On Thursday, the men’s basketball team played a home game against the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) scoring defence leader, the Seattle Pacific Falcons — who have not allowed 100 points in a game since 2010.
Unfortunately for the Clan, the Falcons were in fine form, keeping SFU to only 81 points, the lowest point total all season for the NCAA Division II scoring leaders.
“We’re not flying around, we’re not getting threes, there’s only a couple of runs where we really got to see that action happen,” head coach James Blake commented after the Clan’s third straight loss. “A lot of people know how good this action can be and our guys got to remember how good that action can be and get back to what we were doing.”
The Falcons opened the match by jumping to an 11–4 lead. Initially, it looked like Seattle Pacific might run away with the game, as they were shutting down all of the Clan’s offensive attempts.
The Clan countered by shooting seven straight points — five of them notched by SFU scoring leader Sango Niang — and though they ended the first half down 52–42, they played a relatively close game in the first.
But the wheels fell off for the Clan in the second half, when their field goal average went from 56.2 per cent in the first to 34.3 per cent.
The high-octane offence that served the Clan so well in December gave way to a sloppy defence which allowed the Falcons to rack up the points. In the end, a 10-point lead became a 34-point victory for Seattle Pacific, with a final score of 115–81.
“Our guys didn’t really pressure them and make them put it on the ground,” reflected Blake. “We didn’t get them to turn the ball over, so they were just able to move the ball around. It was like playing organized keep-away.
“It was almost like we wore ourselves down running around rather than having our technique down when we controlled the ball,” he added.
Aside from just the loss, Clan forward and guard Roderick Taylor-Evans went down with an injury in the second half. Taylor-Evans scored six points in the game before the injury.
Among the positives for the Clan were a 27-point performance by Sango Niang, as well as a 14-point performance by freshman Patrick Simon — 10 of which were scored in the game’s second half.
Field Goals: 28–64 (43.8%)
3 Pointers: 5–21 (23.8%)
Free Throws: 20–25 (80.0%)
Field Goals: 44–72 (61.1%)
3 Pointers: 8–15 (53.3%)
Free Throws: 19–30 (63.3%)
Player of the Game: Sango Niang
Currently the scoring leader of the Clan with an average of 22.5 points per game, Niang proved one of the bright spots of the otherwise disappointing game, putting up an impressive 27 points. Even when SFU’s offensive attack started to flounder, Niang was able to drive the attack and put up some points. He also ensured that the Clan didn’t finish with less than 80 points, with two successful free throws late in the game.
Rebounds (Off-Def): 1–2