Nighthawks, Falcons Fly To GNAC Team Of The Week Honors
The Nighthawks and Falcons will soar into next week's NCAA West Regional as the No. 2 seeds in their respective brackets.
The Nighthawks and Falcons will soar into next week's NCAA West Regional as the No. 2 seeds in their respective brackets.

Monday, March 11, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. – A pair of intense and thrilling GNAC Championships title games on Saturday night have provided two conference title winners and two GNAC Team of the Week selections.

The evening got underway with a women's basketball title matchup between the league's top two seeds, where Northwest Nazarene outlasted regular-season champion Alaska Anchorage for a 70-64 victory.

Fresh off a dramatic win over host Western Washington in the tournament's semifinal round, the Nighthawks were able to carry some of that momentum into Saturday's game. They jumped out to an 8-0 lead, and that advantage was stretched to 44-33 at the halftime break. 

Not wanting to go quietly, the Seawolves rallied back and actually took a lead late in the title tilt's third quarter. Ultimately, however, they would be held without a field goal in the contest's final eight minutes, paving the way for NNU's six-point victory.

"Our kids made good adjustments as the game went on so I talked less and less in the timeouts and the kids talked more and more," head coach Steve Steele said after the win. "I just kind of sat back and enjoyed myself watching the kids coach themselves. They already knew what to do."

Senior Ellie Logan led her team, dropping 15 points while pulling down eight rebounds to earn the honor of GNAC Championships MVP.

Northwest Nazarene now sets its sights on the NCAA West Regional, securing the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time in program history. The first round is set to begin on Friday in La Jolla, Calif. where second-seeded NNU will meet No. 7 seed Humboldt State for a 2:30 p.m. tip-off.

Later in the day, it was the Seattle Pacific men's basketball team that capped the day with a victory in the GNAC Men's Basketball Championships final. The win gave the program its fourth GNAC Championships title in school history.

Paced by a double-double senior Coleman Wooten, the Falcons were able to pull away in the second half to turn a three-point game at halftime into a 78-66 victory. The win marked the team's 12th straight victory.

Wooten exploded for 25 points and 11 rebounds as SPU was able to run away late from a Western Oregon team that was playing in its third game in three nights. Guard Gavin Long also had a huge performance, scoring 17 points while shooting 2 of 3 from three-point range.

"When we do what we're supposed to do and how we're supposed to do it, we're a tough team to beat," said head coach Grant Leep. "It has really been exemplified over this 12-game win streak. This group, more than any group I've been a part of, has really come together to play as one." 

They will have a chance to keep things rolling at the NCAA West Regional, which begins Friday in San Diego. The region's No. 2 seed, Seattle Pacific will open the tournament against No. 7 seed Chaminade at 2:30 p.m.