Falcons attack full force

Tatum Odegard

This past week, the women’s basketball team scored two big wins against Alaska Fairbanks (4-11, 0-9 GNAC) and Alaska Anchorage (16-2, 9-1 GNAC) at the Royal Brougham Pavilion.

On Thursday, Jan. 18, the team outscored Alaska Fairbanks by 32 points with a final score of 86-54.

Going into the second half, the Falcons held Fairbanks to only 16 points, 40-16.
“The game mentality doesn’t change according to the scoreboard,” said head coach Julie Heisey. “It doesn’t matter who we are playing. We have to play just as hard the full 40 minutes, no matter if we are tied or up by 30.”

According to Heisey, the substitution system worked really well during the game.
The players were on court for short spurts of time, but more people were able to get playing time.

Based on the stats, the rotation system also did wonders for the scoreboard, as each of the ten players who had time on the court scored at least two points and snagged at least one rebound.

“It was really important for our starters to stay healthy and fresh for our big game on Saturday,” Heisey added.

The Falcons entered the game with full force, and put the first 10 points on the board. At the end of the first quarter, the team was up 21-4.

In fact, the team lead by at least fifteen points the entire game.

Coming into to Saturday’s game, the team knew the competition would be fierce.
Alaska Anchorage is currently ranked No. 4 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, and number one in the league.

SPU women’s basketball has not beaten Anchorage since Feb. 2, 2012. No current player has experienced a win against Anchorage, Anchorage having beaten SPU all 11 games since.

With an emphasis on defense and aggression, the lady Falcons not only pulled off a 66-48 win on Saturday, but also never fell behind the entire game.

Fifth-year guard, Rachel Shim, pulled off a career high of 23 points. Senior forward Courtney Holland scored 11 points. During the first quarter, the team lead by four points, which grew to 10 points in the second quarter, and then ultimately led by five at halftime.

Both teams scored 14 points in the third quarter, and the Falcons took their largest lead of 18 at 56 seconds remaining in the final quarter. Junior guard Riley Evans earned a career high 13 points, earning her first double digits in college basketball.

“It felt really good to be able to contribute to such a big win,” Evans said.
The SPU women showed their defensive aggression in the game; Alaska Anchorage does not usual score this low.

In fact, this is first time they’ve been held below 50 points since March 2014.

“We’ve worked so hard to play a game like this,” said Evans. “It’s so sweet to see all that hard work pay off.” Senior Jordan McPhee was also proud of the win, and had faith in the defense all along. “We hold of lot of pride in our defense and we knew if we worked hard we could shut them down,” she said.

Coupled with last week’s victories against Western Washington and Simon Fraser, SPU now has five straight wins in the GNAC, and is currently ranked No. 2 in conference.
This week, the team is headed to Lacey to play Saint Martin’s University (6-12, 2-8 GNAC) on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Last time the two teams played played, on Dec. 9, 2017, the Falcons racked up an 81-66 win.