Alisha Roberts scores a winning free throw with just five-tenths of a second left in the game.
Roberts hits game-winning free throw in final home game
By Steve Frost
On Feb. 18 senior Alisha Roberts hit the game-winning free throw with five-tenths of a second on the clock in her final home game to lead Simon Fraser University to a 63-61 upset win over Montana State University Billings (MSUB) in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s basketball game in the West Gym.
Roberts drove the lane and pulled up for a jumper in the paint at the buzzer. She was fouled by MSUB’s Marissa Van Atta from behind but she stepped to the line to calmly hit the winning free throws.
WATCH GAME ON DEMAND: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CpUWZnlCvbU
“This is definitely surreal,” says Roberts. “I was so nervous, but I practice free throws every day. My dad always tells me that free throws win games and you have to make them count. Tonight I made them count.”
They were the only two free throws Roberts shot all game. She finished with 15 points, seven assists and two steals in 38 minutes.
Following the free throws, MSUB had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer. After a timeout advanced the ball into the offensive zone, the Yellowjackets’ Monica Grimsrud grabbed the inbounds pass in the paint but her shot off the glass came down and rolled off the front of the rim.
The victory snapped a two-game losing streak and moved the Clan to 13-10 overall and 11-7 in GNAC play. The Clan sits in fourth place in the conference and has clinched its spot in the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships in Lacey, WA beginning on Mar. 3.
The Clan is two games back of third-place MSUB and three games up on fifth-place Central Washington, putting them as the likely fourth seed for the GNAC tournament.
MSUB lost for the first time in four games and dropped to 17-8 overall with a 13-4 league mark. MSUB, SFU, Alaska Anchorage and Western Washington University have all secured post-season spots in the conference tournament.
Simon Fraser built an eight point halftime lead, 34-26, and then opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run. The Clan pushed the lead to 12 points midway through the third quarter, but the Yellowjackets went on a run to end the third quarter down by seven.
Simon Fraser led 55-51 with 7:31 remaining before the Yellowjackets went on a run capped by a three from Grimsrud that gave them the lead for the first time in the second half, 59-58, with 3:50 to go.
Grimsrud finished with 11 points.
The teams were tied 61-61 for the final 2:12 and MSUB had possession with 15 seconds left. But Clan sophomore forward Rachel Fradgeley blocked the inbounds pass and the Clan stole the ball to set up the winning play in the final seconds.
SFU point guard Ellen Kett, who leads the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division II in three-point field goal percentage (53.7) and is ranked third in assists per game (7.0) and seventh in total assists (148), scored a game-high 19 points on six-of-nine field goal shooting. She also dished out six assists. Kett played all 40 minutes and went four-of-six on threes.
SFU, one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NCAA, went 9-of-22 (40.9 per cent) from beyond the arc.
SFU plays its final two regular season games on the road in Alaska next week.
Follow the SFU Clan women’s basketball team on the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/SFUWomensbball.