Falcons fall to Colorado teams

Lacking consistency at Sodexo Classic

Kyle Morrison, Sports Writer

The Sodexo Classic is thrown every year by Seattle Pacific University Athletics for both the women’s and men’s basketball teams. This is done as a chance to showcase SPU hoops to the entire school and brew excitement for the season. 


Last weekend, the Falcons and Concordia University Portland both played against Regis University and Colorado School of Mines. This year, SPU women’s and men’s basketball went 0-4 collectively, leaving many SPU fans wondering about the future of both programs. 


For the women’s team, the last two losses added salt to many early season wounds, as the women have gone 0-6 in their first six games. While the two games during the Sodexo Classic were close, the Falcons could not manage to put two good consecutive halves of basketball together. 


After being outscored 27-14 in the first half against Colorado School of Mines Friday, Nov. 22, the Falcons stormed back. Managing to get the deficit as close as one point with five minutes left in the fourth quarter, SPU eventually lost to the Orediggers 66-55. Sammy Van Sickle and Courtney Stanton both scored 14 points to help lead Colorado School of Mines. Junior Abril Rexach Roure had 19 points for the Falcons.


On Saturday, Nov. 23, the Falcons jumped out to a 34-26 lead against Regis University in the first half, making many fans believe that the second half magic from the night before had carried over through the night. 


But the Falcons found themselves stifled in the second half, getting outscored 36-19 and having their hopes of winning dashed once again. Regis University had a very balanced scoring attack as four players, Whitney Jacob, Emma Sterkel, Tashika Burrell and Grace O’Neill all scored in double digits. Roure again led the Falcons with 13 points. 


The Falcons struggled to shoot the three ball throughout the weekend, managing to only drain 27% of their chances in both games.


In fact, the Falcons success can be directly tied to three-point field goals. In halves where the Falcons outscored their opponents, they shot 41% from the three-point range and in halves where they were outscored, that percentage dropped to 13%. 


The Falcons also struggled mightily in the turnover category as they committed 37 unforced errors, while only forcing 21 from their opponents. 


Even in the face of a 0-6 season, the Falcons found some positives this weekend. Both games were close and winnable, which means that as the Falcons enter conference, getting rid of minor mistakes can be the difference between a fair amount of wins and losses..”When it’s winning time we have to stay disciplined in the areas that got us to that point,” Falcons head coach Mike Simonson said.

Also, over the weekend, point guard Roure continued to prove her worth as a shot maker, going 11-16 from the field and catching fire for the Falcons on Friday to help fuel the comeback. 


Star Junior Ashlynn Burgess struggled in Friday’s game, but came back with a 12 point outing on Saturday. The defense also played well, as the Falcons managed to hold their opponents below 40% from the field this weekend.


Overall the SPU women’s basketball team is continuing to grow as a group, and while they are 0-6, there still are a lot of positives that the Falcons can take into their conference schedule. 

“Offensively there are a lot of players that have had good games,” Simonson said. “You can find bright spots in every game we’ve played … Defensively we have guarded very well for stretches, if we put out a full effort we are a very good basketball team.”

 Unfortunately, if they do not figure out how to fix the weaknesses that have caused them to go winless so far, they could be in for a rough conference campaign as they were ranked second to last in the GNAC coaches preseason poll.