This Sunday, April 13th, the University of Texas will be facing off against the PNCLL’s best, Simon Fraser.
Even though Simon Fraser is technically the home team, both teams will be forced to travel to Lake Oswego, Oregon to play at a neutral site.
Simon Fraser is 11-2 overall, and undefeated in conference play. Their only slip-ups were due to number three ranked BYU and number one ranked Arizona State.
The BYU loss was down to the wire, while there loss to the number one team in the nation wasn’t so graceful. Their key to success is definitely their team chemistry.
It’s simple; they just work as a unit.
They are scoring close to 16 points a game while only allowing 6. These numbers are outstanding! The only time they allowed a team to score in the double digits was to the number one team in the nation Arizona State. This was all due to a very slow start by Simon Fraser, where they let up seven points in the first quarter alone.
The University of Texas, on the other hand, is 9-4 and second in the LSA South. They haven’t been able to put up as many points as Simon Fraser, but have also been only allowing around 6 points per game. Every time they have let up double digits has been due to a loss to a top 20 opponent. This defense is easily led by senior captains, Turner Kerr and Jordan Lee. With Jordan Lee in cage and Turner Kerr at pole, it’s very difficult to score on this experienced defense.
Both of these teams definitely have had tough schedules and have had experience in their fare shares of close games, but this game will be won by defense. Whichever team’s defense comes out to play for four quarters and even possible overtime, will definitely get the win.
I believe that Simon Fraser’s unit of a team will be able to take this one away. Their offense will be able to slow down the game and control the game, so their defense won’t have trouble stopping Texas’ offense.
Division I Projected Weekend MVP– Tyler Kirkby
The PNCLL DII has been a little messy this year. Two teams that have definitely taken a step backwards this year are the University of Portland and Gonzaga University. Both teams were top contenders to be the PNCLL DII champions last year, but this year they are struggling to keep a record above .500.
Gonzaga started off hot, but is currently on a 0-3 run. They are still first in the PNCLL DII North, but they have been in a huge slump. In two weekends, they have loss to Idaho, Western Oregon and Montana State. All of these games were winnable games for Gonzaga, but they couldn’t work together as a team. The Zags gave up the most points they have given up so far this season, and scored the least amount of points they have scored yet this season.
The University of Portland is currently on a three game winning streak and has been slowly finding their synergy. Ever since their 20 to 11 loss to Western Oregon, they have been blowing their opponents out of the water. Their offense has not stopped scoring, which has given their defense the opportunity to shut down their opponents. The O has only been held to a single digit game once this season, and that was all the way back on March 1st.
This game will be an extremely interesting one for multiple reasons. Neither of these teams has won in a close game this year, and there is also a chance that these teams will see each other again during playoffs later this season. These teams need to focus on the now though.
I believe that Gonzaga will come out hungry for a win and beat this streaky Pilot team. Gonzaga isn’t used to losing three games in a row, and is itching to break the ice with their first win in a while. Each team will come out fighting, but Gonzaga will play until the end and finish strong.
Division II Projected Weekend MVP– Kevin Weigand