After a fairly long holiday break, the SFU women’s basketball team was back in action on December 29, taking on the Western Oregon Wolves. With both teams having 1–1 conference records, it was important for the Clan to get a win to start to separate themselves from the pack.
Coming into this game, SFU had won nine of their last ten, and were facing a Western Oregon team that were seventh in both scoring offence and defence. Needless to say, it was a winnable game and they did just that with a convincing 71–57 victory to move SFU’s overall record to 11–2.
Early on, SFU came out to a 15–6 lead. Elisa Homer, who played significant minutes after coming back from a concussion, got the game started with the first points of the night. After that however, the Wolves came roaring back to tie it up at 22. But senior Ellen Kett and freshman Ozi Nwabuko led the Clan for the rest of the half, with Kett hitting a couple of big three-pointers and Nwabuko using her speed on the break.
With an 11-point lead heading into the second half, the Clan never looked back. Kett was excellent in her ball distribution, which allowed for some easy looks for the likes of Elisa Homer and Meg Wilson. Homer finished with a team high twenty points, while Kett finished with 18 points, along with six assists, six rebounds, and three steals. Meg Wilson had 16 points along with nine rebounds
Perhaps the biggest storyline heading into the game was how SFU planned to shut down Shelby Snook. Arguably one of the best shooters in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, she came into the game averaging 16.9 points per game, and shooting over 50% from behind the arc. Nevertheless, the Clan limited her to only six points in 33 minutes of action.
“We wanted to play her fairly tight,” head coach Bruce Langford said afterwards on the team’s strategy. “We had Ozi [Nwabuko] checking her most of the night, and we had her not sag from her too much because she’s very good offensively.”
Nwabuko finished with only 10 points, but was excellent guarding Snook for the majority of the night. Rachel Fradgley started the game, but early foul trouble limited her to only 14 minutes on the night and just one point. Division I transfer Tayla Jackson did not play, suffering the effects of pneumonia according to head coach Bruce Langford.
Next up for SFU is an early game against Concordia University. Although this game was fairly comfortable, Langford is expecting more of a battle come Saturday.
“It’s going to be a much tougher game than today,” he commented. “We need to be more focused. Anybody can beat anybody on any given day, and they’ve got a couple of players that are very good offensively. We need to be better.”