Since their last game earlier this year, both Simon Fraser’s and Seattle Pacific’s seasons have taken very different paths. In that game, the Clan was able to defeat the Falcons after a comeback fourth quarter. The win left SFU with a 7–1 conference record, and SPU with a 5–2 record, just behind them.
Since that 71–61 victory, SFU has only lost twice and has racked up 21 wins heading into this contest. SPU, meanwhile, have lost four and slipped back into a somewhat distant fourth place. With a chance to solidify their top three position, SFU took care of business with a 72–60 victory on the road.
The game was very tight to start. After jumping out to a four-point lead, SPU battled back to within one in the first. Unlike in their last game, SFU had a very strong second quarter. They scored 20 points and got strong contributions from the connection of Rachel Fradgley and Meg Wilson to end the first half with a nine-point lead.
Once the second half got started, both teams traded baskets before SFU managed to extend their lead to as much as 15 near the end of the frame. In the fourth, the Falcons cut that lead to seven before freshman Tia Tsang hit a clutch corner three that effectively put the game away for the Clan. Both teams shot below 40% from the field, but SFU was able to hit shots in crunch time, while SPU missed a few high-percentage shots to hurt their chances.
Both teams were unable to hold onto the ball well in this one, and that ultimately helped decide the outcome of the game. A total of 37 turnovers were recorded between SFU and SPU, with the Clan turning the ball over 17 times.
However, SFU was the team able to capitalize on their opponents’ mistakes, scoring 28 of their 72 points off turnovers — 38.8% of their offence. SPU only managed eight points off turnovers.
With the win, SFU have assured themselves of a top three place in the conference. With both teams having four conference games to play, the best Seattle Pacific can do is tie SFU’s record if they win their remaining games and SFU loses all of theirs. But with SFU having the tiebreaker in their head-to-head record, the Clan would still be in third place. The focus now for the team will be trying to remain focused down the stretch.
Next Game: SFU will make the short drive down to Bellingham to take on Western Washington in a rare Tuesday night contest. Western Washington are in second place in the conference with a 15–1 conference record. A win would move SFU up to 14-3 and drop Western Washington down to 15-2. If the Clan want any hoope of finishing second, they’re going to have to get a result.
Last time these two teams played, SFU led by one at the half before Taylor Peacocke scored 27 in the second half — more than the rest of her team combined — and singlehandedly led the Vikings to victory. She finished with 41 points in the game overall.
Peacocke leads all of Division II women’s basketball with 23 points per game, and the key will be to try and contain her offensive output. She will get her points, but if SFU can limit her to her average or just below, they should have a shot at victory.
Tip-off is at 7 p.m.