It was a proper send-off for seniors Erin Chambers and Katie Lowen; an early lead against the Alaska-Fairbanks Nanooks Saturday night paved the way for a victory in the pair’s last home game.
The night also marked the final home game for one-year French exchange student Perrine Fuchs, who averaged 4.9 minutes per night, as well as trainer Rachel Halipchuk, who spent her first two years playing guard with the team before joining the coaching staff.
The final home game is linked to another annual Clan tradition: pink game. Clan fans were encouraged to wear pink, and SFU players wore pink warmup shirts. The proceeds from the ticket sales went to the BC Children’s Hospital.
“It’s pink game [and] senior’s night, so there’s a lot of emotion running through, and I think the girls handled that well — it was a great game,” said Chambers. “It’s kind of sad that it’s over, but it happens and we move on.”
Lowen opened up scoring on a layup caused by a steal just under a minute into the game. She would also lead the team in three-pointers with three — two of them coming in the first 10 minutes.
“I was nervous, I don’t usually get that nervous before games,” said Lowen. “We always say, ‘teach the butterflies offence,’ and we did that — controlling the nerves and taking advantage of the opportunities that were on the floor for us.”
Much of the victory came down to SFU’s performance in the first 10 minutes, which gave them a 13-point lead. Though the Clan would continue to dominate much of the rest of the game, the gap between the two teams’ score remained fairly consistent throughout.
The first half ended 43–28 in the Clan’s favour. The second half saw a much tighter game — at least score-wise — as SFU only won the half by a margin of 38–34.
When the two seniors exited their final shift — Lowen at 1:00 left and Chambers at 57.7 seconds left — the crowd gave them a standing ovation. And with the game ending a minute later 81–62 for SFU, it wasn’t the only time the crowd felt the need to clap and cheer.
“It’s surreal, I can’t actually believe it’s the last home game — I don’t know if it’s actually hit me yet,” said Chambers. “I’m just humbled to play in front of all these people and be able to play with such great friends.”
With the win, SFU has clinched a spot in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) playoffs, which starts Wednesday, March 4, where they will have a chance to notch a national championship. Last year, the Clan made the NCAA Division II West Regionals before being knocked out by Montana State University-Billings.
Field Goals: 29–61 (47.5%)
3 Pointers: 11–31 (35.5%)
Free Throws: 12–14 (85.7%)
Field Goals: 19–58 (32.8%)
3 Pointers: 2–11 (18.2%)
Free Throws: 22–26 (84.6%)
Player of the Game: Erin Chambers
Fittingly, in her last home game with the Clan, Erin Chambers was the team’s best player. She led the team in points scored with 25, making her GNAC scoring record that much harder for future basketball stars to break, and she was also tied for first in rebounds, with seven total.
Rebounds (Off-Def): 2–5