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