BURNABY — Welcome to the Cult of Three.
It’s long been one of the most identifiable parts of their game, but on Wednesday the three-point hoop defined the DNA of the Simon Fraser Clan women’s basketball team.
When redshirt freshman guard Jessica Jones drained a trey with 2:54 remaining to put the Clan ahead 85-46 against San Francisco’s visiting Academy of Art Urban Knights, SFU had set a new conference record for three-pointers made in a game with 18.
The Clan (4-2), which finished 18-of-35 from distance (51.4 per cent) broke the old Great Northwest Athletic Conference mark they shared with two other teams on their way to an 88-49 win over the Urban Knights (0-4)
“We had no idea about it,” said Clan guard Tia Tsang, who shot 6-of-8 from beyond the arc and finished with 21 points. “I think coach knew but he didn’t want to jinx it.”
(Wanna see all 18 treys? Producer Gabe Lynn has them all below in order)
Simon Fraser was so productive from distance that it’s 18-of-35 performance outstripped its 12-of-27 performance from inside the arc.
Point guard Tayler Drynan (4-of-10), forward Sophie Swant (3-of-3), forward Nicole Vander Helm (3-of-6) and Jones (2-of-7) also got in on the three-point act.
Vander Helm led the winners with 23 points, while Swant added to her 20 points with nine rebounds, six steals, five assists and four blocks.
Tsang had 21 points and seven rebounds, and Drynan 12 points, eight assists and no turnovers in 35 minutes.
“I think we can shoot the ball,” understated Langford as his team won for the fourth time in five games. “Obviously there are days when you can’t, but we get it from a lot of different people.”
Late in the game, Langford leaned over to Jones on the bench and told his redshirt freshman guard to shoot it.
Jones was 1-for-6 at the time from distance, but her final salvo turned out to be the record breaker.
“People have to close out when we make the extra pass,” said Langford. “As a result we get a lot of assists and we get a lot of open looks. I say that you can’t play the 2 (off guard), 3 (small forward) or 4 (power forward) on our team if you can’t shoot the three.”
In its 79-65 win Saturday over Cal Baptist, the Clan recorded 20 assists on 27 made field goals. The trend continued Wednesday with 24 assists on 30 made field goals.
“I do think that we feed off one another’s energy,” added Tsang. “When one person is hot, we all seem to get hot. It’s something that gives our team energy. If we’re ever down, we shoot threes and we get right back into it.”
Jazzlyn Brewster led Academy of Art with 13 points while Helena Orts and Pre’Franz Dominick added 12 each.
SFU opens the GNAC season Nov. 28 when it travels to Bellingham to face the Western Washington Vikings.
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