Cap looks to bounce back after exhibition loss to SFU

SFU guard Javari Williams goes up for an uncontested two-handed flush against Capilano University on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Williams had 32 points, six rebounds and five assists in the exhibition game. - Brian Jones Photo

Sometimes A lot of the time, waiting until the second half to turn it on doesn’t work. The Capilano Blues found that out the hard way last night.

Sophomore guard Javari Williams poured in 32 points, along with six rebounds and five assists, leading the Simon Fraser University Clan to a 102-81 win over the Capilano University Blues Wednesday night at SFU’s West Gym.

“I really think it was just how the game started, “ said Blues head coach Jordan Yu. “I don’t know if our guys were intimidated or not, but we were not jelling at all in the beginning of the game.”

Capilano kept it close in the early going, only trailing 20-14 with about 10 minutes left in the first half, due in large part to a ton of Clan turnovers.

But after that initial back-and-forth, SFU made a 16-2 run over the next five minutes, punctuated by two back-to-back thunderous dunks by Williams.

Williams choice on the first one? After grabbing a steal at the other end, he dribbled down uncontested and finished with a monster two-hander. (See above)

And the other? The very next play saw Clan point guard Matt Raivio deliver an almost-perfect cross-court lob, forcing Williams into a tomahawk that looked as hard to complete as it probably was.

- Brian Jones Photo

If the pictures aren’t enough, here’s some footage courtesy of SFU’s Derek Hansen.

The home crowd may have been a tad-bit excited at this point.

The Clan held that 20-point cushion up until the end of the first half, with the Blues trailing 55-35, and the start of the second half was just as rough for the Blues.

“A lot of unforced turnovers, we weren’t playing our normal defense, a lot of offensive boards,” said Yu. “I mean they got 21 offensive rebounds, which is unbelievable.”

But Capilano battled back, with second-year point guard and reigning provincial rookie-of-the-year James Lum, as well as third-year University of Victoria transfer Omid Davani, leading the way.

The Blues pushed the ball at every opportunity and cut the lead to just nine, bringing the score to 76-67 with a little less than nine minutes left in the game.

Davani was hitting whatever he wanted at this point, finishing with 17 points on 75 per cent shooting, including three of three from deep.

SFU however, not ready to completely blow a 20 point margin, boosted their lead back up to double digits and kept it that way for the rest of the night. The last five minutes saw a few more highlight-dunks from Williams, who had over five in the game.

Junior point guard Matt Raivio, a transfer by way of Santa Rosa Junior College, chipped in with 20 points and four steals for the Clan.

Lum, with an almost identical stat line to Raivio, led Capilano in scoring with 21 points to go along with four steals. He struggled from his usual office beyond the arc, hitting only one of four.

Despite it being an out-of-conference exhibition for both teams, Yu isn’t seeing any downside to the bonus court time.

“You know some people say it might hurt you, you might get a couple guys injured, or your confidence might waver a bit, but I think it’s great,” he said.  “You always want to play the best competition. All year long, even in exhibitions, we’ve been playing top-notch teams like UBC, SFU, Western Washington, so I think it’s great for our guys.”

The Clan now head down south of the border for a pair of matches this weekend against Humboldt State and Southern Oregon, while Capilano is set to play the University of Northern British Columbia on Saturday.

Although the Blues rolled over UNBC in exhibition play earlier in the month, they are by no means ready to pencil in another victory.

“Let’s be honest, it’s not going to be an easy game. No game in our league is going to be easy this year,” said Yu.

But in regards to the difference in level of play between an NCAA squad and a fellow PacWest foe, Yu is a little more optimistic.

“We were trying to do some things defensively against SFU, which we’re going to be doing against UNBC. So it might not have worked against SFU,” he laughed. “But I hope it works against UNBC.”



-The game was played according to NCAA basketball rules, including two 20-minute halves, as well as a 35-second shot clock.

-SFU attempted 80 field goals, compared to Capilano at 58.

-Davani places fifth in scoring for the PacWest, averaging 17.7 points in three games.

-SFU destroyed Capilano in second-chance points, 27-4.

-Capilano missed 13 free-throws, going 12-25 from the line.

-Lum and Raivio had unbelievably similar stat lines:

Lum – 34 min, 21 pts, 6 assists, four steals, 80 per cent from FT, one 3-ball.

Raivio – 32 min, 20 pts, 4 assists, four steals, 83 per cent from FT, one 3-ball.

-When I hear the name Raivio, all I can think of is Gonzaga’s point guard in their 2006 sweet-sixteen run, and the fact that he ended any chance of comeback in this memorable game.


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