Basketball team wins national title

Mar 21, 2002, vol. 23, no. 6
By Marianne Meadahl



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They played a perfect season, but no win was sweeter than the one leading to the trophy acknowledging their national championship.

SFU's women's basketball team won its first national championship title March 10 after defeating the second ranked team from Laval 66-51.

The Clan finishes the season with an incredible 35-0 record. It's the team's second season of competing in the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) league.

“It feels very good,” is the simple reaction of new coach Bruce Langford, recently named CIS coach of the year. “There's a sense of relief.”

Playing in her final collegiate game, senior point guard Teresa Kleindienst was named CIS national tournament most valuable player. Three other starters were also playing their final game as veteran members of the Clan, including Jennifer Van De Walle, Kirsten Wood and Gaby Salazar.

“This has been our goal all season,” says Kleindienst. “We hoped for a storybook ending.”

Teammate Jessica Kaczowka, who was chosen the CIS All-Canadian player of the year for her regular season performance, was the top shooter in the title game, with 28 points and 13 rebounds.

In the past four years, the women's team twice previously qualified for national championship final play while competing in the U.S. National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA), under former coach Alison McNeill.

Meanwhile, the men's basketball team fell short in its bid to progress to the national playoffs, losing to eventual national champion Alberta Golden Bears at the Canada West playoffs.

The two teams had traded leads and were tied at half time. Overall, the men's season ends with a record of 20 wins, including the inaugural Pacific division championship, and 14 losses.

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