Monday, March 13, 2017
ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Simon Fraser women’s basketball raced out to a 25-15 lead in just eight and a half minutes, but No. 2 seed California Baptist put an end to the Clan’s playoff run with a 77-64 win in the NCAA Division II West Regional on Monday night at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Freshman Ozi Nwabuko made all of her first five field goal attempts and junior Elisa Homer drilled back to back triples to give the Clan (26-8) a 10-point lead in the first quarter, but the No. 5 seed couldn’t maintain that offensive pace. The West Region champion for the second time in third year answered with a 23-6 run to knock the Clan out of the postseason in the Sweet 16.
Simon Fraser was looking to defeat a third consecutive regular season conference champion in just four days after defeating CCAA champion UC San Diego and GNAC champion Alaska Anchorage. The Clan, however, both opened and finished the season with losses to California Baptist (34-2), which has now won 31 consecutive games.
The Clan’s 26 wins this season is a program record since joining the NCAA in 2010. The previous record was 25 wins in 2013, which was the last time SFU reached the regional championship game.
Homer led Simon Fraser offensively with 14 points making 4 of 10 shots from beyond the arc and both of her free-throw attempts. Tayla Jackson came off the bench to score 13 points, while Rachel Fradgley added 12 points and eight rebounds.
In the final game of her decorated career, senior Ellen Kett tallied three points, seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. She will finish the season with a GNAC record 262 assists and her career with 692 assists, ranking second. Kett was also named to the all-tournament team. Western Washington's Taylor Peacocke and Alaska Anchorage's Autummn Williams were also selected to the team.
Calfornia Baptist was led by Kamille Diaz who tallied 28 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. She was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. PacWest Player of the Year Cassidy Mihalko made 4 of 5 shots from beyond the arc and 8 of 11 field-goal attempts for 23 points. Olivia Weber added eight points and 12 rebounds.
After dropping its season-opening game against CBU, Simon Fraser went on to win 20 of its next 22 games with the two losses coming against nationally-ranked Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington. The Clan lost the regular season finale against Alaska Anchorage, but on Saturday pulled off the upset of the tournament by beating the Seawolves. Under head coach Bruce Langford, Simon Fraser is 124-76 in seven years competing in NCAA Division II.