Hofstra's Shante Evans moves within four of school scoring record as Pride wins
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Some records were made to be woven. The passage of time between Dia LaBella Alberda establishing the Hofstra women's basketball career scoring record more than 30 years ago now seems linked with Shante Evans, the 6-foot centerpiece of the Pride's program during the last four seasons.
Evans, with 1,837 points, needs only four more to surpass LaBella Alberda, a 5-6 guard who graduated in 1982. Evans scored 18 points Thursday night in Hofstra's 64-63 victory over Georgia State in Hempstead. She is likely to break the record Sunday afternoon against George Mason in Fairfax, Va.
There was little fanfare when LaBella Alberda played the sport. The women's game wasn't where it is now. "We had paper plates for sneakers," she joked.
She remembers a game being halted when she became the first Hofstra women's player to score 1,000 points, but she added that she never looked at her overall point total as being anything special -- even though it stood for decades.
LaBella Alberda, who attended Holy Trinity, said she did not reflect on her record until a few years ago, when Hofstra retired her No. 15 jersey and put her in the university's Hall of Fame. "There was a big surprise party at work," she said. "They were telling me how amazing it was. I guess it was pretty cool."
Although it took years for LaBella Alberda to appreciate the number 1,840, Evans has been aware of it for her entire career. She cherished it even before LaBella Alberda realized its significance.
"I congratulate her in getting the record in the first place," Evans said Monday. "She put it really high for me, I'll say that. Beating a record from someone like her is an honor."
LaBella Alberda, 52, a mother of two who is the fitness director at Gold's Gym in East Northport, said of Evans, "She's got incredible credentials. She's very talented. She's some player."
Achieving the record has been one of Evans' main goals. "It will feel good," she said. That joy will spread throughout the roster and the program. "I've seen how much work she's put in. She's real deserving of it," senior teammate Candace Bond said. "Every year she gets better. For her finally to be able to reach this, it's really exciting to see her almost there."
Coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey is not at all surprised that Evans will become the record-holder, saying, "She's like Charles Jenkins on the women's side."
Jenkins owns the school's men's record with 2,513 points. Jenkins, now in his second year in the NBA with Golden State, has reached out to Evans. "He said, 'Just play and it will come,' " she said.
LaBella Alberda had offered similar advice: "I would tell her, just play, don't look into this. I hope she's not playing tight."
Evans, who likely will meet LaBella Alberda when the record is commemorated at a future game, said playing her usual game already was the plan. "I'm not worried about it,'' she said earlier this week. "Eventually I'm going to get it."
Great scorers, all thinking alike.
Notes & quotes: Annie Payton scored 16 points for Hofstra, which has won five straight games. Andreana Thomas had 11 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds. The Pride (6-7, 2-0 CAA), which had led 51-34, went ahead 64-53 with 5:13 left before allowing the final 10 points of the game.