Saint Martin’s U returns to winning ways as seniors celebrated


Saint Martin’s University celebrated Seniors Night last Saturday after having two close defeats in a row, including a 79-80 heartbreaker against Alaska Anchorage two nights earlier at home.

It was apt that the squad seniors led the Saints back to the winning column as they defeated the University of Alaska Fairbanks, 86-67, in their final home game at the Marcus Pavilion in Lacey.

This win served as a tribute for the squad’s seven seniors who are playing their final year for the Saints, with all of them scoring apart from Markus Lenker, who had still contributed three boards and an assist despite blanking in the scoring department in his limited minutes of play.

Among the seniors, veteran guard Tyke Thompson flirted close to a triple-double with his nine points, 11 rebounds, and seven assists, while star guard Kyle Greeley almost got a double-double with his nine baskets and nine rebounds.

Senior center Shakeem Alcindor is still a menace in the paint despite flirting with foul trouble the whole game as he got seven points, which included a highlight alley-oop slam from Jaden Nielsen-Skinner, being one of the latter’s six assists in the game.

Shakeem Alcindor dunks from an alley-oop in their win vs Alaska Fairbanks.
Shakeem Alcindor dunks from an alley-oop in their win vs Alaska Fairbanks.

On the rest of the team, junior guard Marcel Stevens led the scoring for the Saints as he had 16 points on 6/11 field goals. Eleven out of the thirteen in the roster, including the six seniors, scored for the Saints in a gallant display of team effort at home.

“It’s kinda crazy, and surreal. It feels like a blink of the eye.” said senior guard Kyle Greeley reminiscing about his playing career here in SMU in the post-match interviews. “We’re trying to chase a lot still in the season left, but it was just crazy that three years went by just like that.”

The Saints dominated from the opening tip-off, as they took advantage of a misfiring start from the visitors. Their tenacious man-to-man marking on the defense forced 13 turnovers in the first ten minutes, while their fast-break aggression launched a flying 19-2 lead in the first eight minutes of the opening salvo.

By that time, the visitors should have thrown the towel.

The Kanooks finally got their groove later in the half, but it was too late as the Saints maintained their discipline and continued to widen the gap to gain a whooping lead at halftime, 40-21.

Since then, the Saints continued to march in and sustained their winning momentum up until the closing seconds of the game, as the perfect send-off was given to the seniors in celebration of their night.

“A lot of these seniors pulled our program from the flames. We were really in a bad spot at dead last place. Marcus and Tyke was with us that year, and Kyle joined a losing program in COVID year.” said head coach Allan Landon in his post-match tribute for the seniors in the squad. “Their desire to build something from scratch should be recognized.”

This win also punctuates the celebrations at home as earlier in the afternoon, the Saints’ women counterparts also battered Alaska Fairbanks’ women’s team in a dominant 71-61 victory, as five seniors from the SMU women’s team were also given honor in the festivities.

The Saints will head on the road for their final two games of the regular season before they compete at the GNAC Tournament in Ellensburg in two weeks. It all starts in E-Burg on Thursday, with a matchup against Central Washington.


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