SFU defeat two ranked teams, start season 3–0
By Bryan Scott
The Simon Fraser Women’s basketball team jump started their year with three out-of-conference wins at the Disney Tip-off Classic in Anaheim, California last week. Their opponents were the 13th ranked University of Grand Canyon Antelopes, the West Texas A&M Lady Buffs, and the eighth ranked University of California, San Diego Tritons.
The first game was against the Antelopes, who came out of the gate strong, scoring three unanswered buckets. The Clan responded: Erin Chambers hit a couple baskets from behind the arc,and Marie-Line Petit added one, and the Clan were up 13–12. The Antelopes got close but never had the lead again throughout the game. The game continued to be tight nearing the end of the first half, with the Clan up only by one point, when Kristina Collins hit one of her two free throws to get the Clan a 29–27 lead at halftime.
After the Antelopes tied the game at 29 to start the second half, the Clan went on a 14–4 run over a five-minute period to give them a 43–33 lead. Grand Canyon never got closer than four points after that, and the Clan took home the win, 69–60. They were led by Chambers, who had 22 points including five three-point shots, and NayoRaincock-Ekunwe, who finished with a double-double (14 points and 11 rebounds).
The next game was against the Lady Buffs, and this time it was Collins who led the way for the Clan. She opened the scoring for the game, and was there to respond every time the Lady Buffs tried to make a move. After the Clan took a five point lead, the Lady Buffs reclaimed some territory and took over the lead at 13–12. Collins hit one of her four three-pointers to give the Clan the lead by two. The Lady Buffs came roaring back, taking the lead on a three-point shot of their own, making it 18–15. Collins and her Clan were not going to let that happen;she made another three-pointer and then stole the ball on the ensuing play for another two, giving the Clan a lead they did not relinquish for the remainder of the game. At halftime,they headed into the locker room up 37–26. Collins led all players in the first half with 15 points in 13 minutes of playing time.
Chambers and Raincock-Ekunwe helped solidify the win for the Clan in the second half, adding 12 points and 10 points respectively. Raincock-Ekunwe had 11 rebounds in the game, which contributed to her second doubale-double in as many nights. Collins had seven points in the half to bring her total to 22 points, which led all scorers. Head coach Bruce Langford was happy with his team’s performance, saying, “We did an okay job of taking care of the ball and I liked our shot selection.”
The final game of the weekend was also the toughest. The Tritons are ranked eighth for a reason. The first half was a battle.Both teams traded the lead several times. The Clan were down 25–22 at halftime, with Chambers accumulating the most points in the half with only five. They were not shooting well, hitting only 29 per cent of their field goals. In the second half the Clan stepped up led by Raincock-Ekunwe and Chambers once again. They had 19 points and 10 points respectively in the half, and Raincock-Ekunwe was one rebound away from her third straight double-double, finishing with nine on the night. The Clan squeaked out a huge win early on the season, 61–58.
Chambers earned Red Lion Player of the Week honours for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference with her 51 points and 15 rebounds over the three games. She was also incredible at the free throw line, going a perfect 15 for 15.
The Clan headed to St. George, Utah over the past weekend to participate in the Dixie State Tournament. The results will be covered in the upcoming issue of The Peak.