It was a senior day to remember for the Hofstra womens team as three players took to the court for their final home game at the Mack Sports Complex on Sunday. It ended in storybook fashion as the three seniors, Shante Evans (19), Deven Green (18) and Candace Bond (15), led the team in scoring in a 70-50 win over UNC-Wilmington.
Making things even more special was Evans, Hofstra’s all-time leading scorer, having her No. 30 jersey retired in a pre-game ceremony. “That was a great feeling. I broke down after they unveiled it…just all the emotions, all the four years, all the hard work, all the things I did to get to this point.”
The honors didn’t end for Evans as she collected 19 boards to become the CAA’s all-time leader rebounds. She needed 19 coming into the game to break it. Even if she couldn’t do it on Sunday, Evans would’ve had another shot in the team’s regular season finale at Northeastern on Wednesday.
Evans, who has 1,314 rebounds for her career, surpassing the previous mark of 1,313 set by of Meredith Alexis (James Madison 2004-07), was hoping to do it at home, but thought the odds were against it.
“Coming into this game I wanted to actually put a dent in it. I didn’t think I’d get 19 today. But I had my teammates tell me to keep rebounding, keep rebounding, keep rebounding. I had like two left with a minute to go and they were like ‘Go rebound’.”
Evans becomes the third Hofstra womens basketball player to have her number retired, following Liz Irwin (1978-1982) and Dia LaBella (1978-82), who had their numbers retired in March, 2009. Evans, a two-time (2010-12) Associated Press All-American, becomes the 26th Hofstra student-athlete to have her jersey number retired.
Pride coach Krista Kilburn-Steveskey said she hardly missed a game Evans played in during the summer after her junior season. “I knew that she could be a blue-chipper in our league,” said Kilburn-Steveskey.
Kilburn-Steveskey it will be tough seeing the three seniors depart.
“They’ll be deeply missed for what [they] did on the stat sheet [and] for what you don’t see on every other element on the court,” said the coach. “That’s what’s going to carry them through life.”
For Green, the 19 points was a career high. “I was so anxious,” said Green. “I’ve been waiting for this game for a long time. I was glad we could all play well today.”
Bond, who also had four blocked shots and two steals, was also ready for Sunday’s game. “Oh my God it was so exciting,” said Bond. “Before the game we were a little emotional. I love playing here…I feel like team really played for us. It was a lot of fun.”