Heading into this game, Simon Fraser was riding a four-game winning streak and winner of 12 of the last 13 games. In this one, however, they struggled throughout. When coach Bruce Langford was questioned after the game, he simply said “I didn’t think we were ready to play.”
Things started well for the Clan, as Elisa Homer nailed an open three-pointer right after tip-off. Everything after that, however, seemed to come with difficulty for both teams. Coming off a career night in which she played 34 minutes, Ellen Kett’s fatigue showed early as she went 0–6 from the field in the first half. She was still able to have a positive impact on the game, however, with back-to-back beautiful assists to Samantha Beauchamp to give the Clan a 13–8 lead early. While offensive deficiencies were noticeable, Simon Fraser finished the first quarter with a 13–10 lead.
The second quarter was more of the same for both teams. They remained neck and neck throughout the frame, with a focus on the defensive end. Central Washington took a three-point lead near the end of the frame after a Rachel Lorentson layup. Simon Fraser countered, and a Beauchamp layup gave Simon Fraser a 27–26 lead heading into the half. In what was an ugly first half for the Clan, in which they shot 35.5% from the field, defense is what kept them in the game.
Ozi Nwabuko’s energy on the defensive end was noticeable, as she played a team-high 19 minutes in the first half while guarding the opposing point guard Jasmin Edwards — holding her to 1–5 shooting. “I thought her defence was really good in the first half,” said coach Langford.
This grind-it-out style of basketball would continue into the second half. After a turnover to start the quarter for Simon Fraser, Nwabuko got in the lane to score on two straight possessions. In the sixth minute, a Sadie Mensing converted and-one gave the visiting side a 35–34 lead, before Rachel Fradgley and Meg Wilson scored on back-to-back possessions to regain the edge. Going into the fourth quarter, the game was 45–44 for Simon Fraser.
The game would not be decided in the fourth, however, as Mensing hit a deep three to tie the game 60–60 with six seconds remaining. After a Simon Fraser timeout to advance the ball, they were unable to convert on the inbound play. The game would be decided in overtime.
“I didn’t think we were ready to play.”
– head coach Bruce Langford
Simon Fraser’s offensive woes were magnified in the overtime frame, as they failed to convert a field goal until there were 55 seconds left. They would eventually lose 73–66, after Kett hit her first field goal of the game with 13 seconds remaining.
When asked if fatigue was a factor, coach Langford responded with: “Why would we be more fatigued than they would?” It was simply a game in which the Clan did not show up to play.
After a huge night on Thursday, Ellen Kett went 1–9 from the field and finished with only three points. Meg Wilson led the team with 16 points, while Samantha Beauchamp had a nice game off the bench with 10 points and eight rebounds.
This loss marks an end to Simon Fraser’s four-game winning streak. They are now 11–3 in conference play and 18–4 overall. They remain in third place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC), with a two-game lead over Seattle Pacific.
Next Game: Simon Fraser will head to Washington next week to play Saint Martin’s University. They sit dead last in the conference with a 1-13 record, and are near the bottom of every major statistical category — except blocked shots, in which they are third.
Tip-off is at 5:15 p.m.