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Nighthawks Earn Team Of The Week Following Road Sweep
Northwest Nazarene leads the league with 80.6 points per game on a GNAC-best 45.1 field goal percentage. The Nighthawks have also connected on almost 38 percent of their 3-point attempts.
Northwest Nazarene leads the league with 80.6 points per game on a GNAC-best 45.1 field goal percentage. The Nighthawks have also connected on almost 38 percent of their 3-point attempts.

Monday, January 8, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. –  Northwest Nazarene women’s basketball continued its impressive start to GNAC play with a pair of road wins against Washington foes to improve to 9-2 overall and garner recognition as this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

With a pair of wins last weekend, the Nighthawks are off to their best conference start in GNAC history at 5-1. On Thursday, Northwest Nazarene knocked off Seattle Pacific in a narrow 58-57 affair before extending its win streak to four games with a 79-61 victory at Saint Martin’s to lift NNU to second place in the GNAC standings.

Junior guard McKenna Walker led Northwest Nazarene, averaging 10.5 points over the two games, while junior forward Danielle Jardine and senior guard/forward Collette Gall each averaged 10 points.

Taking on a Seattle Pacific team that received votes in the latest WBCA Division II and D2SIDA National Polls, the Nighthawks used stout defensive effort to hand the Falcons their first home defeat of the season.  Up by one with two seconds remaining in the contest, Gall was able to come away with a late steal to hand her team their fourth road win of the season.

“This isn’t something we’ve been able to do as long as I’ve been here,” said Northwest Nazarene head coach Steve Steele. “We had to win a close game on the road against a good team by getting a defensive stop.”

To go along with her two steals, Gall posted 11 points and was one of three Nighthawks to score in double figures with sophomore guard Avery Albrecht and sophomore guard Marina Valles collecting 12 and 10 points.

“When [the Falcons] get their defense set they are so tough. They do everything well in the half-court defense,” said Steele. “We made some nice adjustments [at halftime] and played with a lot of energy on defense and that is where our offense came from.”

Coming into their Saturday contest at SMU, the Nighthawks knew the Saints would be hungry for a win after its 49-46 comeback attempt fell short against Central Washington two nights earlier. Despite that, Northwest Nazarene was able to force 26 Saints’ turnovers for 27 points and limit Saint Martin’s to just 28.6 percent shooting from the field. The Nighthawks also ramped up the pressure in the second half, outscoring the hosts 43-28.
“We did a better job in the second half of communicating in the press,” Steele said. “Offensively we shared the ball better in the second half as well.”

Walker finished the game with a team-high 19 points on 6 of 11 shooting while senior guard Lexi Tubbs and junior forward Raquel Jardine each supplied 10. Danielle Jardine was spectacular for the Nighthawks off the bench with 15 points after going 7 for 7 from the free throw line.

Northwest Nazarene, who enter the week No. 4 in the D2SIDA West Region Media Poll, continues GNAC action when it hosts Central Washington tomorrow night at 7 p.m. (Mountain). In the previous three years, the Nighthawks have split the regular-season series between the Wildcats, with two of their three losses coming in overtime.

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