Tommies gearing up for playoffs

Carissa MaTague (centre, 14) jumps for a shot on Saturday against Mount A (Philip Drost/AQ)
Carissa MaTague (centre, 14) jumps for a shot on Saturday against Mount A (Philip Drost/AQ)

The St. Thomas women’s basketball team continues to dominate the ACAA. The Tommies played the Mount Allison Mounties on Saturday in their second last game of the season.

At the start it seemed the Mounties were going make it a game, taking 12-6 lead in the first quarter. But St. Thomas reminded everyone why they are ranked second nationally, not allowing Mount Allison to score for the rest of the quarter. The Tommies held Mount Allison to 12 in the next two quarters as well, and 13 in the fourth.

The final score was 87-49 for the Tommies, putting their record to 17-0 this season.

“We’ve been working a lot on our defense this week,” said head coach Fred Connors. “I think we saw some good results there.”

The Tommies defense held Mount Allison to just 29 per cent shooting, while forcing 29 turnovers. Kelly Vass had five steals, and a terrific all-around game offensively as well. She scored 19 points and was edging close to a triple double with eight rebounds and the same in assists.

”We knew Mount A was a good team and we had to lock down and play 40 minutes of basketball. We’ve been struggling to do that,” said Vass. “So we knew we had to come into this game and play hard as a team, and everyone had to contribute in one way or another.”

With the way the standings are now, Mount Allison could be the team St. Thomas plays in the semi-finals of playoffs.

“We have to contain their shooters and we can’t let them shoot wide open shots because they’re going to hit them. If we play 40 minutes of hard basketball, we’ll be fine,” said Vass. “We know we can beat them and if we play hard then that can be the outcome again.”

The Tommies are coming into the final stretch of the season. They have four games left to play, including an away game against the nationally-ranked Holland College Hurricanes.

“Still a little bit of work needs to be done on the boards. We’re not rebounding as well as we’d like to. Down the stretch we are going to need to rebound better than that if we’re going to win this,” said Connors.

The Tommies now have ten players, having lost Brittany Gilliss earlier in the season and now third-year guard Danielle LeBlanc.

“Today, with the score being what it was, we thought we would do some five-on, five-off work to get people playing together,” said Connors.

“Right now we’re just gearing up to get ready for a playoff run, so we have to look at different things and different combinations, and see who’s going to play well together down the stretch.”

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