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The Observer

Wildcats take on Simon Fraser

Clayton Huber, Staff Reporter

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CWU Women’s Basketball is set to face Simon Fraser University  (SFU) on Feb. 17 at 5:15 p.m. in Burnaby, B.C. The Wildcats are coming off a hot January, where they went 8-2 and had a six-game win streak, one of which was over SFU on Jan. 18.

CWU is currently sitting in fifth place in the GNAC with a 10-6 record. With four games left in the regular season, CWU needs to win two of these four games to make it into the conference playoffs.

“We have had some ups and downs, but overall we’re having a good season and staying in the top half of the conference,” senior forward Taylor Baird said.

Baird is fifth in the GNAC in rebounding, averaging seven per game. Baird has scored 12, 14 and seven points in her last three games.

SFU is currently 5-10, which eliminates them from making the playoffs. SFU’s final games will be against four teams that are either already in the playoffs or making a final push for the playoffs.

“In our past matchups, [SFU] has always been a tough team,” Baird said. “They’re good shooters so we really have to work at taking the 3-point shots away from them.”

SFU has one of the league’s top scorers, junior forward Sophie Swant. Swant averages 14.4 points per game and is ranked seventh in the GNAC. She is also ranked second in free throw percentage, shooting .907 percent.

CWU also has some powerful shooters. Sophomore guard Alexis Pana is second in the GNAC in 3-point percentage, shooting .433 percent and is eighth in overall field goal percentage, shooting .478 percent.

“Alexis Pana has really stepped up with her shooting and play making abilities, she has been great for us this year,” head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley said.

The season comes down to these last few games. CWU will first have to face Western Washington University on Feb. 15, who they beat earlier this year on Jan. 20 77-73. They will finish their regular season at home against Alaska University Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage University (AAU).

AAU has already clinched a playoff spot with a conference record of 15-1 and is ranked first in the GNAC.

This is Richardson-Thornley’s first season as head coach and is just a few games from a playoff berth.

“I like where our team is at and the improvements we’ve made. These last couple weeks are crucial to see where we lie within the GNAC conference,” Richardson-Thornley said.

For senior guard Jasmin Edwards, these are the last four regular season games she will play as a Wildcat and as the season ends, CWU is on the edge of making the playoffs. Edwards has been one of the teams best scorers for two years now.

“As my senior season is coming to an end I just want to finish as well as we can,” Edwards said. “I’m leaving everything out on the floor and doing my best to help the team have a successful season and end… on a good note.”


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Wildcats take on Simon Fraser