Winless Clan showing signs of life


WEB-basketball-Adam Ovenell-Carter

Despite sitting 0–5 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play, the Clan men’s basketball team is showing signs of life in 2014. Opening the calendar year with three back-to-back losses was disappointing, but the team is finally starting to come together and show composure in big games against top-ranked teams.

The Clan opened the year with losses against Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage, but the team’s game against the GNAC third-place Nanooks showcased some of their unachieved potential. The men fell 58–67, but Taylor Dunn and Sango Niang led the campaign with 15 and 10 points each.

Later that weekend, against the Seawolves, it was Justin Cole who led the team with 24 points, proving the importance of his addition this season, while Dunn added 16 and David Gebru had 15.

On an individual level, the team has some great talent and their best games have seen the five men on the floor come together for a great team effort both on offence and defence. However, they have suffered from slow starts and disjointed play.

That wasn’t the case one week later when the men travelled to Bellingham, WA to face GNAC leaders Western Washington, who are also ranked 20th in NCAA Div. II. This game saw one of the most notable team performances of the season and the Clan headed into the second half with a two-point lead. Dunn led the scoring with 18 followed by Ibrahim Appiah with 17, Cole with 14 and Niang with 11, proving that when the big players get together, there is a lot of potential for this underrated team.

Unfortunately, WWU proved their mettle and their ranking in the second half, as they came back with a vengeance to take the game 82–69, but the Clan’s performance against a very tough competitor proves that they have the ability to play in this league, they just need to tighten up their game.

The team lost in its return to the friendly confines of West Gym, 100–70 against Montana State-Billings, but another committed team effort may be enough to secure their first GNAC victory of the season sooner than later.