Fredericton, NB – The St. Thomas Tommies defeated the Mount Allison Mounties 54-50 in the annual Francis Farrington Memorial game Friday night.
Rookie Vanessa Soffee (Fredericton, NB) led the Tommies with 18 points and 6 rebounds, while Jill Harris (Miramichi, NB) came off the bench to pace the Mounties with 13 points and 5 rebounds.
Two of the top four defensive teams in the ACAA, it was destined to be a low scoring affair. The teams combined for 32 points in the first quarter and a total of 57 in the half, with the Mounties holding onto a one-point lead.
"It's pretty well impossible to play Mount A without it being a close, dramatic game," said head coach Fred Connors referring to previous matchups with the Mounties this season that saw the Mounties win by three in both a preseason tilt and their first regular season matchup.
The Tommies took command of the third quarter, led by Soffee who was on the attack, scoring seven points in frame to put the Tommies ahead by four heading into the fourth quarter.
"Oh ya, absolutely," said Connors with a huge smile when asked if it was Soffee's best game of the season. "We have had a talk with her about how it is time to let go of that rookieness and just use her skills and play. By far her best game, and what a great time for her to step up and lead this offence."
The final two minutes of the game were just like Connors described, close and dramatic. Bridget Frazee (Sussex, NB) hit a three-pointer to push the Tommie lead to six, but Harris responded with a three of her to cut the deficit to three, but Soffee stepped to the free throw line and sealed the victory for the Tommies.
The Mounties host Crandall University on Saturday at 4:00pm, while the Tommies hit the road to Charlottetown to face Holland College.