If SFU was going to win this game, it was going to come in a totally different way than their previous two games.
Against Alaska Anchorage, SFU had a five-point lead before giving up 22 points. In the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) quarter-final versus Central Washington, the Clan had a 10-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. They lost by one after a late foul from Tia Tsang.
So you can imagine the concern when SFU trailed to start the fourth against UC San Diego, as the Tritons stormed back from a six-point deficit to take a two-point lead.
But it was SFU that completed the comeback in this one, scoring 20 points in the final frame to grab a 69–65 victory to keep their season alive.
The game started off well for the Clan, as SFU got out to a 7–4 lead early on. Ellen Kett once again led the way for SFU, assisting on SFU’s first three baskets. Sophie Swant made the most of her expanded role with the injury to Meg Wilson, leading the team with five points in the quarter, including a deep three.
In the second quarter, it took a while for someone to score from the field. Ellen Kett hit a three at the 7:35 mark, which was followed up by a three from the Tritons’ Joleen Yang. Sophie Swant once again hit another deep three, while Rachel Fradgley had a brilliant behind-the-head basket.
The Clan led by by four at the break and shot 39% in the first half — significantly better than the 27.8% they shot in the first half in the loss to Central Washington.
However, to start the third quarter, UC San Diego scored two straight baskets to tie the game at 31. Ellen Kett made it a six-point game at the 4:35 mark, but the Tritons scored 12 points after that to take a two-point lead to start the fourth.
Up until the five-minute mark, both teams traded baskets, which included two big threes from Elisa Homer. From there, the Clan played great defence, forcing the Tritons to take low percentage shots and getting some clutch buckets from Ellen Kett and Ozi Nwabuko. With the victory, SFU got their first win in the national tournament since 2014.
Stepping up with a game-high 17 points was Sophie Swant. With the injury to Meg Wilson, she stepped into the starting lineup and delivered her best performance of the season. Her 17 points were a season-high, as well as her 30 minutes played. With Wilson out for the rest of the season and not returning next year, it was a good audition for Swant to show what she can do next season.
Ellen Kett had another standout performance as well, finishing with 14 points and 11 assists to go along with four steals. It was her third double-double in the last five games, and at this point, these type of games are starting to become commonplace. It goes to show how dominant she’s been this season.
Elisa Homer had 11 points and went three-for-five from beyond the arc. Rachel Fradgley had another dominant game on the boards, leading the Clan with nine rebounds.
Next Game: SFU now awaits the winner of Alaska Anchorage and Hawaii Pacific, which was yet to be decided at time of publication.
Regardless of who the Clan plays, a big question will be the health of Ellen Kett. She limped off the floor with less than a minute to go, but looked to be OK on the sidelines afterwards. She also played a game-high 38 minutes, and it will be interesting to see how she is used after playing nearly the entire game.
Tip-off is at 8 p.m.