Falcons stopped the unstoppable

Konner Hancock

The Falcons foiled the Western Washington Vikings’ chance at an undefeated season last Saturday, Jan. 27.

With incredible play on both sides of the ball, Seattle Pacific University put an end to Western Washington’s 10 game winning streak, beating them 92-88. Surprisingly, given how they took down WWU, earlier in the week SPU fell to the Simon Fraser Clan by just a single point, 81-80. The early week loss pushed the Falcons out of the top three spots in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

Against the Vikings, SPU had trouble early on. The WWU team had already earned a 12 point lead by the tenth minute of the first half.

Despite Western’s early lead, SPU had started off strong offensively.

“One thing I really like about this group is that everyone can score,” said Grant Leep, the men’s basketball head coach. “We can hurt our opponents in different ways and stay aggressive offensively. I love the scoring balance this team has.”

SPU’s offense had six of their eight man roster score double digit points. Gabe Colosimo was the teams point leader at 21 points. He nailed 10 of his 22 shots, eight attempts of which were three pointers. Colosimo also took advantage of his chances at the stripe; he shot a perfect 4-4 on the free-throw line.

“Gabe Colosimo got off to a great start shooting the ball, Coleman Wooten and Gavin Long made some big plays scoring the ball late, and Nathan Streufert was a consistent contributor all afternoon,” Leep said. “Those guys really stepped up and gave our group a model of how to play hard.”

Streufert earned the second most points on the team with 15, trailed by Gavin Long and Coleman Wooten, who earned 12 points each.

Despite the offensive effort, the Falcons did not hold the lead the entire game. By the end of the first half, WWU had their 12 point lead cut to just two points.

As the second half began, the tides began to shift, each team struggling to get the upper hand, the lead changed six times throughout the span of the game.

By mid second half, the Falcons had reached their biggest lead of the game, eight points. From then on, SPU held the lead till the end of the game.

The matchup against Simon Fraser did not end in a similar way. The Falcons started the game with the lead, and midway through the first half the Falcons had already worked up to a lead of nine points, but it was short lived. By the end of the first half, their lead was cut down to just three points.

In the eighth minute of the second half, the Clan found their largest lead of six points, but they didn’t hold it for long. The second half held three lead changes as the game neared a close.

“[Simon Fraser] is a very good team,” Leep said. “They play very hard as their ability to hit 3’s means they are never out of it. Credit them for playing hard and hitting some tough shots down the stretch.”

Within the final two minutes, the game was tied 69-69. Each team netted a few buckets, but Simon Fraser earned five more than SPU, leaving the score at 79-74 with twenty seconds left in the game.

SPU tried to take back the lead in those last few seconds, scoring six more points, but the Clan managed to snag another two to hold their lead at just one point as game came to a close.

“We needed to do a better job of taking care of the basketball, then finishing our plays,” Leep said.

The loss moved SPU out of the No. 3 spot and into the No.4 spot in the GNAC.
The Falcons next matchup is at home, on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m. They face-off against the No. 8 team, the 5-7 Alaska Anchorage.