The Tommies faced their toughest challenge of the season so far, and they didn’t disappoint.

The St. Thomas women’s basketball team took this year’s first regular season matchup against the Holland College Hurricanes on Saturday, winning 87-79.

Over the past few years the two teams have developed a rivalry. They have battled for the ACAA championship the past two years, and each time STU came out on top. Last year the Hurricanes beat the Tommies, ending STU’s 98 game in-conference winning streak.

The game was the first road trip of the regular season for STU, against a team Tommie Hilary Goodine believes is going to be even stronger then last year.

“I’m sure we all had a bit of jitters, but we knew what needed to be done,” said Goodine, who led her team in scoring with 16 points.

The Hurricanes were missing two of their starters: Ashley Moss and Jazlin Barker. Marvia Dean single-headedly kept the Hurricanes competitive, scoring 30 points, and pulling down 29 rebounds. That was only seven less than the STU’s total team rebounds.

The Tommies knew the Hurricanes size was going to be a challenge going in, but they were able to do enough to win regardless of the rebounding deficit.

“We finally started moving the ball and playing as a team,” said Goodine. “They are big, but don’t have enough gas to run with us the whole game.”

STU’s experience helped make sure they kept their distance from the Hurricanes.  The Tommies’ lead stayed around 10 most of the game, but Dean’s hard work on the boards kept the Hurricanes within striking distance. Kelly Vass continued her excellent play for STU, scoring 15 points, to go along with nine assists and six steals.

That win upholds the Tommies perfect record, making them 3-0.  Their play has them ranked second in the CCAA, while Holland College is ranked seventh.