a series of fast breaks that helped trim the deficit to one point.
Mitch Claybourn seized the chance and drove it all the way downtown with a crossover that ankle broke his defendant on the ground, yet he missed the shot with a sigh.
Jakeb Urquhart beat the buzzer and wrapped up the first half with a lead of 38-37 for STU.
Dylan Gallant played a huge role in controlling the rhythm on offense, dropping 17 points, six steals and three assists.
The Tommies did a great job breaking up the Mounties’ full-court press during the third quarter.
Centres from both teams got tied up fighting for the rebound, and STU fell behind one point after the third frame.
Travis Valanne had a clear steal and lifted up the whole court with a two-hand dunk.
Although the score was tight the whole time, the game had a fast pace with back-and-forth action.
After a short period of outbursts, STU fell behind in the last four minutes as the team was no longer energetic enough to deal with the Mounties’ attack in the painted area.
“Our team is small, and [the Mounties] definitely have taller guys than we have,” said Brandan Seagrave, a six-foot-10 ex-Tommies player who watched the whole game on the bench.
“Overall it was an impressive game all the way through until the last five minutes.”
STU women tame Mounties with one shot
Becca MacNeil dribbled all the way to the hoop with a circus shot that put STU up 21-17 in the first quarter.
In the second quarter, STU decided to use a full-court attack against the Mounties (4-4), but it took too much of their energy, and the Mounties seized the chance with a comeback consisting of multiple three-pointers, although STU led 26-22 at halftime.
Early in the third, STU fell behind four points after MtA made several rundowns against STU’s full-court press.
After a short timeout, Carissa McTague and Jessica Patenaude picked and rolled and drove all the way to the hoop with a three-pointer that even the score at 59.
The fourth quarter had extra intensity where both teams struggled to score.
Hunt received a long-arch pass and splashed it with a three in the last few seconds, to make it 62-59.
“Our team defense was really important, especially when we were having a hard time scoring in the first half,” said STU head coach Fred Connors.
“You could struggle a little bit on your offense, but when your defense is solid it could really buy you some time.”
The Tommies will hit the road to face the University of Kings College Blue Devils on Saturday, Jan. 14. The women tip off at 5 p.m., while the men’s contest will get underway at 7 p.m. in Halifax.
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