Falcons are Team of the Week After 2 Comeback Wins
Senior Aubree Callen scored 39 points in the two wins at Western Washington and Simon Fraser
Senior Aubree Callen scored 39 points in the two wins at Western Washington and Simon Fraser

Monday, January 5, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - Seattle Pacific beat two conference foes on the road this week to tie for first in the GNAC standings, earning the Falcons Red Lion Hotels team of the Week honors.

The 11-1 Falcons (3-1 in GNAC play) are off to their best start in five seasons, only losing to third-ranked Alaska Anchorage the first week of conference play.

“Our versatility and consistent defense,” head coach Julie Heisey said about the success her team has had this season. “Our ability to do different things on defense and taking care of the ball has been huge.”

SPU came from 11 points down each game for the two wins last week over 2013-14 NCAA tournament teams.

On New Year’s Day, the 19th-ranked Falcons went to Bellingham for the second year in a row and defeated the Vikings 74-64 in their first conference road game of the season.

After falling behind early in the first half, SPU went on a 20-4 run to open the second and never relinquished the lead. GNAC Player of the Week Suzanna Ohlsen and senior guard Aubree Callen combined for 49 points in the matchup, including 29 in the opening half.

“We didn’t start off very well, especially at Western, giving up easy baskets and open shots,” Heisey said. “I think we were a little rusty from Christmas break. We were behind but our defense got us back into the game.”

On Saturday the Falcons made sure that no team was going undefeated in conference play this year by defeating the last remaining unbeaten, Simon Fraser, 61-56 in Burnaby.

Another slow start plagued the Falcons at the beginning of the game, but the visiting team scored 23 of the last 29 points in the first half to go up 35-25 at the break.

Forward Hannah Rodrigues led the Falcons in the second half, scoring nine of her 15 points in the period while making five of her six free throws.

Seattle Pacific held the Clan to their lowest scoring output of the season while limiting the conference's top scorer, Erin Chambers, to 10 points in the first 30 minutes of the contest.

"We beat both those teams without one of our starting post players, and, even though we got outrebounded, I thought we showed toughness and will blocking out bigger bodies," Heisey said.

The conference's second best shooting team made almost half of its shots from the field and from behind the arc while making 26 of its 32 free throws. On the week, Ohlsen led the Falcons in scoring with 43 points while Callen and Rodrigues added 39 and 24, respectively. Senior Betsy Kingma was the only other Falcon to score in double-digits last week, recording 11 points while also contributing five assists. 

“Seniors Suzanna Ohlsen, Aubree Callen and Betsy Kingma have been outstanding setting the tone,” Heisey said. “Suzanna is getting multiple steals and assists every game. Aubree is doing everything well and just playing real solid. Betsy did a lot of good things that didn’t show up on the stat book and played really good defense against Erin Chambers.”

The Falcons will play another NCAA tournament team from last year as they head to Montana State Billings Saturday to take on the 9-5 Yellowjackets.