SFU sophomore earns conference D award

The Simon Fraser University's Ozioma Nwabuko has often been the last line of defence during the past season.

The sophomore forward is a big reason why SFU enters this weekend's third seed at the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championships in Bellingham.

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Nwabuko is also a big part of the team's list of honourees, announced this week as part of the GNAC championship week.

The Port Coquitlam native was named the GNAC's Defensive Player of the Year and a member of the All-GNAC second team, while senior forward Sophie Swant was the Clan's lone representative on the first team.

Junior point guard Tayler Drynan and sophomore guard Jessica Jones, meanwhile, were selected as honourable mentions in the conference's awards list.

Returning from injury this season after missing the entire 2017-18 season with an injury, Nwabuko played all 20 games for SFU this past season and averaged a team-leading 6.3 rebounds per contest, while also corralling 32 steals. She also finished the season with the GNAC's second-best shooting percentage, averaging .562. Earning the first four double-doubles of her career this year, Nwabuko set a career high for scoring against Central Washington on Jan. 24, putting up 24 points in a 79-69 win.

Also playing all 20 conference games, Swant led SFU in scoring with 15 points per game, the fourth highest pace in the GNAC. Excelling in all statistical categories, she was amongst the top 15 players in rebounding, steals, blocks, three-pointers and free throw shooting.

Swant put up a career-high 34-point performance against Seattle Pacific University on Feb. 14 in a lopsided 82-61 home win.

Running the floor on offence, Drynan finished the season tied for the most assists per game with 4.8. She also tied with Jones for the most three-pointers, with the duo averaging 2.3 per game each. With 12.1 points per game, Jones was second on the team in scoring while averaging just under 26 minutes a night.

Wrapping up their regular season last weekend with a 13-7 conference record and a 17-10 overall record, the Simon Fraser women are the third seed heading into the GNAC Championship this weekend in Bellingham, Wash.

The Clan will play host Western Washington University today (Thursday) at 2:15 p.m. In two games this season, SFU is 0-2 against the Vikings.


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