It was a game that could have gone either way, but ended up going to the better team. While games like these show that Simon Fraser can play with anybody, failure to execute down the stretch plagued the Clan again.
The team got off to a nice start on the road, as JJ Pankratz and Michael Provenzano helped the team gain an 8–0 lead early. In the 11th minute, however, a three-pointer by Marc Matthews and pair of free throws by Preston Beverly gave the home team a 19–17 edge. After a Provenzano layup tied the game, Matthews and Beverly helped carry the Yellowjackets during a 15–3 run. Later on, a Beverly three-pointer gave Montana State Billings a 42–33 lead heading into the half.
Provenzano played a great first half for the Clan, as he had 12 points and three assists, including two three-pointers, playing all 20 minutes. For the other side, Beverly lead all first half scorers with 21 points.
The second half didn’t begin well for Simon Fraser, as Montana State Billings extended their lead to 14 by the 12th minute. Between 8:09 and 6:30, however, the Clan went on a 9–0 run, eventually cutting the lead to three: 66–63. At this point, the game was anybody’s.
In this one, however, Simon Fraser couldn’t pull out the win, continuing their losing streak. They eventually lost 93–86, as the Clan fouled down the stretch after being down by as much as 12 in the closing minutes.
Even with the loss, there are some positives to take from the game. Michael Provenzano played a great game for the Clan, as he had 23 points and seven assists while playing all 40 minutes. Kedar Wright finished with 16 points on an efficient 6–9 from the field. Also, Simon Fraser were plus 10 in bench points and plus nine in second chance points.
These are the type of games that are reflective of Simon Fraser’s season so far. Their relative inexperience has hurt them down the stretch before, but they have the talent to compete in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and should be better as the season continues.
With this loss Simon Fraser loses their 16th straight game, and fall to 0–12 in conference play (2–18 overall). While this is starting to look like a season to forget, the Clan will look to improve as the season goes on.
Next Game: The Clan will travel to Alaska on Groundhog Day, and look to put the shadows of their losing streak behind them. Alaska are 4–8 in conference play this season, and 8–11 overall.