Falcons Open GNAC Championships With Rout Of Nanooks
Ashley Alter finished with 14 points for Seattle Pacific on 6 of 8 from the field. Photo by Rio Giancarlo.
Ashley Alter finished with 14 points for Seattle Pacific on 6 of 8 from the field. Photo by Rio Giancarlo.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

SEATTLE – From start to finish, it was the home team holding serve.

No. 7 seed Seattle Pacific led from start to finish, shooting 43.5 percent from the field en route to a 78-48 win over No. 10 seed Alaska in the first round of the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships at Royal Brougham Pavilion.

The Falcons set the pace early, outscoring the Nanooks 21-10 in the first quarter and opened the second half with a similar 23-10 scoring margin in the third quarter. Seattle Pacific received significant output from the bench, which accounted for 40 of the team’s 78 points.

Senior guard/forward Ashley Alter and sophomore forward Beth Pettingill each scored 14 points to lead the Falcons. Alter made 6 of 8 from the field while Pettingill connected on 5 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from three-point range. Senior guard Kaprice Boston added 13 points.

Freshman guard Claudia Diez Marti led Alaska with 14 points, which included 5 of 7 from the free-throw line. Freshman guard Paola Perez-Mendoza finished with 11 points.

With the win, Seattle Pacific (12-17) will face No. 2 seed Alaska Anchorage in the quarterfinals on Thursday at 2:15 p.m. in Seattle. Alaska ends its season at 3-20.

After an even start over the first three minutes, the Falcons pushed ahead by forcing five first-quarter Alaska turnovers. Seattle Pacific jumped out to an 11-4 lead on Pettingill’s three-pointer at the 5:18 mark and Alter extended the advantage to 21-6 with her three-pointer at the 1:20 mark as the Falcons closed the period with the 21-10 lead.

Seattle Pacific kept the offensive pressure on in the second quarter as Alter connected on a jumper with 6:49 to go to make it 32-14 as she scored 14 points in the first half alone. The Falcons built their largest first-half lead of 19 points when senior forward Natalie Hoff’s lay-in made it 39-18 with 1:59 left. The Nanooks were limited to just four made field goals in the quarter, the last coming on Perez-Mendoza’s lay-in with 1:25 left as SPU went into the half ahead 39-20.

The Falcons effectively put away the game in the third quarter, limiting the Nanooks to just 2 of 10 from the field. Sophomore Hunter Beirne gave SPU a 35-point lead, 62-27, with 2:43 left in the stanza. In the fourth, freshman center Schuyler Berry gave the Falcons their biggest lead of the game on a pair of free throws for the 69-32 advantage.

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