Simon Fraser Advances To Semifinals With 68-57 Victory
Three NNU players including Leslie Warwick (33) keep an eye on Simon Fraser guard Katie Lowen in Saturday's game (Photo by Dan Levine)
Three NNU players including Leslie Warwick (33) keep an eye on Simon Fraser guard Katie Lowen in Saturday's game (Photo by Dan Levine)

Saturday, March 16, 2013

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Center Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe had game-highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Simon Fraser to a 68-57 victory over Northwest Nazarene in a quarterfinal game of the NCAA Division II Women's West Regional Saturday at Sam Carver Gymnasium.

The Clan, the No.2 seed in the West Region and ranked No.11 nationally, improved to 24-5 overall and face Grand Canyon in a regional semifinal Monday at noon. 

Coincidentally Grand Canyon, which is seeded sixth, advanced to the semifinals with a win by the identical score, eliminating third-seed UC San Diego 68-57.

Raincock-Ekunwe, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Player of the Year, had 18 points in the opening half in route to extending her GNAC record for career double-doubles to 61.  SFU jumped to a 23-8 lead in the first 11 minutes and held a 41-30 advantage at halftime.

"Nayo did a good job of finishing inside, especially in the first half," SFU coach Bruce Langford said.  "I thought we did a good job of getting her the ball and that got us off to a good start."

Raincock-Ekunwe made eight of 11 shots, all inside the arc.  Meanwhile, teammate Erin Chambers was impressive outside the three-point line cashing in on six of nine three-pointers in scoring 22 points.  She was perfect from the foul line making all four of her attempts.

Northwest Nazarene, which finished its season with a 20-9 record, was led by Chelsie Luke with 22 points.  Megan Hingston had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

SFU led by as many as 17 points in the second half before NNU closed to within eight at one point.

Saturday's win was the first in a national tournament for SFU since leaving Canadian Interuniversity Sport after the 2009-10 season.

"We left the CIS three years ago and we got decimated, losing players that weren’t supposed to graduate who lost eligibility in the move. Three kids stuck around (Raincock-Ekunwe, Krista Collins and Carla Wyman) and we were basically a junior varsity team our first year in the NCAA. We knew we were going to take some beatings along the way so it’s kind of nice to be where we are now," Langford added.

Copyright ©2023 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved.