The Western Oregon Wolves put on an impressive shooting display Thursday night in Burnaby, pulling away from in the second half for a 96-71 win, spoiling SFU’s GNAC regular season opener. Playing in front of a boisterous home crowd, the Clan came out on fire, shooting 58 percent from the field in the opening half, led by guard Kamar Selam who scored 15 of his game high 20 points in the opening half. However, SFU still trailed 50-45 at the break.
Western Oregon, who entered play as the #13 ranked school in NCAA Division 2 men’s basketball, found their form in the second half. The Wolves shot a blistering 8-12 from beyond the arc over the game’s final 20 minutes, cruising to their seventh straight win to start the season.
The Wolves bench outscored the Clan’s reserves 44-17, and SFU head coach Steve Hanson says it’s tough facing a team that has such good depth coming off the bench, “they’ve got a good rotation of 10 or 11 guys, and we’re not quite as deep as them and you could just see us wear down a little in the second half, couldn’t keep pace.” The Wolves are the favourites to win the Great Northwest Athletic Conference this year, and Coach Hanson says Thursday’s loss serves as a good measuring stick for where his team needs to be to be successful, “the score indicates where we’re at and where they’re at. They’re deep, experienced, lots of good seniors. And you know our young guys are going to help us by the end of the year, but they’ve got to learn the tough way, get on the court, get a little beat up by some good players like they did tonight.”
The game also marked a homecoming for Wolves guard Dustin Triano, whose father is one of the most recognizable names in Canadian basketball. Jay Triano is currently the head coach of the NBA’s Phoenix Suns, and starred as both a coach and player at Simon Fraser University. Dustin is his first year with Western Oregon after spending the previous four seasons, including one as a redshirt, at Gonzaga University. After graduating he decided to continue his studies, and play out his final year of NCAA eligibility with the Wolves. It just so happened that his new team’s regular season opener brought Triano back to the gym where his father once reigned.
Dustin, who played his high school basketball at South Delta Secondary School, said the chance to start the season back at his dad’s alma mater made it extra meaningful, “It was cool, I know he’s a legend around here, but I’m glad we got the win … it was really nice to see some old friends and everyone coming out tonight being so supportive.”
The Clan continues their regular season schedule Saturday night when they play host to Concordia University.
BC Native Dustin Triano makes his homecoming debut.
Written By: Jon Kennedy