Clan host No. 2 Cal Poly Pomona in home opener
After two wins on the road last weekend, the Simon Fraser University Clan women’s basketball team is prepared for what will likely by the toughest non-conference game of the season, and one that may have major post-season implications.
The Clan returns to the West Gym this Sunday, Nov. 23 at 1:00 p.m., hosting nationally ranked Cal Poly Pomona in Division II non-conference action, where they will look to upset the Broncos and extend their winning streak early in the schedule.
“We need to compete,” says head coach Bruce Langford. “They are very good on the boards and are physical players so we need to get after it and match them on the boards and in terms of physicality. They also shoot the ball well from several players, so we will need to take away their three-point shots.”
Through two games the Clan is led by Great Northwest Athletic Conference Pre-Season Player of the Year, Erin Chambers, senior guard Katie Lowen, and junior forward Meg Wilson.
In their season-opening weekend the three combined for 122 points, Chambers shooting .525 from the field for 61 points between the two games.
The Broncos, who are ranked second in the NCAA in the inaugural USA Today “Coaches” poll of 2014, are currently 1-2 in non-conference play, suffering losses to Point Loma and Azusa Pacific, by three- and four-point margins, respectively.
Broncos’ forward Jada Blackwell, a 2013 All-American and 2014 NCAA Division II Pre-Season Player of the Year, averages 25.3 points per game for Cal Poly Pomona, while guard Ariel Marsh is averaging 16.7 points per contest.
“Offensively they have several different looks, while on defence they run an effective zone,” Langford says. “We need to make good decisions with our shots and protect the ball.”
Simon Fraser, which was eliminated in last season’s Round of 32, will be looking to continue winning in the non-conference season, as wins against the top California Collegiate Athletic Association teams could have implications on playoff hopes.
Following Sunday’s game against the Broncos, the Clan hosts Western Colorado State Monday followed by a double-header against Cal State Dominguez Hills in December to close out the non-conference schedule.
“I think the girls are excited to play a team of this caliber in our gym,” says Langford. “I expect there may be some nerves, but it’s all about playing big games and preparing ourselves for the conference season and hopefully the postseason. We have a great opportunity Sunday, and it will be an exciting game to be a part of.”
Simon Fraser hopes to have a full house at Sunday’s home opener, which begins at 1:00 p.m. in the West Gym, and there are plenty of reasons to come out and support the Clan.
The SFU dance team will perform, there will be spirited cheering from the cheerleading team, and of course, there will be prizes for fans to win.
There will be an alumni section in the upper mezzanine for women’s basketball alumni and their families, so fans are invited to catch up with the stars of the past, and cheer on the stars of today.
Tickets to the game are free for SFU students, while adults are $10 and children and seniors are $2. Full ticketing information is available at athletics.sfu.ca
To prepare for Sunday’s clash, check out the 2014-15 Women’s Basketball Team intro video here: http://youtu.be/I1qMLLjQirQ