Men's Basketball: SPU Sweeps to Earn Team of Week Award
Simon (44) scored 30 points in Thursday's win at Fairbanks.
Simon (44) scored 30 points in Thursday's win at Fairbanks.

Monday, December 3, 2012

PORTLAND, Ore. - A sweep in Alaska – its first in 11 seasons – has earned Seattle Pacific the GNAC Team of the Week award.

The Falcons, led by Washington State transfer Patrick Simon (6-8, Jr., Ephrata, WA), defeated Alaska Fairbanks 72-60 Thursday and Alaska Anchorage 85-79 Saturday to improve to 7-1 on the season.

Simon scored 30 points in Thursday’s win, connecting on 13 of 17 shots including four of six three-pointers.

On Saturday, Jobi Wall (6-6, Sr., Arvada, CO) led a balanced attack – five players were in double figures – with 20 points as SPU earned its first win at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex except for a 58-57 West Regional victory against Central Washington in 2008 – since 2007.

Sharing was the theme of the road trip as SPU earned assists on 80 percent (44 of 55) of its field goals, including 24 of 26 against Alaska Anchorage.  Point guard David Downs (6-2, Jr., Kirkland, WA - Bellevue Christian) had a career-high 12 assists in the latter game.

“We were extremely unselfish and we’re excited about the balance we have right now,” SPU coach Ryan Looney said.

“Dave (Downs) has really gotten better in his understanding of how to play point guard,” Looney said.  “So far most of the teams we’ve played, their plans has been to take him out of it.  Rather than press and try to force things, he’s done a great job of making plays for his teammates.”

For the trip, Simon led SPU with 45 points, connecting on 18 of 30 shots.  He made seven of 14 three-pointers.

Wall had 34 points, while Downs scored 25 points and was credited with 19 assists.  Andy Poling (6-11, Sr., Portland, OR) had 20 points and a team-high 11 rebounds.

The Falcons were deadly from the three-point line, making 20 of 39 (.513) doubling their opponents’ production (10-38, .263) from the arc.

SPU had a .556 to .479 overall shooting percentage advantage against the Seawolves and Nanooks, making 55 of 99.  Meanwhile, they also outrebounded the Alaska schools 56-46 and only had four more turnovers (25-21).

SPU, which handed Alaska Anchorage its first Division II loss of the season, doesn’t play another Division II opponent for a month before resuming conference action Jan. 3 against Western Washington.

Their only action during that time will be non-conference games on Dec. 8 against Evergreen State and Dec. 17 against Warner Pacific.

ALASKA SWEEPS: Seattle Pacific's sweep is the 12th in the 12-year history of the conference.  Western Washington has earned four Alaska road trip sweeps (2002, 2009, 2011 and 2012), while Central Washington (2010, 2011) and Seattle Pacific, which was ranked 13th in last week's NABC national poll, each have come back from Alaska twice with two victories.