Women, men seek basketball gold

Mar 07, 2002, vol. 23, no. 5
By Marianne Meadahl

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Basketball could become SFU's golden game on both women's and men's fronts if their winning ways continue through this weekend (March 7-10).

Riding high on an undefeated 32-0 record, including a two-game sweep of the defending national champions Regina Cougars March 2-3 in the Canada West final, the SFU women are seeded first going into this week's Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national tournament, at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The quarter-finals get under way on March 7.

SFU will play eighth seeded McMaster University at 8 p.m. (eastern standard time). The game will be broadcast live via the Internet on McMaster's website starting at 5 p.m. local time. Two semifinal games will be held Friday night, with the bronze medal game scheduled for Saturday night. The championship game will be played at 6 p.m. (EST) and will be carried live on TSN.

The women came close but never won a title while competing in the U.S.-based National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA). Headed by a new coach, Bruce Langford, a victory for the team would be particularly sweet for players, who now compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU). The team was defeated in the semifinals in its premier season in the CIAU last year. Playoff action to date has drawn large crowds to games on campus, including fans such as SFU President Michael Stevenson.

On March 8, the men's basketball team will play second seeded Brandon University in Edmonton in a bid to qualify for the CIS Nationals. They are seeded third and if they beat Brandon, have a solid chance to win the title.

Meanwhile in the swimming pool, the women's title once again came down to the last few races at the NAIA swimming and diving championships held March 2-3 at SFU. The two-time defending SFU women's team captured its third title in a row. The Seattle University Redhawks ended the Clan's three year reign atop the men's standings.

SFU won over Seattle University by just 53 points (488-435) with California Baptist in a very close third at 398.

SFU won just three races on this the final day of competition, but managed three seconds and two third place finishes as well to garner the much needed championship points.

The highlight for SFU was the 200 meter backstroke, which saw 2001 champion and meet record holder Jennifer Kasyua return from an elbow injury which had sidelined her. Despite being taped up and in pain, she broke her own record, winning the event in a time of 2:20.34. SFU's other record setting performance came in the final event of the championships, the 400 meter freestyle relay.

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