CWU women’s basketball advances to first-ever GNAC semi-final
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Early in the fourth quarter when Simon Fraser (SFU) was beating CWU women’s basketball by double-digits head coach Jeff Harada told his team what was going to happen.
“I told them we were going to win the game and make playoff history,” Harada said.
He was right. The Wildcats grinded out a 58-57 upset against the No. 3 seed in the GNAC Tournament.
“Tremendous effort from our team,” Harada said. “It’s a big win for us, the program, and the school.”
With 9:25 remaining in the fourth quarter SFU extended their lead to 45-35. Their lead remained between eight to 11 points until 5:58 remaining in the game for the comeback to begin.
A 3-pointer by freshman Taylor Shaw made it an 51-44 game. After CWU and SFU traded free throws the SFU lead remained at seven.
A jumper by sophomore guard Sadie Mensing, layup by junior guard Jasmin Edwards and Taylor Baird reduced SFU’s lead to 53-52 with three minutes remaining.
Another jump shot by Taylor Shaw gave CWU a 54-53 lead with 1:38 left. It was the Wildcats’ first lead since being up 7-6 with 6:13 remaining in the first quarter.
SFU came down the court quickly and got a layup of their own giving them another one point lead. After SFU got a stop on defense, CWU got a stop of their own giving them the ball with 30.9 seconds left.
Mensing drove to the basket and scored the bucket with seven seconds remaining.
SFU took a timeout advancing the basketball to half court where Edwards fouled Ellen Kett as she drove to the basket. Kett hit both of her free throws giving them a one point lead with 3.9 seconds left.
After CWU called a timeout Edwards drove to the right and got fouled on the shot but got injured and had to come out.
“When Jas went down I thought she would pop right back up like she normally does,” senior guard Kourtney Grattic said.
If a player gets injured after being fouled the person coming in for them has to take the free throws.
“We needed someone to step up and coach turned to me,” Grattic said.
Grattic, an 81.2 percent free throw shooter came into the game draining both of them. The Wildcats led 58-57, becoming the final score.
Edwards led the Wildcats with 12 points and five assists. Mensing scored 10 points, shooting four of six from the field. Baird also scored 10 points, while blocking four shots.
The Wildcats held SFU to 16 shots made from the field on 59 attempts (27.1 percent).
“We live and die by our defense, that’s what we preach,” Harada said.
[Interviews by GNAC Sports]