Historic Hoops Wins Give NNU Co-Team Of The Week Honors
The Northwest Nazarene bench had plenty to celebrate on Friday as the team knocked off in-state rival and Division I foe Idaho.
The Northwest Nazarene bench had plenty to celebrate on Friday as the team knocked off in-state rival and Division I foe Idaho.

Monday, November 26, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – A banner week for the Northwest Nazarene men's and women's basketball teams earned the holiday hoops stars the selection as co-GNAC Teams of the Week.

On the men's side, the Nighthawks made program history on Friday when they took down Division I Idaho for a 77-73 victory in the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase. It was the first time NNU defeated a Division I opponent in a counting game in modern school history.

After trailing 33-27 through the game's first 20 minutes, head coach Paul Rush's team found a different gear and exploded for 50 points in the second stanza. Forward Adalberto Diaz knocked down a jumper with 9:43 remaining that put his team ahead 54-52, a lead it wouldn't relinquish the rest of the way.

Guard Adonis Arms finished as Northwest Nazarene's high scorer, pouring in 21 points while peppering the stat sheet with six rebounds and five steals.

The win was one of two on the week for the team, which handled rival College of Idaho in the Mayors' Cup back on Tuesday.

"Offensively, our guys are starting to get a good feel for each other on the court and with a lot of firepower they understand we can keep moving the ball to find a great shot," Rush said. "On defense, our men did a great job of being mentally prepared and focused for some very difficult non-conference opponents. Playing seven games in 15 days hopefully has us ready for the preseason (coaches poll) No. 1 and 2 teams in our conference."

Rush's team sprints into conference play now, taking to the road to face Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin's. The date with the Falcons will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, while NNU will take on the Saints at the same time Saturday night.

In women's action, the Nighthawks continued their perfect start to the season with a perfect 2-0 trip to Southern California for the Azusa Pacific Thanksgiving Classic. Running their record to a perfect 6-0 to start the season, Steve Steele's club dominated Azusa Pacific (77-63) and Biola (97-64) for the two victories.

The 14-point win over the No. 21 Cougars highlighted the week, as the team took a 37-29 lead into the locker rooms at halftime and never looked back. Guard Avery Albrecht led the team with 16 points and is tied with fellow guard Ellie Logan in scoring through six contests at 11.3 points per game.

"Different players are able to step up for us every night, so that's great," said Steele. "It's obviously nice to win, but it is also nice to get experience against good teams on the road. I think APU will win its conference and Biola is extremely well-coached, so this is preparing us well for the gauntlet that is the GNAC."

That GNAC season will begin this week with a pair of home games. Northwest Nazarene will tip-off conference play on Thursday against Alaska at 7 p.m. before facing Alaska Anchorage two nights later in a meeting between last season's co-regular season champions.