The St. Thomas women’s basketball team almost lost their first game of the season on Sunday.
They were down by two with 2:56 left in the game. Katie Lund of the Mount Allison Mounties had just hit the three to give her team the lead.
St. Thomas responded almost immediately when Maggie Murphy hit a three to take back the lead. Mount Allison was still down by one with 29 seconds left, with a chance to get ahead. Then, Tommies star Kelly Vass stole the ball, which was her eighth steal of the game. Laura Anderson also finished with eight steals for STU.
“We knew what we had to do to get the job done and that was to play hard and contain the shooters,” said Vass.
Vass then barreled down the court, and got fouled on a layup. Vass, who missed her last two free throws, shook off the pressure and knocked down both to give her team the three-point lead.
Mount Allison wasn’t out of it though. A three pointer would tie the game for the Mounties, but they never got the chance. After two deflections on Mount Allison’s inbounding plays, STU took the ball away, and Vass was fouled again, and again she hit her two free throws. Those free throws sealed the deal, and STU won 72-67.
“We knew that we had to stay composed, due to the fact that we’ve been in close games before,” said Vass, who is in her fourth year with the Tommies.
Vass made a strong case for MVP of the ACAA, with a game that filled up the stat sheet. She had 13 points, 13 rebounds, nine assists and eight steals. Hilary Goodine was the next top scorer for STU, scoring 12 points. Sunday’s game marks the halfway point of the season. The Tommies are 9-0 with a 2-0 record against the Mounties.
Vass felt the game helped them learn some important information about Mount Allison.
“They are a very good shooting team and I think if we leave them open they will put plenty of points on the board rather quickly,” said Vass.
The weekend marked the Tommies first two game road trip of the season. On Saturday the Tommies defeated the University of King’s College Blue Devils 81-57. Hilary Goodine and Maggie Murphy led the way in that game, each with 14 points. Carissa McTague got the lone double-double of the game for STU, with 13 points and 11 boards.
“I definitely thought we played really well considering the road trip. We had really good energy and ran the ball well,” said Vass.
The Tommies hope to carry that energy over to this weekend, as they travel to Nova Scotia to take on the Mount Saint Vincent Mystics.