Simon Fraser lose 84–72 to Western Washington

Ellen Kett (#5) finished with 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds playing the full 40 minutes.

The Simon Fraser University defence had no answer for Taylor Peacocke as she showed the Clan why she leads the NCAA Division II women’s basketball in points per game.

“We could do anything differently and it wouldn’t have been as bad as today,” coach Bruce Langford answered when asked about how the team could stop Taylor Peacocke in the future.

An ugly turnover lead to a Peacocke layup at the tip-off, and the game seemed to come just as easily to her as it continued. She had a career high 41 points, and dominated the game offensively in a variety of ways. Whether it’s her ability to drive to the basket, her ability to draw fouls, or her three-point abilities, she was certainly the catalyst behind Western Washington’s 84–72 victory to take sole possession of second place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC).

The game began with an emphasis on attacking the basket for both teams, with three consecutive traded layups — one of which was a Peacocke-and-one. A few jump ball calls and diving players in the first quarter showed that both teams were determined to battle for the second seed. A gritty first quarter went in favour of Simon Fraser, as they lead 19–17 at the end of the quarter after an Ellen Kett steal lead to a basket for Sophie Swant.

The second quarter was very much the same, as charges taken by Elisa Homer and Ellen Kett set the tone for the Clan’s defence. There was nothing to separate the teams, and Western Washington even switched to zone defence a few times to try and gain an edge. This edge was not gained, at least in the first half, as a Peacocke-and-one layup tied the game at 34 before a Kett free-throw made the game 35–34 for SFU going into the half.

The second half, however, was a different story.

A 22–9 run propelled by Peacocke’s outside scoring gave the Vikings a 12 point lead. A combination of Simon Fraser zone defence and strong point play by Kett helped cut the lead to five, and the teams went into the fourth quarter with a score of 60–55.

Peacocke was simply too much for Kett and company to handle, as her strong play continued into the fourth quarter. A midrange jumper and back-to-back three’s by her gave the Vikings a 68–58 lead. She didn’t miss her first shot of the half until there was 4:53 left in the fourth quarter. She finished the second half with 27 points on 8–9 shooting. “I didn’t think we contested her shots,” said Langford on the team’s defending of Peacocke.

The game ended 84–72, with Peacocke certainly being the difference. “[Your] best players need to be your best players and Peacocke was the best player tonight,” said Langford.

Even with this devastating loss, however, there is a positive to take from the game. Meg Wilson continued her strong play with a 24 point, 10 rebound double-double. When asked on her performance, coach Langford responded with: “She does a lot of things right [. . .] she scores quickly because of steals, she rebounds, and [she] gets offensive putbacks.”

In this one however, Taylor Peacocke simply took the game over.

With this loss Simon Fraser University falls to 7–2 in conference play and third place in the GNAC, with both of their losses coming to the teams above them in the standings. Coach Langford believes the team can make improvements: ”We need some better offensive flow,” said Langford. “I don’t think we shot our shot early in the game or even late in the game.”

Next Game: The Clan hopes to improve from this home defeat as they host the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets on Thursday. The Yellowjackets are tied for sixth in the conference with a 3–5 conference record and a 6–10 record overall. They are lead by Tiana Hanson who is averaging 16.3 points per game.

Tip-off is at 7:30 p.m.