080301 Womens Basketball Seattle Pacific University Falcons versus the Northwest Nazarene University Crusaders Snapshots
SPU, 25-0 and No. 2 in U.S., Nears Perfection
Article by Robert Marritz
It’s near the end of the season. The team you squeaked by on their court, 68-67 – burying two foul shots with 0.4 seconds on the clock – shows up on your floor. They’re quick, athletic, and looking for payback. How do you meet their attack?
Here’s what you do: You play hard, play smart, keep your focus, and meet their aggression with your own. That’s what the Seattle Pacific University women’s basketball team did against the impressive Northwest Nazarene Crusaders last Saturday evening at SPU’s Brougham Pavilion.
The Lady Falcons, now 25-0 and ranked number 2 in the country, played some of their best ball of the season. In a hard-fought game that looked even – if you didn’t look at the scoreboard – the Falcon women won by a solid 17 points, 75-58.
The SPU scoring was balanced, as always. Senior guard Jackie Hollands led four Falcons in double figures with 17 points, behind four high-arcing three-pointers. But the double-double of undersized senior forward Jessie Christensen – 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds in 20 minutes of play – was at least as impressive.
Sophomore forward Megan Hoisington added 12 points, shooting and moving with confidence in the paint against taller Crusader opponents. And Jessie’s older sister Beth flashed an uncommonly strong offensive game with 10 points and a game-high 6 assists. Both sisters shot an efficient 4-for-7 from the floor.
The Crusaders actually outshot the Falcons, 44 percent to 42, but the Falcons had a dozen more attempts, four more three-pointers, and 8 more rebounds – a telling 11 more at the offensive end – than the visitors from Nampa, Idaho.
Nine points each from junior post Kelsey Hill, along with seven strong boards, and from sophomore guard Daesha Henderson supported the playoff-bound Falcons. The 5’9” Henderson, quick and light on her feet, also recorded another of her thunderous “you’ve got swatted” blocks on an NNU shooter.
Kristin Hein led the 17-8 Crusaders with 13 points and 9 boards in a solid performance.
The SPU women close out their regular season this week against Western Oregon (8-17) on Thursday, March 6, and St. Martin’s (17-8) on Saturday, March 8. Tipoff for both games is 7 PM. SPU will say goodbye to its four outstanding seniors – Hollands, the Christensen sisters, and invaluable guard-forward Libby Magnuson – before Saturday’s game.
SPU will almost certainly be chosen to host the NCAA West regional, March 14-17. That gives a maximum of five opportunities to see this outstanding team. Don’t miss out.
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