Thursday night, the women’s basketball team faced off against the current best team in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves. The Seawolves were first in the conference at 13–1, and boasted the conferences’ best offence and defence.
The fact that SFU held them to just 63 points is impressive, but they couldn’t pull off the victory, losing 63–59 in a contest that wasn’t decided until the last minute.
“I thought we played a little nervous in the first half, and it hurt us in a bunch of ways,” said head coach Bruce Langford after the game. “I thought they were the aggressor, they got way more offensive boards then we got, and they got a little bit in our heads. [. . .] In the second half we showed character and grit. I thought we were pretty good in the second half in a lot of ways, but we missed key shots at crucial times.”
Indeed, in the first half, SFU did not get off to a great start. After tying the game at 4–4 earlier in the half, Alaska went on a 9-2 run, and it started to look like the game might be a blowout. The press defence by Alaska was causing trouble for the Clan, as they were turning the ball over frequently and allowing opposing players easy drives to the net.
But the Clan was able to claw back into the game with two big threes, cutting the lead down to five with just under eight minutes to go. After that, the half turned into a defensive chess match — neither team putting up many points — with the end of the first half ending 29–21 Alaska.
SFU came flying out of the gates in the second half, going on a 15–4 run and temporarily taking the lead. By the middle of the half, the game was tied at 41, and from then on it was a back and forth affair that kept the crowd at the edge of its seat. With the game so close, every Clan possession seemed do or die. However, a few key misses — and a foul or two too many — ensured the eventual Seawolves victory.
With just two games to go and the playoffs already clinched, head coach Bruce Langford knows that there is still areas his team needs to improve on. “We just need to play like we did in the second half,” he said after the game. “We need a good game, because we’re going to go into a tough game in Western [Washington] next week, and then it’s playoffs where we’re one and done.”
Field Goals: 22–52 (42.3%)
3 Pointers: 9–27 (33.3%)
Free Throws: 6–8 (75.0%)
Field Goals: 26–59 (44.1%)
3 Pointers: 4–16 (25.0%)
Free Throws: 7–12 (58.3%)
Player of the Game: Meg Wilson
In a tight defensive game, Meg Wilson led the way for the Clan. Along with 13 points scored, she led the team with six rebounds and had four of the team’s five blocks on the night. She was also on the court for 35 of the game’s 40 minutes.
Rebounds (Off-Def): 2–4