The GNAC regular season went down to the wire last night in spectacular fashion, with multiple playoff spots going down to the final game of the season. In the thick of things were SFU, who went into Saturday tied with two other teams for the fifth seed in the conference. With a win, or a loss from either Western Washington University or Montana State University, the Clan would be in the postseason for the first time in their conference history.
Western Oregon University stood in SFU’s way, however, and did not make it easy for the Clan. In front of a thunderous crowd, SFU were unable to keep up to their opponents (the fourth seed in the GNAC), eventually losing by a score of 68–56.
The fans were treated to some great moments though. Despite going down 18–6 early, SFU bounced back in a big way, going a 12–0 scoring run to tie the game up in the first half. WOU regained momentum, however, and led the Clan 29–23 at the half.
In the second half, Othniel Spence did everything he could to bring his team to victory. He scored 12 of the first 17 second half points for SFU, single-handedly managing to keep his team in the game. Once he started to cool down, however, the Clan were no longer able to keep up. Despite SFU fouling down the stretch, WOU coasted to victory.
Clan fans will have to thank Concordia University for their efforts against Western Washington University. Beating the Vikings 79–70, the Cavaliers win gave SFU sixth place in the conference, good for the final playoff spot.
It is the first time that the Clan will compete in the GNAC postseason, and is a testament to a strong second half from the team. Despite losing their final two games of the regular season, SFU had won six of seven previous to that, including wins over the nationally ranked Saint Martin’s University Saints and Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks. Wins like that show that SFU is able to beat anyone when they are on, and they should be a dangerous team in the postseason.
It was also Seniors Night, with Jordan Muir-Keung, Bongani Moyo, and Bowen Bakken suiting up for their final time on Burnaby Mountain.
The Clan will face off against Northwest Nazarene in their first-ever GNAC postseason game on Thursday, March 7 at Western Washington University. In their two meetings against the Nighthawks this season, the Clan are 1–1, with the home team winning each game. In their last meeting, SFU won a 78–77 thriller on Burnaby Mountain back at the beginning of February.
The winner will face off against Seattle Pacific University, the number-two seed in the GNAC.