Women’s Basketball Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive

In final home game for seniors, the Geoducks hold on for dramatic win.

Last weekend didn’t start off well for the Geoducks with a Friday night loss to #3 Oregon Tech at home, which pushed it 0.5 games behind Corban and Concordia, who now respectively hold the 7th and 8th seed in the Cascade Conference Postseason Tournament.

A cold-shooting first half where Evergreen only managed to make five field goals doomed them to a loss in spite of yet another impressive showing on defense. Forward Danielle Swain recorded another double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds with two blocks for good measure. She currently ranks 16th nationally among NAIA D-II women with 1.81 blocks per game.

The Geoducks regrouped Saturday facing #5 Southern Oregon that night, keeping their playoff hopes alive and well in a dramatic game that came down to the last play. To make the playoffs, the team knew that they would have to win out the final two games of the regular season schedule and it showed.

Point Guard Sammi Clark had a well-rounded game, leading the team with 18 points to go along with four rebounds and tying with fellow Guard Jessica Denmon to lead the team with five assists apiece. Denmon (11-11) and Swain (14-12) both put up double doubles in rebounding and points, while Swain added six blocks and Denmon chipped in five assists.

Going into halftime, the Geoducks had a slight lead with the scoreboard at 34-31. The second half continued to go Evergreen’s way as the lead grew to nine points with just seven minutes left to play before Southern Oregon began to orchestrate its comeback.

With just under a minute to play, Southern Oregon made it a three point game and after a missed free throw by Swain, got within one point. After a Southern Oregon timeout, Sammi Clark almost immediately made her way to the hoop for a quick layup assisted by Sadee Jones, putting Evergreen up three. After timeouts by both teams, with just nine seconds left on the clock, Southern Oregon ran one last play, trying to get off a three-pointer to send the game to overtime but Swain got to the shooter and blocked the ball with three seconds on the clock to Jones who got possession to end the game.

Swain, who was playing in the final home game of her Geoduck career, wasn’t sure the game was over. “Honestly, I was afraid that (the referees) were going to call a foul. So when I realized it was all over I was just relieved. It was so crazy,” she said. Seniors Jessica Edge and Dela Jones, along with Juniors Swain and Maddie Graves were honored in their final home game.

The Geoducks will wrap up the regular season with an away game Saturday, Feb. 16 against Northwest. With a win there, Evergreen will be in position to make the playoffs should Corban or Concordia falter.

By David Lukashok