Down by 12 at the end of the first half Saturday night, it seemed like a recipe for a boring second half that would see SFU double that deficit.
Instead, in front of 650 fans in the West Gym, the Clan came back with a vengeance in the second half and made a game out of it. By the 11:04 mark, SFU had tied the game. From that point on, they were neck-and-neck with the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders, and even took the lead once.
However, a 47–41 second half victory wasn’t enough to take the game, and SFU fell 80–74 to the Idaho-based rivals for their 14th straight loss.
The game started off slow, with Northwest Nazarene putting up the first points on the board 3:18 into the game.
Northwest Nazarene was able to slowly build up a lead in the first half, ending the frame with a 39–27 lead.
Three-pointers were the story in the second half for SFU. After going one for eight in the first, Clan shooters sank seven threes in the second half. Redshirt senior Hidde Vos continued a hot streak, putting in four threes and putting up a season-best 16 points, beating Thursday’s 15 against Central Washington.
Vos’ three marked the tying score at 49–49.
Tyrell Lewin got the Clan the lead at 55–53 with a layup at the 8:31 mark of the second. However, Northwest Nazarene responded with a seven point run, which padded their lead. For a span of just over three minutes, SFU couldn’t get closer than five points to Northwest Nazarene.
With 59 seconds left, JJ Pankratz put SFU within two, but with the remaining time, Northwest Nazarene outscored SFU 10–5 to hold on to the win.
SFU went six-for-15 (40%) from the free throw line, and only sunk two in the second half.
“We played a good 30 minutes tonight, [. . .] but we’re just not at 40 yet,” head coach Steve Hanson told SFU Athletics. “[Free throws were] really the difference. We didn’t turn the ball over much, but we turned it over in crucial times.”
Kedar Wright led the team in scoring with 25 points in 32 minutes played, and also had eight rebounds. Michael Provenzano also put up double-digit points with 11 in a whopping 38 minutes played. Vos, who came from the bench, played a season-high 32 minutes (he averages 18.3 minutes per game).
Redshirt freshman Graham Miller played his first game since December 19, returning from an injury sustained in practice. He played 12 minutes, and collected three rebounds and a point on a free throw attempt.
Andrew Williamson, Vinnie Safin, Bowen Bakken, Aleks Vranjes, and Bongani Moyo did not play.
TONIGHT: The Men’s Basketball team make the short drive to Bellingham, WA to take on Western Washington University.
Western Washington has the best record in the conference with a 9–1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference record and 15–3 overall record. They are also the best offensive team in the conference, averaging 90.7 points per game.
However, they are seventh in scoring defence, allowing 78.8 points per game.
In the last matchup at home, SFU found the strong offence-weak defence combination to be a favorable matchup and came out with their closest conference loss, falling by five points to a score of 103–98 — their best offensive output.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m.