The St. Thomas University men’s and women’s basketball teams played their first games of the Ken Gould Invitational Basketball Tournament on Oct. 19.
The women faced the Mount Saint Vincent University Mystics.
In the first quarter, the Tommies encountered a strong defence from the Mystics, but returned it with good offence under the net. The Mystics got on the board first with two points, which gave them momentum to stay in the lead during the first quarter.
The Mystics and the Tommies practiced full-court defence, which kept both teams fighting the shot clock, the score remaining low at 18-15 for MSVU by the end of the first quarter.
A three-pointer from Tommie Bridget Frazee opened the second quarter. Shots racked up quickly for both teams, but the Mystics always stayed slightly ahead. The Tommies started to get sloppy and their defence under the net began to slack, allowing the Mystics to lead by nine.
Two minutes into the second half, Tommie Lainy Dow got two three-pointers keeping the score close at 42-38. STU gained momentum with their quick turnovers and interceptions and the Tommies kept the Mystics’ score low with a strong defence. Alana Dowling made a three-pointer with 15 seconds left in the quarter, which brought the score to 51-49 for MSVU.
Down by only three points, STU relied on wide shots, as the Mysitcs’ defence under the net kept the shooters outside the key. With two minutes left in the game, a series of fouls kept the game moving up and down the court.
It was the number of shots put up by the Mystics that allowed them the victory with a final score of 68-59.
Despite their loss, women’s coach Fred Connors thought the team played hard.
“I liked our energy levels,” he said. “I thought for a long stretch our focus was in the right spot, considering it’s the first game of the Ken Gould [tournament], there were a little bit of nerves too. I thought we played pretty well.”
The men faced the Dalhousie Agricultural Campus Rams in their first match.
The game started off quickly, with both teams getting baskets in the first 30 seconds. The Tommies racked up points quickly, making four baskets in the first two minutes.
Tommie Michael Otoo gained momentum in the first quarter, charging through the Ram’s defence to get quick shots under the net. Poor defence by the Rams allowed the Tommies to put up multiple shots, bringing the score to 32-12 for STU at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, STU’s defence loosened, giving the Rams some momentum to increase their score by 20 points. After noticing their slack in defence, the Tommies picked it up, running down the shot clock, leaving the score at 54-33 for STU.
In the second half, the Rams continued to improve, getting multiple baskets and pushing through STU’s defence. The Tommies noticed this advance and made a full-court defence.
With four minutes left in the quarter, the tallest Ram was fouled out, giving them only one available substitution. STU capitalized on this, getting 20 points in the last three minutes of the quarter.
The last quarter moved quickly as the Tommies made multiple baskets. Brandan Seagrave got a quick basket under the net as soon as the quarter began.
It was STU’s quick passing and the Ram’s poor defence that allowed the Tommies to secure the victory, with a final score of 117-63.
Men’s coach Scott MacLeod thought his team had a good offensive game.
“[The game] was a great opportunity for our guys to have a good attack game, which is what we played,” he said.
“We’ve been practicing pushing the ball, attacking with the ball and they played very well within that. As soon as they fell off from that a little bit, we fell back in the scoring, so we had to keep that part of our game going.”
The rest of the tournament played out on Oct. 21 and 22.
The women’s team won their second game against Crandall 75-41 and the men lost theirs’ 94-81. The women’s team lost their final game against Mount Allison University 56-53 and the men lost theirs’ against the University of New Brunswick Saint John 92-71.
The women’s coach was pleased with his team despite their 1-2 record in the tournament.
“I felt we played really well and made some great strides as a team,” said Connors.
“We have had a successful preseason and feel ready for the start of the regular season next weekend.”
The men’s coach was also happy despite their record.
“The Ken Gould Tournament was an excellent opportunity for the growth of a team that is new to each other. Although we have been practicing together for 11 weeks, game experience is valuable,” said MacLeod.
“We are very pleased with our ability to get shots up, with 117, 81 and 71 in the three games. There is work to be done on the defensive end with one win and two loses.”