Thursday night’s game against the University of Alaska Fairbanks shared a few similarities with the previous encounter. In both games SFU held a halftime lead — a much larger one in the first game — and in both games the Clan weren’t able to win. After leading 35–31 heading into the second half, SFU was outscored by 17 points in the second frame enroute to a 77–64 loss.
The Clan came out roaring to start, and at one point led by 14 after an Izaiah Sherman-Newsome layup. And even though the Nanooks were able to claw their way back, there were some positive signs that this was to be their first conference victory of the season. Michael Provenzano had 14 points to lead all players, and JJ Pankratz had 13 on a perfect 5–5 from the field.
However, in what is starting to become a common theme this season, SFU just wasn’t able to close the game out in the second half. They let in 46 points in the second half as Alaska shot over 50% from the field. SFU in contrast, exactly 33.3%. The change was evident by the stat lines of the two aforementioned players. Provenzano had only five points in the second half, while Pankratz only had three points on one for four shooting.
Michael Provenzano led SFU with 19 points in 38 minutes. Isaiah Sherman-Newsome had 13 points — nine of which came in the second half — and nine rebounds. Hidde Vos played 29 minutes after seeing only 18 against Montana State Billings.
Despite losing 17 straight games, the team hasn’t necessarily been played off the court in every single loss. Just like with every long streak such as this, whether it be wins or losses, there is a certain amount of luck that is involved. The team can look to this game, as well as the previous game against Alaska Fairbanks and the close game against Western Washington at home to situations that with a bit more good fortune, could have been victories.
Next Game: SFU has a day off to recover, but then will play the other Alaska team, Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. Last time these teams played SFU was held to under 50 points in a 77–47 loss at home. Alaska Anchorage is 10th in scoring offence with 75 points per game but have the best defence by far in the conference, giving up a paltry 65.4 points per game — close to seven points less than second place Saint Martins. Sekou Wiggs is the player to watch for the opposition. He’s second in conference scoring, averaging 24.3 points per game.
Tip-off is at 4:15 p.m. Pacific.