The Tommies had their resolve tested, as they played their third game in a row without their star guard Kelly Vass. The Tommies traveled to Moncton to take on the Crandall Charges, and what resulted was one of the worst games for STU in years.
Crandall opened up a 14-9 lead in a low scoring first quarter. The Tommies desperately needed to get their offense going. As the game went on, the Tommies struggled to get good shots.
“As a team we struggled to move the ball with confidence,” said Kristyn Smith, who started for her third game in a row for the Tommies. “Our feet were not underneath us.”
Crandall continued to keep the Tommies at bay, and pushed their lead up to 30-19. No one was able to get going for STU in the first half. Hilary Goodine finished with the most points for STU, as she scored 13. Kristyn Smith and Carissa McTague each scored eight. The Tommies missed easy opportunities at the free throw line, missing 11 of their 24 shots.
Things looked like they would turn around for STU in the third quarter. The Tommies were moving the ball, finding open shots, and most importantly, they were hitting them. STU went on a 13-3 run in the quarter, tying the ball game up at 32. Then things started to fall apart, again.
“We had lots of turnovers that translated to points for Crandall,” said Smith. “We were not strong enough with the ball when making decisions.”
At the end of the third, Crandall led by five but STU looked poised to change that. Instead, Crandall continued to take charge, going up 50-40 halfway through the fourth quarter. In the end, the Tommies lost 69-49.
Regardless, Smith feels like the tough loss just makes them more determined.
“It helps us learn how to battle in tough games,” said Smith. “We need to defend harder and to continue believing in one another. We know that playoffs will bring competition and we need to be prepared to rise up to the challenge.”
The game was STU’s worst loss to an ACAA team in over three years. What makes the loss worse is that it came against Crandall, who is second last in the standings.
Kelly Vass, who leads the team in points, rebounds, steals and assists, is hoping to be back for Friday’s game against the Holland College Hurricanes.