GNAC Women Game 2: Northwest Nazarene Edges Seawolves
NNU players celebrate with head coach Kelli Lindley (Photo by Dan Levine)
NNU players celebrate with head coach Kelli Lindley (Photo by Dan Levine)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

LACEY, Wash. – Chelsie Luke poured through 13 first-half points sparking fifth-seed Northwest Nazarene to the early lead and the Crusaders went virtually wire-to-wire in defeating Alaska Anchorage 65-60 in Game 2 of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Women’s Basketball Championships Wednesday at Marcus Pavilion.

NNU (20-7) advances to the semifinals Friday at 2:15 p.m. against top-seed Western Washington (23-3).  Friday’s first semifinal will match No. 2 seed Simon Fraser (22-4) against sixth-seed Seattle Pacific (17-10).

The Falcons qualified for the semifinals with a 63-60 over Montana State Billings in Wednesday’s first game.

Though NNU never trailed and was tied just once, the game remained close throughout remaining in single digits over the final 15 minutes.

Alysa Horn – who finished with 20 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals – hit a short jumper to pull UAA within 58-55 at the 5-minute mark, and Jessicas Madison  completed a three-point play to cut it to 60-58 with 2:02 remaining.

But NNU’s Veronika Skokankova sank two free throws on her team’s next possession and then stole the ball from Sasha King with 38 seconds to go. Horn sliced it to 63-60 on a layup with six seconds left before NNU point guard Heather Adams iced it with two more free throws.

Luke finished the contest with a team-high 16 points.  Nine of her points came from the arc as she made three of six three-pointers.

Northwest Nazarene also got 14 points from Megan Hingston and 10 from Adams.

King had 17 points and Jenna Buchanan had 10 points and a game-high nine rebounds for UAA.