While most people were enjoying their holidays, a fair bit of athletics action that took place over the break. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams were busy over the break, playing five and seven games in December, respectively. But the action on the court wasn’t the only big news of the holiday break.
What else is there, you ask? Well, if you’ve got Clan questions, we’ve got Clanswers, from the stands to the hardwood.
The men played three games between December 10 and the beginning of the new year, but only one was against an NCAA opponent.
The Clan dropped a tough 84–83 loss to the Academy of Art University, but rebounded with an 87–39 drubbing of Kwantlen Polytechic. Unfortunately, the Clan lost the most meaningful game of the three, an 87–83 defeat at the hands of Western Washington on New Year’s Eve.
To make matters worse, a number of key players, including leading GNAC scorer Javari Williams, as well as starting point guard Matt Ravio, have been declared — at least for the time being — ineligible to play. That leaves the Clan with only eight players who can participate for the next few games. The Clan’s one-point loss to Western Oregon on Thursday however, was a promising sign as the team battled hard despite being so shorthanded.
The team is still winless in conference play, but only 5–7 overall.
The women were much busier over the break, playing five games between December 18 and the 31 alone. The first was a 64–48 loss to nationally-ranked Grand Canyon in Phoenix, but the Clan responded strongly.
They lost to Grand Canyon again the next night, but managed to take the powerhouse, often considered the best Division II school, all the way to overtime before stumbling.
After returning home to the cozy confines of SFU’s West Gym, the team easily dispatched the University of Manitoba Bisons 83–61, and followed that win with another against Trinity Western.
Unfortunately, much like their male counterparts, the women dropped the only conference game of the stretch, a 76–55 loss to Western Washington. However, they were able to rebound with a convincing wire-to-wire, 66–53 win over Western Oregon on Thursday.
With the win, SFU improves to 3–1 in conference play and currently sit fourth in the GNAC.
Track and Field
Helen Crofts has been named the University Athlete of the Year by Athletics Canada. The West Vancouver native has garnered countless awards and records this year, despite taking last semester off to extend her years of eligibility.
Along with Jessica Smith, the Clan had a dominant pair of runners throughout 2011, amd Smith has hinted at the pair racing in the upcoming 2012 Olympics.
New athletics director Milt Richards has made his first major move in his new job. Very soon, all Clan events will be free to all SFU students. The $2 charge has been dropped, so now you have absolutely no excuse to go out and support your Clan athletes. For more information on free ticketing, see page five in the News section.