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Falcons Top Mac Martin Invite To Earn Team Of The Week
The Falcons enter GNAC play with a 5-1 record and on a five-game winning streak.
The Falcons enter GNAC play with a 5-1 record and on a five-game winning streak.

Monday, November 30, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. – Heading into a hostile environment at Chico State, the Seattle Pacific men’s basketball team walked out with a 62-50 victory over the No. 8 ranked Wildcats on Friday. The Falcons followed it up with a 71-57 win over Cal State East Bay on Saturday to sweep the Mac Martin Invitational. The two efforts earned SPU the GNAC’s Red Lion Team of the Week award.

“It’s a boost of confidence to receive the award,” said head coach Ryan Looney. “We have a specific way we want to play and to have been able to do that through some injuries, we have found out we have a group of guys who are completely bought in.”

The Falcons entered the week ranked No. 23 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Top-25 poll. They won their fourth and fifth straight games and are 5-1 heading into the beginning of the conference season.

“We’ve been competing and playing without our complete lineup,” said Looney. “To be able to fight through that adversity and find a way to win games has been pretty special for us.”

Gilles Dierickx led the Falcons with 20 points against Chico State. He also added five blocks, four rebounds and finished 10 of 12 from the field. Bryce Leavitt added 16 points and pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds and dished out five assists. The defense stymied Chico State’s offense, holding them to 33.9 percent from the field.

“We had a very specific way we wanted to guard them,” said Looney. “We knew it would require fantastic effort from our guys, and to their credit, they went out and executed it for 40 minutes.”

Seattle Pacific showed its depth against Cal State East Bay as Mitch Penner led the team with 24 points and seven rebounds. Leavitt put up 11 points with seven rebounds and five assists and Nathan Streufert added 14 points and four rebounds off the bench.

The Falcons head into conference play on a high note with five straight victories since dropping their season opener. They will be on the road at Simon Fraser on Thursday and at rival Western Washington on Saturday for a rematch of the GNAC Championships final.

“We’re excited to play,” said Looney. “It doesn’t necessarily matter whether it is conference play or non conference play. They are all just as important as the next one, so we’re just taking it one day, one game at a time.”

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