Successful homecoming weekend capped off by mixed results at Brougham

Men’s and women’s basketball teams hit hardwood for homecoming

Kyle Morrison, Staff Writer

a man runs while dribbling a basketball
Jacky Chen
At the SPU Men’s Homecoming game, Sophomore Divant’e Moffitt takes his time dribbling down the court while he waits for Gabe Colosim0.

“O Canada” rang throughout the gymnasium as the Simon Fraser University women’s basketball team, from Burnaby, British Columbia got ready to take on Seattle Pacific University at Royal Brougham Pavilion. Simon Fraser came into Saturday with a 15-8 record, that includes a 10-3 ledger in conference play. SPU came in 7-14, with a 5-8 record in conference play. Despite being only 5-8, SPU started Saturday only one game behind Montana State Billings University for the sixth and final spot in the GNAC tournament.  


When the game began, many in the building probably thought the records were flipped. 


SPU came out on a torrent run, taking a 30-15 lead into the early second quarter. The Falcons came in with a clear strategy of attack against Simon Fraser’s man-on-man defense. Utilizing the pick-and-roll put Simon Fraser on their heels and allowed SPU to shoot 54.8% throughout the first half.  


Despite a 10-0 run from Simon Fraser in the second quarter, SPU rebounded and finished the first half with a 41-33 lead. It was in the second half when the Falcons game plan was exposed. Simon Fraser switched to a zone defense, taking away most of the passing lanes the Falcons enjoyed in the first half. By the end of the third quarter, the Falcons had only a one point lead. 


The fourth quarter was extremely competitive as both teams played hot potato with the lead.


The game finally seemed to take a decisive turn with 2:55 left in the fourth quarter, when Simon Fraser’s Jessica Jones, who was on fire from the three point line all night, hit what seemed like a 30-footer to put Simon Fraser up 67-66. 


The Falcons would never regain the lead and SPU ultimately fell 75-68. Natalie Hoff scored a career high 16 points on Saturday, but it was not enough to stop Jones, who had 21 points on seven three pointers, and the rest of the Simon Fraser attack. 


When asked about the loss, Falcons head coach Mike Simonson pointed out the positives in playing a top tier team as close as they did. 


“You gotta give Simon Fraser some credit, they are a really good basketball team and they rose to the occasion,” he said. “The first half, we executed our offense the best we have all year, I see that as a high note on offense and we can carry that over to our next game.”


Simonson also remains optimistic about the Falcons chances of getting into the GNAC tournament. 


“We still control our own destiny, in my opinion, to get into that conference tournament, and we just gotta take it one game at a time. We got a great matchup next week at Western Oregon. We beat them here at our place and, hopefully, we can go on the road in a tough environment as we get that next notch to achieve our goals for this season.”


Montana State Billings beat Concordia University Portland Saturday, putting SPU two games out of the final conference tournament spot, with six games to go. SPU will be back in action Thursday night at Western Oregon. 


There was a certain swagger in the air at Royal Brougham Pavilion as the SPU Falcons got ready to take on Concordia Portland Saturday. 


Many Falcons danced through their pregame warmup routine as “California Love” by 2Pac serenaded the full house of students, parents and alumni. While the pregame was fun, the game itself was a full-blown party.


SPU jumped out to a 22-10 lead on a Concordia Portland team that was 3-18 coming into the night. It seemed all too easy for the Falcons to exploit the Cavaliers zone defense as SPU made the nets splash with 15 of their first 22 points coming on the three ball. 


“They’re daring us to shoot it [three pointers] in zone,” sophomore guard Divonte Moffit said. “We moved the ball well and got our guys open shots in the right spots.”


Despite the early onslaught, Concordia held tough throughout the first half.


SPU held a 40-26 lead at halftime, which was a much closer margin than seemed appropriate, with the apparent domination the Falcons had unleashed in the first half. 


It was in the second half, that the Falcons showed the party was just getting started. The Falcons drained seven more threes and thoroughly dominated the Cavaliers with a 51-29 differential in the second half of the game. The Falcons ultimately won by a final score of 91-55. 


The Falcons finished with five players in double figures and were tethered by junior Guard Harry Cavell who had 17 points and 9 rebounds, while his teammate sophomore guard Divonte Moffit led the scoring with 19 points and also sprinkled in five assists. 


Despite a dominant homecoming win, both members of the Falcons’ star studded backcourt remained focused on the future goals of the season. 


“We just gotta stick to Falcon basketball everynight to achieve some of our goals which are to win the GNAC conference tournament and go further,” Moffit said. 


Harry Cavell echoed the same sentiment of his teammate after his impressive performance. 


“We have to treat every game like it’s an important one, I think we have six left and we have a really good chance to win (the GNAC) and we just gotta take care of business,” Cavell said.