Long's Career High Carries SPU To Championship Game
Seattle Pacific's Gavin Long shined in the Falcons semifinal, dropping 27 points for the tournament's No. 2 seed.
Seattle Pacific's Gavin Long shined in the Falcons semifinal, dropping 27 points for the tournament's No. 2 seed.

Friday, March 8, 2019

BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Facing a tough Northwest Nazarene squad for the second time in as many games, Seattle Pacific knew it would take a complete effort in order for the tournament's No. 2 seed to stave off an upset and advance to the GNAC Championships title game.

The Falcons got just that as three players finished the night with 16 points or more en route to an intense 89-81 victory over the Nighthawks in the semifinals of the GNAC Men's Basketball Championship. The team was led by guard Gavin Long, who tallied a career-high 27 points to lengthen SPU's winning streak to 11 games.

The improved Seattle Pacific's record to 2-1 this season against NNU. The defeat sent Northwest Nazarene back to Nampa with a 20-8 record, while the tournament's No. 2 seed advances to face either No. 1 Saint Martin's or No. 4 Western Oregon in Saturday night's title tilt. 

Long (27 points, five rebounds) and sophomore Harry Cavell (17 points, six rebounds) led the Falcons in the winning effort. Senior Coleman Wooten finished just shy of a double-double, tallying 16 points while pulling down nine boards. As a team, they shot at a 46.8 percent clip from the field.

On the other side, GNAC Player of the Year Adonis Arms led his team with 18 points on the evening. 

Playing in its first game of the tournament, it took a while for SPU to shake off some early rust. The Nighthawks jumped out to leads of 7-0 and 30-19 before a strong finish to the half allowed the Falcons to soar into the locker rooms with a 40-39 advantage. 

That lead was stretched to as many as 15 in the second stanza when forward Sam Boone put home a layup to make the score 63-48 with 11 minutes to play. Northwest Nazarene would eventually pull within four points of the lead with 25 seconds remaining, but four made free throws and a couple of big stops allowed SPU to hold on for the 89-81 win.

The victory sends Seattle Pacific to Saturday's tournament title game, which will begin at 7:35 p.m. For those not in attendance in Bellingham, the game will be streamed live on WatchESPN.com.