Hot Shooting, Solid Defense Leads SPU To Semis Showing
Hollander was one of five Falcons to end the night in double-figure scoring. She finished with 17 points. Photo by Skip Hickey.
Hollander was one of five Falcons to end the night in double-figure scoring. She finished with 17 points. Photo by Skip Hickey.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

ANCHORAGE, Alaska. – Displaying solid efforts on both ends of the court, Seattle Pacific closed the night with a comfortable 85-59 win over Simon Fraser to advance to the quarterfinals of the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships at the Alaska Airlines Center.

The No. 3-seeded Falcons finished the night shooting 53.8 percent from the field while forcing 20 Clan turnovers to earn its 22nd win of the season. The Falcons set a GNAC conference record after recording 35 field goal makes, eclipsing the former record of 33 set by the Falcons during the 2010-11 campaign. They also totaled a GNAC single-game record 31 assists, breaking the record set by the Falcons seven years ago.

Seattle Pacific swept the season series after snapping Simon Fraser’s three-game win streak. The Clan ends the year 14-15 and fall to SPU for the first time in GNAC Championships history. With the victory, the Falcons advance to play the defending tournament champion No. 2 seed Alaska Anchorage in the semifinals on Friday at 7:30 p.m. (Alaska time).

Seattle Pacific’s Courtney Hollander posted a team-high 17 points and was one of five Falcons in double-figure scoring.  Jordan McPhee and Erica Pagano supplied 14 and 11 points while Carly Rataushk and Julia Haining each had 10. The Falcons dominated most offensive categories, highlighted by its 50-10 advantage in the paint and 31 bench points.

In terms of scoring, Jessica Jones and Sophie Swant were the bright spots for the Clan’s offense as they posted 16 and 15 points, respectively. Simon Fraser shot well from downtown, however, as it went 12 for 25 from beyond the arc and missed just three free throws.

Struggling offensively early on, both teams combined to go 9 for 31 from the field in the first quarter. Lindsey Lee led the Falcons with six points in the quarter after knocking down a pair of corner three-pointers. McPhee ended the quarter on a positive note after blowing past her defender for an easy layup. Seattle Pacific forced six turnovers in the period. 

Riley Evans extended the SPU lead to 34-24 at the 4:27 mark of the second quarter following her first three-pointer of the night from the left elbow.

The Clan doubled its scoring output in the period after putting up just 10 points in the opening stanza. Seattle Pacific walked into the halftime with a 41-30 advantage. Jones posted nine of her first-half points in the second period for the Clan.

Seattle Pacific was able to close the contest seamlessly as it outscored the Clan 24-10 in the third quarter. The Falcons shot 61 percent from the field while limiting SFU to 2 of 12 shooting. Seattle Pacific didn’t let up as it outmatched the Clan in the fourth quarter, 20-19.