LACEY, Wash. — Simon Fraser used a 10-0 run in the second half to break away from Montana State Billings and beat the Yellowjackets 85-74 Friday night in the semifinals of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball tournament.
The fourth-seeded Clan (19-8) will meet No. 2 seed Western Washington (18-9) in Saturday's title game for the second year in a row. WWU advanced with an 81-71 win over Saint Martin’s in Friday's other semifinal.
The winner gets the GNAC’s automatic berth in the NCAA Division II West Regional.
The champions from the PacWest Conference and California Collegiate Athletic Association also receive automatic berths, with the other five spots determined by the final West Region poll of the season.
MSUB (23-7), the GNAC regular-season champion and No. 1 seed, will find out if it receives an at-large berth in the NCAA postseason on Sunday evening.
The Yellowjackets were ranked No. 1 in the West Region entering the GNAC Tournament.
“They were the better team tonight,” said MSUB coach Kevin Woodin of SFU. “In the second half, they just played better than us. There was not any specific reason why. They are a very good team.”
The Yellowjackets led 21-14 midway in the first half before SFU used a 9-0 run to get back into the game. The Clan’s Erin Chambers hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in the first half to giver her team a 38-35 lead at halftime.
Chambers finished with 22 points.
MSUB pulled within one, 58-57 on two Kayleen Goggins free throws with 9:17 remaining in the game but SFU regained the momentum with a 10-0 surge.
“We struggled with getting defensive stops,” Woodin said.
MSUB swept SFU during the regular season.
The Yellowjackets’ Bobbi Knudsen, the GNAC Player of the Year, led all scorers with 23 points. She also had seven assists.
Goggins added her first double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Chelsea Banis had 15 points and Alisha Breen 10. The 12 rebounds is a career-high for Goggins.
Along with Chambers’ 22 points, SFU had four other players in double figures. Katie Lowen had 17 for the Clan, while Meg Wilson had 13 and Chelsea Reist and Marie-Line Petit each had 12. Petit-Line also had nine rebounds.