The Lumberjacks opened their season with a pair of non-conference victories over Western Washington University and Simon Fraser University as part of the CCAA/GNAC Challenge on the campus of Cal State Dominguez Hills this past weekend.
The squad started things off on Friday by squeaking past Western Washington 70-69 off a pair of late free throws by junior Jaden Edwards with three seconds remaining in regulation. The 6’4” guard scored 16 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to record his first double-double in a Lumberjack uniform. AJ Sims scored a team high 17 points off the bench to lead a balanced offense that saw four ‘Jacks score in double digits.
Head coach Tae Norwood talked about the team’s effort in a postgame press release and described how excited he was with the season start.
“I thought our guys were resilient down the stretch,” the coach said. “We overcame a five-point deficit with less two-minutes to go in the game. Their effort was a microcosm of who we are as a unit. We preach toughness, selflessness and a commitment to excellence. Tonight, I learned a lot about this young team. They refused to quit!”
Norwood’s squad capped the weekend with another close victory on Saturday, overcoming a small halftime deficit to defeat Simon Fraser University 63-59.
A stout Lumberjack defense headlined the victory, with the team holding Simon Fraser to just a 38.6% field goal percentage and a measly 22% from beyond the 3-point line. Edwards recorded another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds to lead the ‘Jacks in both statistical categories.
“I thought the key to tonight’s win was our resiliency and depth,” Norwood said. “John (Riddick), Amari (Green) and Alonzo (Washington) gave us a much-needed spark off the bench.”
The Lumberjacks (2-0, 0-0 CCAA) return home for their first official game at Lumberjack Arena in nearly two years with another non-conference match against Lincoln University on Saturday, Nov. 20.
Michelle Bento-Jackson’s squad traveled to Seattle to play a pair of non-conference games on the campus of Seattle Pacific University this past weekend. The Lumberjacks dropped both contests, losing to Western Washington 56-68 on Friday, Nov. 12 and dropping a nailbiter to Seattle Pacific, 52-54 on Saturday, Nov. 13.
Coach Bento-Jackson attributed Friday’s loss to a lapse of defensive concentration.
“There were pockets of time where our defense was fairly solid,” Bento-Jackson said. “However, it is a 40 minute game. We need to fully understand the importance of each and every possession and can not afford mental lapses in our defensive execution. Overall, we had too many careless turnovers and our offensive execution struggled.”
Citlaly Davalos scored 16 off the bench to lead the Lumberjack offense.
Saturday’s game saw the ‘Jacks go on a 10-2 run to take the lead 52-51 with two minutes remaining. However, Seattle Pacific’s Hailey Marlow nailed a jumper to put the Falcons back up 52-53. The Lumberjack’s next possession came up short and the team was forced to foul. A free-throw by Kaprice Boston sealed the loss for the green and gold.
Once again, Coach Bento-Jackson preached execution as part of the team loss.
“We put ourselves in a position to win the game,” the coach said. “Unfortunately, we had quite a few mistakes with execution down the stretch. It is the first time this team has experienced end of game situations and we will absolutely learn from this.”
The team (0-2, 0-0 CCAA) remains on the road with a midweek matchup against Dominican University on Wednesday, Nov. 17 in San Rafael, CA.
The Lumberjacks traveled to Foster City, CA to participate against strong Division I competition at the Head of the Lagoon. The squad raced in four different categories: Collegiate 4+, Novice 4+, Collegiate 8+ and Novice 8+. For many on the roster, it was their first taste of collegiate rowing competition.
Head coach Matt Weise said he was impressed with the race results, and stressed the importance of getting out aggressive early on.
“Stepping on the gas at the beginning of the race was the goal of ours heading into this race,” Weise said. “The experience piece is what we’re missing as for most of our rowers this is the first time being in this environment. I am extremely pleased with how we performed this afternoon.”
Both collegiate teams finished 8th in their respective categories, while the Novice 4+ squad placed third. The highest placing Lumberjack team of the weekend was the Novice 8+ team who placed second behind UC Davis.