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Nighthawks Lead Field For Women's Hoops Championships
Northwest Nazarene ended the season as GNAC regular season co-champions with Alaska Anchorage at 18-2. Both teams will have a first-round bye in the GNAC Championships.
Northwest Nazarene ended the season as GNAC regular season co-champions with Alaska Anchorage at 18-2. Both teams will have a first-round bye in the GNAC Championships.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Clinching its fifth postseason berth in school history, Northwest Nazarene enters as the top-seed in the 2018 GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships, which begins Thursday at the University of Alaska Anchorage’s Alaska Airlines Center.

The Nighthawks, the No. 1 seed, enter the tournament as the hottest team in the league after achieving its first GNAC regular season title in program history. Regular season co-champions with Alaska Anchorage at 18-2, the Nighthawks snapped the Seawolves’ eight-game win streak on Thursday before extending their own win streak to 13 games with an 89-66 win over Alaska on Saturday. Alaska Anchorage will make its eighth appearance at the tournament and is GNAC regular season champion for the fourth-consecutive year. Both teams will receive a first-round bye.

Back in the tournament for a second-straight year, Seattle Pacific is the No. 3 seed with a 15-5 GNAC record. The Falcons will take on No. 6 Simon Fraser (9-11), which finished the regular season winning three straight home games. That run began on Feb. 17 when the Clan defeated Central Washington, 85-73. Simon Fraser clinched the No. 6 seed with a Western Washington loss to Montana State Billings and a Concordia loss to Seattle Pacific on the final day of the regular season. Seattle Pacific will take on the Clan in Thursday’s second quarterfinal game at 7:30 p.m. (Alaska).

Montana State Billings is the No. 4 seed and is back in the tournament following a year’s absence. The Yellowjackets will take on No. 5 Central Washington as both teams clinched berths in the penultimate week of the regular season. With the contest taking place on Thursday at 5:15 p.m., Montana State Billings looks to go 3-0 against the Wildcats who are making their fourth-straight tournament appearance.

The semifinals will be played on Friday with Northwest Nazarene taking on the winner of Montana State Billings and Central Washington at 5:15 p.m. Northwest Nazarene’s last loss came to Central Washington on Jan. 9, where the Wildcats earned a 79-73 decision in Nampa.  Alaska Anchorage takes on the winner of Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser in the nightcap at 7:30 p.m.

The championship game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday with the winner receiving an automatic bid into the NCAA Division II West Regional Tournament. The quarterfinal and semifinal rounds will be streamed on GNAC.tv, with the championship game streamed on ESPN3 as part of the NCAA Division II Basketball Showcase.

The conference tournament is being held in conjunction with the GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships. Tickets can be purchased at gnachooptickets.com.

GNAC WOMEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
at Alaska Airlines Center, Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, Alaska
Thurs., Mar. 1
No. 4 Montana State Billings vs. No. 5 Central Washington, 5:15 p.m.
No. 3 Seattle Pacific vs. No. 6 Simon Fraser, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 2

Winner of 4/5 Game vs. No. 1 Northwest Nazarene, 5:15 p.m.
Winner of 3/6 vs. No. 2 Alaska Anchorage, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 3

Championship Game, 7:30 p.m.

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