Starting off season with victory

Beirne scores 17 in first college game, Falcons win by five

Sabrina Jiles and Daniel Newman

Those that were allowed to attend the Women’s basketball game checked in as they arrived and had their temperatures taken at the entrance. (Marissa Lordahl)

The Seattle Pacific women’s basketball team faced off against the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes on Monday, Jan. 11, at Royal Brougham Pavilion, in an unconventional way. The gym was free of the roaring fans, and players were sitting six feet apart from each other and had to check in on the opposite side of the court. To keep the players protected, everyone went through a series of COVID-19 tests, including the referees.

Without the fans, the players relied on their teammates to encourage them, and the Falcons who were on the sidelines came through.

“Our bench was so good, I mean, it was awesome. Even though we can’t be right next to each other, we’re not really high fiving, the energy was so high, and even hearing your teammates on the sidelines cheer for you can get you riled up and ready to play,” redshirt freshman Hunter Beirne said.

“Not having fans makes things a little quieter, but I got to give a shoutout to my teammates, because everyone on and off the bench was loud throughout the entire game,” said senior forward Ashlynn Burgess. “We have to work a little harder to fill the gym with energy, but on Monday, we did just that.”

The Falcons got off to a good start in the beginning of the first quarter with SPU junior forward Ashley Alter scoring the first two points of the game and kicking off the season for the Falcons. The Falcons started off the game with strong defense, as the Lutes did not score for the first three and a half minutes of the game.

Chairs are set apart for athletes when they are not on the court. (Marissa Lordahl)

Both teams had trouble maintaining possession of the ball throughout the first quarter, with both teams turning over the ball a combined 26 times in the first half. At the end of the first quarter, the Falcons lead the Lutes, 14-13.

Going into the second quarter, the Falcons struggled to put the ball in the basket for the first three minutes, going 0-2 from the field and 0-2 from the free throw line, causing the Lutes to take the lead. PLU led 21-16 with 6:27 left in the second quarter.

The Falcons did not back down, with Beirne, junior guard Rachel Berg, sophomore post Kayla Brundidge, and senior guard Abril Rexach Roure all putting points on the board in the second quarter. The Falcons went into halftime with a four point lead, 27-23.

Alter made her presence known in the third quarter, scoring nine of SPU’s 16 points. The Falcons finished the third quarter leading 43-39.

It was not time to celebrate yet, because the Lutes were not ready to throw in the towel, bringing it to a one possession game a few times during the fourth quarter.

In the final two minutes of the game, the Lutes played a full court press and man to man defense, while the Falcons who were attempting to hold onto the lead, worked the clock.

The SPU Falcons defeated the Lutes 56-51. The Falcons were led by Beirne with 17 points and 5 rebounds, and Alter with 12 points and 7 rebounds.

“I just wanted to have a really smooth game,” Beirne said. “I didn’t want to play with nerves or anything, and so when my shots were going down, they were all within the offense.”

The Lutes were led by Ava Edmonds with 16 points and 2 rebounds and Emma Janousek with 12 points and 4 rebounds.

COVID-19 restrictions meant that the teams did not exchange handshakes, but instead waved good game from their bench and then proceeded into the locker room.