SMU Men’s and Women’s Basketball Update
Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
After nearly 300 days, Saint Martin’s athletics is back! 2021 brought a change in the schedule for both the men’s and women’s basketball teams. In a season that has been plagued with numerous changes such as no fans in the stands and constant COVID-19 testing, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams are happy to be back on the court.
Since stepping foot on campus, junior Claire Dingus has done nothing but light up the stat sheet for the Saints. Dingus is now coming off back-to-back weeks in which she has received Greater Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) Player of the Week for women’s basketball. Dingus is averaging 15 points, 9.6 rebounds, and leads the team in nearly every major statistical category. Her 9.6 rebounds a game puts her on top of the leaderboards in the GNAC as her 15 points per game is ranked second. Right behind Dingus is sharpshooter Mallory Vivola who is averaging at 11 points per game, putting her at fourth in the GNAC. Vivola is also shooting three-pointers at 43 percent, putting her third in that respective category. With a shortened season, the Saints are already halfway through their schedule. They will host their next four contests in the Marcus Pavilion and look to boast a winning record as they are currently sitting at 3-4 on the season. In light of everything going on, the Saints also cracked the D2 Regional Poll, the first time under head coach Christy Martin. As of January 25, the Saints were ranked sixth trailing their uptown rivals, Seattle Pacific for the fifth spot on the list. Tierney Dedonatis has also shown her senior leadership boasting a 3.4 average in assist per game to lead the team.
As for the men, they are off to a shaky start. Considering how tough the past year has been, the team looks to bounce back and look forward to a fresh month of games. After competing in six games in the month of January, the team looks to get their first win against Seattle Pacific. A bright spot on the team is Saint of the Month, Tyke Thompson. A transfer from South Puget Sound Community College, Thompson is averaging 14.2 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. On the opposite wing, Alexander Schumacher is having a productive year as well. Schumacher is averaging 16.6 points per game and 4.2 rebounds per game. The bulk of the Saints scoring comes from these two guards as they lead the team in almost every offensive statistic. Marky Adams has also solidified himself as a reliable defender for the Saints as he leads the Saints in blocks with 11.
Both teams look to finish the shortened season strong as the men wrap-up play at the end of February and the women conclude with their final game being the first week in March against Central Washington. Unfortunately, there will be no GNAC championship tournament because of the pandemic, yet the motivation to finish the season on a good note is something all athletes strive for.