Friday, January 29, 2010

Basketball: Change at the top: Simon Fraser shoots down No. 1 UBC

Score one for Simon Fraser's Princeton offence: The Clan ended No. 1 UBC's unbeaten run with an 82-79 win on Thursday night.

The No. 7-ranked Clan, led by Chas Kok (21 points, six rebounds) and their fifth-year guard Sean Burke (18 points, five assists) simply shot the lights out. SFU was an effective 69% from the floor, making 29-of-52 including 14 three-pointers. Reading Howard Tsumura's gamer, it sounds like it was a little similar to Carleton-Ottawa on Wednesday, one team riding hot shooting to a big early lead, then sweating out a tough second half vs. a very talented opponent.

Kevin Shaw (15 points on 6-of-8) hit a three-ball with 2:11 left that put Simon Fraser ahead for good, and the Clan held UBC without a bucket for the duration.

Moser Award candidate Josh Whyte had 16 points and eight boards for the Thunderbirds, but did have an uncharacteristic six turnovers against three assists. Graham Bath had 16, but none of UBC's other starters cracked double digits.

Simon Fraser came in fourth in RPI and was playing at home. The No. 4 team in RPI should be decent odds to defeat the No. 1 team when they're playing in friendly environs. (In other words, yay, Pettapiece.)

Finishing first isn't everything, but UBC (13-1 CW Pacific) could really stand to win by at least four on Saturday and get a season-series split. Simon Fraser (12-2) plays Thompson Rivers twice and UVic once over the final two weekends in the Pac-D. The T-Birds' remaining two-gamer is vs. UVic and they also play Trinity Western at home, so if they bounce back Saturday, they'll be able to afford one loss.

As for the Top 10 rankings, Carleton should be No. 1 if it wins out at home this weekend. There will be some clamour to see St. FX go to No. 2, although UBC shouldn't be unduly punished if it ends up splitting a series on on the No. 7-ranked team's floor.

Related:
Shocker on Burnaby Mountain (Howard Tsumura, Little Man on Campus)

6 comments:

  1. Good for SFU, I understand it was an amazing game!

    But here's my beef with SFU... they're leaving the CIS for the "greener pastures" of the NCAA D2 right? I don't think they should be allowed to compete for the CIS title... sure allow them to play in league play for the sake of their Sr. athletes, etc. but they are turning their backs to Canadian Univ. Sports and we don't "owe" them anything... if they become a "Wildcard" candidate... I say the committe gives it to a school that is committed to Canadian Sports!

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  2. Few small changes. Bath is a starter and UBC plays Vic twice and TWU once. SFU executed their game plan to perfection and are a very good team in close games. CIS basketball is always good for the big comeback. UBC actually took the lead late in the fourth quarter but never quite figured out Kok who was lights out. As for the above comment, don't punish the SFU players from this year for a choice the school made. Plus three of their stars are fifth-year so next's year team will be completely different anyway.

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  3. The No. 4 team in RPI should be decent odds to defeat the No. 1 team when they're playing in friendly environs.

    Actually, I would have pegged UBC as an 80% favourite last night...so if you think "1 in 5" means "decent odds" then...yes, yay me.

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  4. 1 in 5, that's enough to throw a sawbuck down on.

    At 12:29: It's been corrected but the boxscore late last night didn't list Bath starting (i.e., with a * next to his name).

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  5. Based on the way UBC played on the road last weekend in Alberta, a Thursday night game against an extremely hot SFU team was probably closer to 60/40 in my books. SFU's hot shooting was the difference. If they are able to replicate on Saturday they could win again but UBC at least showed they are good enough to beat SFU even when they have an off night and SFU is on.

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  6. I don't understand this mentality that SFU must somehow be "punished"
    for having the audacity to leave the CIS.
    It should be pointed out that Simon Fraser competed against US schools
    for over 30 years in the NAIA before joining the CIS to compete in some sports.
    The only reason why SFU was playing CIS basketball, football and volleyball was
    because those teams they once competed against went D2 and they could not follow being a Canadian school.
    SFU has done nothing illegal or unethical in this whole process.
    To punish their student athletes for reasons which amount to
    nothing more than sheer spitefulness serves no useful purpose.
    In fact, such a ban might have invited legal action against the CIS and/or CW by SFU
    had those governing bodies elected to take such punitive action.
    Simon Fraser is leaving, this is their final year....get over it.
    The sky will not be falling.

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