Danny Carson here with this week’s On The Road. By the end of the column, you’ll understand why Matt Robertson didn’t write this one.
This past Saturday the men’s basketball team traveled to P.E.I. to battle the Holland College Hurricanes. So much was on the line – the winner of the game would almost be guaranteed a second place finish.
A 7:30 a.m. departure from Fredericton made it a tough early start, but by game time everyone was ready to go.
Or so we thought.
The first quarter was a struggle for both teams. It took us over three minutes to score our first basket.
By the end of the first quarter, we had a 12-9 lead. Not a flattering start for either team.
The second quarter wasn’t played much better. STU struggled to put up points, as Holland was able to take a 26-23 lead into half.
We could blame the slow start on the early wake up, the long bus ride, the ridiculously flimsy rims, or on the horrible officiating (for both teams).
But the bottom line was we weren’t playing at the offensive level that we’re capable of.
The game continued to go back and fourth into the final quarter. With under five minutes left, Tommie guard MacKenzie Washburn hit two massive shots: a three pointer and a falling down mid-range jumper at the shot clock buzzer to make it a two point game.
With only a minute and change remaining in the game, Tommie big man Matt Robertson had a great battle down low against Hurricane Jake Ayangma.
Robertson missed a layup, grabbed his rebound, and drew a foul. Robertson hit two clutch free throws to give the Tommies a one-point lead.
While the majority of the game had been lackluster, the final minute was anything but.
Tommie captain Andrew Holmes hit two free throws to extend the lead to three with less than 20 seconds left.
The Hurricanes rushed the ball down the floor and high-flying Donny Moss was able to get to the free throw line with five seconds left.
Moss missed the first shot but hit the second. Holmes then inbounded the ball to Washburn.
Washburn threw the ball up court to rookie Corey Delong who then passed the ball to a cutting Robertson.
Robertson did a two foot gather and threw down a monster dunk as the final buzzer sounds. The Tommies bench stormed the floor as they celebrate a 56-52 victory.
While the game wasn’t pretty, the final five minutes kept everyone on the edge of their seat.
We now have sole possession of second place and hold the tiebreaker over the Hurricanes.
After two rough seasons, the Tommies are back and ready to make a lot of noise in the playoffs.