Moffitt sets career-high scoring record

Men and women’s basketball suffer losses ahead of GNAC championships

Isabella Tranello, Sports Editor

Senior guard Divant’e Moffitt eyes the basket at a previous game against Western Washington University. (Rio Giancarlo)


The men’s basketball team played their last round of regular-season games ahead of the Great Northwest Conference Championships that begin on Wednesday, March 2. The Falcons were scheduled for three games but only played two. 

Their game against the University of Alaska Fairbanks on Monday, Feb 21, was canceled due to the Nanooks’ limited roster of only six players. This game was supposed to be a makeup game from Jan. 1. 

The first game that was not canceled was played on Thursday, Feb. 24, against the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks in Nampa, Idaho. In the first four minutes of the game, the Falcons and the Nighthawks battled for control. The lead bounced between the two teams twice before the Nighthawks pulled ahead with a jumper that brought the score to 5-2. 

The Falcons did not allow the Nighthawks’ lead to go unanswered as senior guard Divant’e Moffitt quickly scored a free throw and a layup within a minute of each other that tied the score, 5-5. 

Unfortunately for the Falcons, this was the only time during the first half that they would tie with the Nighthawks, who took the lead off of a dunk by sophomore guard George Reidy. 

Northwest Nazarene held the lead for the rest of the half, leaving the Falcons to scramble to close the gap. Despite their best efforts, SPU continued to trail Northwest Nazarene and ended the first half down by 18 points. 

The second half of the game went downhill for the Falcons as the Nighthawks’ lead continued to skyrocket with each passing minute. SPU was never able to gain the upper hand on the Nighthawks and continued to fall gravely behind. The game ended with the Falcons taking a devastating loss where they were 33 points behind the opposition. The final score was 90-57.

SPU’s highest scorer for the game was graduate-student guard Harry Cavell, who scored a total of 18 points. Moffitt scored only one point less than him at 17. 

In their next game against Central Washington University on Saturday, Feb. 26, the Falcons attempted to swing the momentum back in their favor, but were defeated for the second game in a row. 

During the first half, the Falcons kept the score fairly close and did not allow their opponents to slip far away. However, the Wildcats held the lead for most of the half and halted the Falcons from gaining the upper hand until the last minute. 

SPU soon shifted the game in their favor after a jumper from Moffitt put them up over the Wildcats, 36-35. In the last 40 seconds, sophomore guard Zack Paulsen scored a jumper for SPU and sent them into the second half with the lead. 

The confidence of the Falcons soared as Moffitt began the second half off hot with yet another jumper. Moffitt scored an all-time career-high during this game with 33 total points. SPU continued to score and held on tight to the lead for two minutes. This lead did not last long. 

A game-changing three-pointer from senior guard David Thompson tied the score, 43-43. The tide then began to shift dramatically. 

The Wildcats recaptured the lead off of a layup and held onto it with an iron clutch. They widened their lead to a 16 point difference by the end of the half and defeated the Falcons, 91-75. 

SPU’s next game will be on their home court at Royal Brougham Pavilion on Thursday, March 3, as they take on the No.3 ranked the University of Alaska Anchorage in the quarter-finals of the GNAC Championships. 


Sophomore guard Malia Mastora drives to the basket at a previous game against Saint Martin’s University. (Rio Giancarlo)

The women’s basketball team is also preparing for their GNAC tournament, which will take place during the same week as the men’s tournament. Before they could get a chance at the championships, they had to make their way through their last three opponents of the year. 

The Falcons began their week off positively as they narrowly defeated Western Oregon University on Monday, Feb. 21, 61-59. 

The action in the first half of the game kicked off in the first 15 seconds as Western Oregon scored four points off of two successful layups. SPU soon answered back with two points of their own, both scored off of free throws by senior guard Rachel Berg. 

The rest of the first half was marked by a battle of control between the Wolves and the Falcons where neither team wanted to give their opponents the lead. Due to a layup in the last 50 seconds of the half scored by Western Oregon sophomore Cali McClave, the Wolves finished the half with a 24-21 lead. Yet, the Falcons did not go down without a fight. 

SPU took hold of the lead in the second half after a layup by sophomore guard Malia Mastora brought the score to 35-33. The Falcons held onto their lead and began to feel the anticipation of the win, that was until a foul was called against redshirt freshman guard Anna Eddy. 

Western Oregon junior guard Tresai McCarver was awarded two free throw attempts due to Eddy’s foul. She scored both of them cleanly and sent the game into overtime after she tied the score at 53-53. 

After a tough and intense overtime battle, the Falcons came out with the victory. 

The women played two more games during the week on Thursday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, Feb. 26, but the outcomes were much different. SPU lost both of their games but continued to keep the scores close. 

The Falcons lost against Northwest Nazarene with a score of 57-54 and were defeated by Central Washington, 63-55. 

In the game against the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks, the Falcons trailed their opponents during the entire game. the Falcons never gained the lead once despite multiple attempts and the proximity of the scores. Whenever the Falcons scored, the Nighthawks always found a way to answer back.

In the end, the Nighthawks’ cautious and strategic gameplay helped them clutch the victory and defeat SPU. 

The top SPU scorers for the game against Northwest Nazarene were Mastora and freshman center Schuyler Berry both with 10 total points scored. 

The Central Washington Wildcats proved to be even tougher competition for the Falcons. The teams were evenly matched and both were unrelenting in their scoring. In the first half alone, the lead changed hands 12 times. The defense of both teams played so effectively that for the last minute of the half neither team scored a single basket. 

In the second half, it took nearly four minutes for either team to score until the Wildcats finally landed a good jumper and brought the score to 30-29. The back and forth action of the first half did not persist in the second half. Once the Wildcats captured the lead, the game was over for the Falcons. 

Following these two losses, SPU will compete in the GNAC Championship Tournament on their home court. They will take on the No. 10 ranked Alaska Fairbanks on Wednesday, March 2, in the first round.