FREDERICTON, NB – The St.FX women's basketball team edged out the University of Toronto Varsity Blues 81-75 in overtime on day two of the Helen Campbell basketball tournament.
Rahshida Atkinson led the way for the Varsity Blues with 18 points and four steals, and it was Lindsey Lessard (Waterloo, ON) earned a game high 27 points and 10 rebounds for her X-Women Squad.
The game got off to a slow start for both teams. The first quarter remained scoreless as both teams struggled to make a basket. It wasn't until three minutes in that Toronto put up the first field goal.
An early 6-2 run by the Varsity Blues, gave them the edge going into the second, leading by as much as nine in the half.
St.FX struggled from long range going 0-4 outside the arc, and only shot 32 per cent to end the first half trailing the Blues 31-34. Despite being down, Marcy Robinson (Bastrop, LA) gave her team a fighting chance picking up four of her team's six steals in the half and adding ten points to the board going 2-2 from the stripe.
"At half time we talked about this is a 30 game season and so we have to get better at handling and matching the intensity of the other team," said X-Women head coach Augy Jones.
After finding their stride, the X-Women began to improve their shooting and found themselves atop the Varsity Blues who they trailed for the majority of the game.
The Varsity Blues stayed within two, thanks to six trips to the line in the half. Rahshida Atkinson (Scarborough, ON) earned seven chances from the free throw line in the second half and was able to make six of them.
All tied up 63-63 with only a minute to go, St.FX took a one-point lead and tried to hold it to the final whistle to pick up their second win. However with the bonus Rahshida Atkinson made it to the line once again to make one of her two foul shots tying the game up 66-66 with only seconds left on the clock.
Toronto inbounded in St.FX territory with only eight seconds on the clock, but coughed up the ball giving the X-Women a last second shot to take the win. Marcy Robinson put up a prayer with a half court shot that hit front iron, sending the game into overtime.
"I think that was a really big steal for us because we just wanted to play defense," said Jones. "Eighteen seconds left I wasn't expecting the steal but she is very good at that and we are happy to have her."
The X-Women would go on to take the game 81-75, and pick up their second win of the tournament.
"We had to really match the intensity of U of T, they came off a loss the night before and they were way more intense than we were from the very beginning," said Jones.
"We kept our composure at the right times and that's a really good game if you can say second game of the season but the way we pulled ourselves together, we really matched the intensity when we needed to."
Both teams will play one more game tomorrow at the Richard J. Currie Center before heading home to begin their regular season.
Michael Bourgeois for UNB Communications