SFU men’s basketball split road trip against Seattle Pacific University and Saint Martin’s University

Julian Roche leads Clan to upset win against Saints

Roche's last minute jumper was the difference in Saturday's game. (Photo courtesy of SFU Athletics)

From Thursday, January 31 to Saturday, February 2, the SFU men’s basketball team travelled down to the states for a two-game road trip against the Seattle Pacific University Falcons and the Saint Martin’s University Saints. Given that these are two of the top teams in the GNAC, coming away with one win would be considered a success for the Clan. After losing against the 8–4 Falcons, the Clan bounced back for an impressive win against the conference-leading Saints.

Game 1:

In this one, SFU just didn’t have what it takes to beat the Falcons. Consistently one step behind Seattle Pacific throughout both halves, they would eventually fall 92–76, in a game where the Clan could do nothing to stop the Falcons’ attack.

On the offensive end, however, some players were able to get it going, particularly Othniel Spence. The Clan sharpshooter was firing on all cylinders in this one, exploding for a game high 26 points on 9–17 shooting. He also hit four threes in the contest, and hit all four free throw attempts.

Off of the bench, Jordan Muir-Keung also had a fine game, scoring 16 points on 7–14 shooting. Michael Provenzano was the only other play in double digit scoring for SFU, finishing the game with 10 points.

The Clan defence just wasn’t able to keep up. The Falcons shot 31–55 from the field (.564) including 10–19 from three (.529). SFU also gave up 11 offensive rebounds.

Game 2:

The second game of the road trip could not have been more different for SFU. Particularly on the defensive end, the Clan brought their A-game against the conference-leading Saint Martin’s Saints.

SMU only shot 20–58 from the field (.345) against SFU’s defence, including only going 11–34 from three (.324). This is particularly impressive given that the Saints are known for their offensive prowess.

On the offensive end, Julian Roche was an absolute beast. After having a quiet night on Thursday (seven points and three rebounds), Roche carried SFU on his back on Saturday. He finished the game with a 23 point, 10 rebound double-double, and was a force on the inside all night. He also scored the game winning bucket with five seconds remaining in the game, putting the Clan up 61–59.

They would pull off the win after a missed three-pointer by Saints player Luke Chavez.

With the win, the Clan are now 4–8 in the GNAC conference this season.

What’s next:

SFU will now return home for three games. The first comes against the tough Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks, who are tied with Saint Martin’s with a 10–2 conference record. The game is February 7 in the West Gym, with tip off at 7 p.m.