Closing out wins, continuing dominant play

Women’s Basketball wins on road for first time, Men’s Basketball winning streak grows to fourteen

Daniel Newman, Sports Editor

This week in Falcon sports, women’s basketball finally got a win on the road, men’s basketball approached SPU history by pushing their winning streak to 14 games, and Track and Gymnastics hit the road for a rare Sunday competition for both teams. 


It took seven away contests, but Seattle Pacific University’s women’s basketball won while away  as they took down Montana State Billings University 69-63 Thursday, Jan. 23.


The Falcons jumped out to a quick 13-5 lead in the game, but the Yellowjackets tied the game at 18 by the time that the quarter ended. The score remained tight throughout the rest of the first half, but Montana State came out firing in the third quarter, hitting two quick threes and building a nine point lead. 


The Falcons trimmed the deficit to two points by the end of the third, and made four out of the six three-point shots they attempted in the quarter. Senior Madi Hingston and junior Hailee Bennett combined to hit four of six free throws in the final minute, sealing the win for the Falcons. 


“We have been playing well and to see us pull off a win that included a big fourth quarter rally is huge,” Head Coach Mike Simonson said. “In previous games we had executed well in the fourth quarter but didn’t always get the victory.”


Bennett led the Falcons in scoring with 18 points, and redshirt freshman Bayley Brennan took four three-pointers throughout the game, and made them all. Junior Ashlynn Burgess had 11 points and eight rebounds as well. 


The Yellowjackets were led by Jeanann Lemelin’s 18 points and Taryn Shelley’s 17 points and 10 rebounds.


“We were confident that a big road win was coming, luckily it came fast after our loss to Saint Martin’s on Tuesday,” Simonson said.


The game Simonson was referring to was tight the entire way. Neither team took more than a five-point lead throughout. 


The Falcons held a 55-50 lead with nine minutes to go when the tide began to turn. Saints forward Bria Thames scored eight points as part of an 11-0 to give the Saints a 61-55 lead. The Falcons went on a run of their own, as Ashlynn Burgess hit six straight points of her own. 


Thames came back down and hit two free throws on one of the Saints’ next possessions. With time running out for the Falcons, freshman Kayla Brundidge threw up a shot with three seconds left that did not connect and the Saints walked away with the win. 


The Saints were led by the 26 points of Tierney DeDontis, and Thames’ 20 points and 15 rebounds. Claire Dingus also had 11 points and six rebounds for the Saints. 


The Falcons were led by the 25 points of Burgess, and Hailee Bennett had 10 points and six assists. The Falcons also got 10 points from Sophomore Ashley Alter. 


On Thursday, Jan. 23, the Falcon men’s basketball team faced a tough test, putting their 12 game win streak up against second-place Western Washington University. 


The game was a physical battle, with fans from both teams packing the gym. With the game tied at 17 with eight minutes left to go in the first half, the Falcons’ Divant’e Moffitt hit a layup. From there, the Falcons went on a 12-2 run, pushing their lead to 31-19. They never let go of the lead from that point. 


The Vikings were within seven points as the second half started, but the Falcons ripped off a 12-4 run to extend the lead back to 15.


The Falcons led by as much as 19 before the game ended. Even though the Vikings whittled the lead down to nine points, the Falcons walked away with a 74-65 win.


Moffitt scored 27 points, 23 of which came in the second half, to lead the Falcons to victory. Junior Harry Cavell had 12 points, and freshman Shaw Anderson scored nine points and grabbed six rebounds. 


As for the Vikings, Trevor Jasinsky had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Jalen Green had 16 points.


Coming off a big win, the Falcons continued their hot streak into a matchup against Simon Fraser University Saturday, Jan. 25. 


The Falcons jumped out to a quick lead, shooting 57% in the first half as opposed to Simon Fraser’s 34%. It was complete domination from start to finish, as the Falcons’ lead got as great as 36 points before the game ended. The Falcons put up 94 points on the day, as they won 94-68.


Cavell led the Falcons by putting up a career high 27 points and nine rebounds, and Moffitt had 23 points and 8 assists. Redshirt freshman Filip Fullerton had 12 points and eight rebounds.


Wilfried Balata had 24 points and seven rebounds for Simon Fraser, Jasdeep Singh had 11 points, and Drew Bryson had eight points and seven rebounds off the bench. 


With both wins this week, the men’s basketball team pushed their winning streak to 14 games, one away from tying the school record set by the 2002 team. They will have a chance to tie and break the record against Alaska Fairbanks University Thursday Jan. 30, and against Alaska Anchorage University Saturday, Feb. 1.


The Falcon men’s track team kicked off their season on Sunday, Jan. 26, with an indoor meet at the Chiles Center in Portland Oregon. 


The Falcons best event on the day was the 400 meter run, as sophomore David Njeri finished the event in fourth place with a time of 52.25 seconds, and freshman Julius Shepherd finished in sixth in the same event with a time of 53.5 seconds. 


The Falcons also got a top-five finish from sophomore Colby Otero, as he finished the mile in four minutes and 24 seconds, giving him a fifth place finish.


Other SPU runners ran in the 800-meters and the 3,000-meters, with the top finishers being junior Elius Graff in 22nd in the 800 and freshman Jon Owen finishing in 29th in the 3,000.


Gymnastics also took to the floor on Sunday, heading to San Jose, California to take on San Jose State University and Boise State University. The Falcons again improved their overall team score, posting a score of 191.575. 


The Falcons best event was floor exercise, as senior Darian Burns scored a 9.825 and freshman Alixandra Pierce scored a 9.625. The Falcons also scored well in the uneven bars, with Burns scoring a 9.800, junior Shelbi Spivey scoring a 9.750 and freshman Corrin Coons scoring a 9.700.


The Falcons next highest scoring event was the balance beam, with Pierce posting a score of 9.775, and senior Miyuki Masune scoring 9.750. 


The gymnastics team’s next meet will be at home in Royal Brougham Pavilion Friday, Jan. 31 against Sacramento State University and Alaska Anchorage University.