Falcons tussle for No. 1

Konner Hancock

The Seattle Pacific University women’s basketball has risen in the ranks early in the season.

This year’s regular season matchups began late fall quarter, and the women’s basketball team took an early jump to the top with a few other teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Falcons were 3-0 in conference duels, but after last Saturday’s performance against Montana State Billings, the team fell to 3-1. However, the 3-1 record kept them in a tie for second place.


“Billings is a team that shoots the ball very well from the three-point line. We needed to be able to limit their opportunities from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, they hit some tough shots early,” the Falcons head coach Mike Simonson said.

He stressed how MSB’s early long-range buckets put the game in jeopardy for the Falcons.

“Those baskets gave them momentum and we couldn’t convert our high percentage looks. It is always tough on the road. We need to be resilient and trust our process,” Simonson said.

Despite the struggle against the Billings, the women’s basketball team has had plenty of success in their conference matchups.

SPU had a 75-64 win against Concordia, 73-68 win over Western Oregon and a 68-64 victory against Saint Martins.

“Fortunately, we have had very good focus in our conference games. And started 3-0 in conference play,” Simonson said. “We pride ourselves on being a team that plays fast and executes on offense and defense. We have done a good job of that against our conference foes.”

In the GNAC, the Falcons are caught in a four-way tie for second place. Alaska Anchorage, Western Washington and Central Washington all land on second with a 3-1 record.

Once games against other teams who are not in the GNAC get added into their record, thing begin to appear bleak for the Falcons. The team’s overall record is 4-7.

“Losing six seniors from last season’s team, we have had to gain a lot of experience in a short time,” Simonson said. “Our non-conference record is an indicator of that. We have played some very good basketball at times; these stretches are the ones we need harness.”

The teams nonconference record is 1-6, which is the lowest win-loss percentage of all the nonconference records among the GNAC competitors.

Simonson said he has found value in the 1-6 nonconference record. The majority of those games happened early in the season, and have far less value when chasing the season championship, so it gave the Falcons a chance to gain experience playing together as a team.

The teams first seven matchups of the season are where the bulk of these losses came from, but in the most recent seven games the Falcons have accrued four wins and only three losses.

As the season moves on numbers show the women’s basketball team has been getting increasingly better.

The next matchup for the Falcons is on the road against the No. 1 conference player Northwest Nazarene University, who clocks in with a whopping 4-0 conference record.
Looking past the matchup against NNU, Simonson said, “This team has the potential to be very deadly at the end of the season. A major goal of our is to play our best basketball at the end of the year. We plan to be in the GNAC tournament and make some noise at the end of the season. The road to get there will be through hard work and steady improvement.”