Up in Alaska, the women’s basketball team experienced a hard loss against Alaska Anchorage (23-2, 16-1 GNAC) as well as a victory against Fairbanks (4-20, 0-18 GNAC).
On Thursday night, the Falcons (18-6, 12-5 GNAC) lost their battle against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves 73-47.
The last time the Falcons scored under 50 points was on Feb. 16, 2016 against Alaska Anchorage at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
The loss on Saturday came as a particular disappointment since last time the teams played, the Falcons won by 19 points at home. During that game, the Falcons held the Seawolves to 47 points.
This time was different.
“Anchorage played the best game of the season,” said head coach Julie Heisey. “I was hoping we could rise up, but we were too much on our heels.”
The Falcons struggled, allowing 22 turnovers, caught up in the pressure of the game. Along with the turnovers, the team also made an average of 31.5 percent of shots taken, while the Seawolves earned over 50 percent.
Junior Riley Evans scored eight points, the highest for the team. Erica Pagano scored the second highest with seven points.
“Our first game was disappointing,” Evans said, despite being the top scorer. “We knew it would be a tough game and Anchorage came out firing from the start. They really pressured us and we were on our heels for most of the game.”
After a hard fought practice on Friday, the team took off on another airplane to play Fairbanks Alaska.
During the Saturday night game, the Falcons were able to redeem their previous loss and beat Fairbanks 66-47.
“The effort was good here,” said Heisey. “I’m proud of the girls for bouncing back from the negative energy of last game.” This was the fifth time this season that that the Falcons were able to keep their opponent to under 50 points.
The team hit 80 percent at the foul line, and never trailed behind.
Senior center Julia Haining snagged 12 rebounds, and Jordan McPhee made 11 points. The highest scorer of the game was redshirt freshman Hailey Bennett, who poured in 13 points off the bench.
Senior guard Rachel Shim was out hurt with a knee injury, and so junior Jaylee Albert covered her starting position.
Riley Evans, who scored six points, was proud of the way her team bounced back, but knows they still didn’t play their best.
“We were still able to grind out a win,” said Evans. “The Alaska trip is very tiring and long so it was good to be able to finish the second game strong and fly home with a win behind us.”
Coach Heisey also mentioned the team being tired. With the girls being students as well, they constantly have to be studying while on the road.
“This time of year, everyone is exhausted,” said Heisey. “I don’t mean that as an excuse, but it happens.”
This week, the team will play their last two games at home against Western Oregon on Thursday night and Concordia-Portland.
“We haven’t played these teams since December, so it’s like starting from scratch,” said Heisey.
The last time the Falcons played Western Oregon, they won 87-52 on the road. The team also beat Concordia-Portland 59-57.
“We know both teams have improved, and we’re looking forward to a challenge,” Heisey said.