Sands delivers in the clutch again

Kendal Sands may want to change her name to “Clutch.”

For the third time in two weeks, the ability of Coquitlam’s Sands to sink late baskets under pressure proved the difference for the Simon Fraser University Clan women’s basketball team.

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Saturday, in Monmouth, Ore., Sands drained a pair of free throws with eight seconds on the clock to give the Clan a 59-57 win over Western Oregon University.

On Thursday, Sands hit two free throws with two seconds left to seal a 66-63 win for the Clan over Concordia University in Portland, Ore., and two weeks ago she shot a three-pointer with just 21 seconds left to play to give SFU a 76-73 upset win over previously undefeated Northwest Nazarene University.

Saturday, the Clan were trailing 54-53 with 32 seconds left when sophomore Claudia Hart converted a three-point play, scoring on a layup and then sinking the subsequent free throw after she had been fouled, to put SFU up 56-54. A free throw by Sands on their next possession made it 57-54.

But the Wolves came back down the court and scored a basket to close to within a single point before Sands’ latest heroics from the free-throw line gave the Clan a three point-cushion. They needed it after Western Oregon got one back on a free throw of their own when SFU’s Claudia Hart fouled with four second left.

Sands was the Clan’s top scorer in the game, with 11 points. She also pulled down four rebounds. Port Coquitlam’s Ozioma Nwabuko contributed four points and three rebounds.

The Clan return home to the West Gym at SFU on Thursday, when they host Seattle Pacific University at 7 p.m.

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