You remember the line in the Westside Connection song ‘Gangsta Nation’?
Third verse? Ice Cube… ‘I don’t holla at these hoes that sing like Ashanti/ Body like Beyonce/ Face like Andre (uhhh).’
Well last night’s smackdown that the Simon Fraser University Clan laid on the Kwantlen Polytechnic University Eagles had a face like Andre, and after the clock wound down, all I could say was uhhh.
Javari Williams dropped 19 points to go along with seven rebounds and three steals to lead the Clan to an 87-39 win over the Eagles Saturday night at SFU’s West Gym.
“We’ve played top-10 teams in the NCAA and had five point games with them and then we’ve had a five-point game with Douglas [College],” said SFU head coach James Blake. “So we kind of play to whoever our competition is, but every once in a while you see how good we can be.”
It looked like it might have actually been an interesting game as SFU held a slim 10-7 lead in the opening minutes, but then the Clan went on a massive 25-5 run during the bulk of the first half.
Williams, the Clan’s ultra-athletic swingman, could be found in his usual workspace above the rim. The 6-5 one-man wrecking crew started the run with a Jumpman pose and finished it with another one-hander from the baseline, extending SFU’s lead to 48-17 at the half.
Kwantlen struggled to get any consistent form of offense, with not a single Eagle scoring more than one field goal in the first 20 minutes.
“A PacWest team has to play at an elite level, their best game possible, to come in and knock a Division II team off,” said first year Kwantlen head coach Stefon Wilson. “I mean I coached here last year, and the team is even way better than when I coached here.”
In the second half, the Eagles looked as if they could make the match respectable, grabbing nine steals and forcing the Clan into 11 turnovers, but fast breaks weren’t translating into buckets on the other end.
Kwantlen’s starting point guard and the country’s (CCAA) scoring leader, A.J. Adusei, managed to pick five pockets in the second half but failed to convert, as the Eagles only recorded a mere two points off the fast break for the entire game.
“Sometimes he feels that if he doesn’t score, we won’t score,” said Wilson. “And sometimes it’s true. But on those transition situations, when we did get the steals, it hurts us when we don’t score, whether it’s A.J. scoring or whoever.”
The exclamation point came just over three minutes after the break, when the lightning-quick Adusei ripped the ball from Williams and went coast-to-coast for what looked like an easy deuce.
The only problem?
Williams was faster.
That was the theme of the game as SFU suffocated Kwantlen on almost every possession, proving to be too big, too strong and too athletic to grant the Eagles any easy buckets. The visitors went 2-18 from three-point range and shot only 20 percent from the field.
Besides the big game from Williams, guard Justin Brown contributed with 17 points on 7-11 shooting and forward Jordan Sergent bullied his way to a double-double of 12 points and 11 boards. Adusei led the Eagles with 13 points, six steals and five rebounds.
After dropping their last two in a row on the road, the Clan are enjoying this little boost as they get set to play five of their next seven games atop Burnaby Mountain.
“We kinda crapped the bed on our last couple, you know just playing bad basketball, playing sloppy. Our guys are thinking about Christmas and exams a little bit before the task was done,” said Blake. “So it’s gonna be nice to play at home and have our guys not be in exams and not on the road. I gave them a pep talk today and said ‘Guys I’ve lost you for the last two weeks but I know I’m going to get you back tonight. And then we’ll really have some home cooking here for the next three weeks and you guys can actually go home and eat with your family and that kind of thing. Rejuvenate, get your feet underneath you, get your legs back, get your minds right, then come back.’”
As for Kwantlen, who have now lost their last three games away from home, they look ahead to 2012 with seven of their remaining nine PacWest battles taking place on their home court.
“It’s huge. I mean we’re the only team in the league that had one home game in the first semester,” said Wilson. “To shoot on our same baskets for seven out of nine games, were excited about that and we think it’s going help us get ready for the playoffs.”
-Kwantlen’s starting lineup went 4-33 from the field.
-SFU’s superfan/master heckler added “Hide Yo Kids, Hide Yo Wife” to his repertoire of free-throw psych-outs. Previous crowd favourites include: “In the Jungle” “Here Comes the Bride” and Rebecca Black’s “Friday”.
-Kwantlen’s final bucket came with 4:52 remaining in the second half.
-Blake on the difference between SFU and other local schools: “We can continue to separate ourselves from CIS schools and the Canadian schools. I know a couple coaches that have already told me that ‘Well if you guys were in the CIS you’d definitely be top ten.’ And it’s good because I know that the top ten teams in the CIS are pretty good. That was a league I played in and coached in before I went to the states.”
-Wilson on his first year as the Eagle’s bench boss: “I’m enjoying it, I really am. It’s definitely an experience going from NCAA rules to the FIBA rules on the court, that’s definitely an adjustment, but we’re all learning, we’re all getting better.”