Falcons blow out another opponent

The Seattle Pacific University women’s basketball team, coming off of a four-game winning streak, stuck to precedent last night when they defeated Northwest College 102-51.

The game started slowly with Northwest and SPU remaining fairly even in scoring. Ten minutes into the first half the score was tied at 20. But toward the end of the first half, SPU, ranked 20th in the nation, surged forward. The half ended with SPU ahead by a score of 50-28.

At the end of the first half, the leading scorers for the Falcons were juniors Stephanie Urrutia and Kelley Berglund, both with eight points. Berglund leads the team in scoring, averaging 17.5 points a game.

The Falcons also ended the half with nine offensive rebounds, 18 defensive rebounds, nine steals and were five for six from the free-throw line.

During the halftime break fans were entertained by the antics of the Northwest mascot, an eagle who ruffled a few feathers with dance moves that would put Michael Jackson to shame. The women came out for the second half with renewed vigor and really punished the Northwest Eagles, presumably for the dancing of their mascot.

In the first seven minutes of the second half, the Falcons pushed the ball well, creating many scoring opportunities. They had a 24-0 run that put them 46 points ahead and brought the score to 74-28.

"We came together as a team in the second half," Urrutia said. "We knew we had to keep them under a certain amount of points, and that meant our defense really had to pick it up."

The Eagles are not to be laughed at, however, because even though they were behind they kept playing hard. Seven minutes into the second half Northwest’s Becky Pilgrim was elbowed in the face but regained her composure, shook off the blow and continued to play.

Alas, the Falcons’ overwhelming defense and unrelenting offense proved too much for the Eagles, and the game’s final score was 102-51, the Falcons doubling their opponents’ score.

The game was the fourth consecutive game in which the Falcons have reached the 100-point mark.

Last night the Falcons had 99 points with 45 seconds remaining in the game, and tensions ran high. But a foul on SPU junior Jill Isaacson proved fatal to the Eagles when she hit both of her free throws. The crowd erupted when she made her first free throw, and the scoreboard turned from 99 to 100.

"It’s pretty awesome," freshman Michelle Beaumont said about the Falcons’ four-game, 100-plus point run. "That really shows a lot about the depth of our offense." Many team members, including Urrutia, echoed Beaumont’s sentiments and expressed pride in their team.

One of the strongest aspects of the team is the talent they have in their reserves. Last week sophomore Valerie Gustafson, coming off of an ear infection, scored 40 points and managed 19 rebounds.

Tonight marked the Falcons’ last home game until Jan. 3 and their final game before GNAC play begins on Dec. 6 with an away game at Saint Martin’s. The women now have a 5-0 record and are excited for the season to start in earnest.

Assistant coach Lynne DeYoung, who is entering her fifth season with SPU, is also excited for her team.

"We’re doing pretty well right now. We had a great second half. [The women] played hard; we challenged them at halftime, and they came out with a 24-0 run. But it’s going to get tough," DeYoung said.

After St. Martin’s the Falcons take on Northwest Nazarene Dec. 8, and then they have a well-earned rest for eight days. The women will get back into it when they travel to Hawaii for the Coconut Coast Classic, which runs Dec. 17 and 18. After the Classic, they have a break for Christmas, and then they start again on Dec. 28 when they face Cal Poly Pomona.

The women are currently ranked first in the GNAC in scoring (averaging 99.3 points per game), margin of victory (44.5 points), rebounding margin (14.5), field goal shooting (.536) and blocked shots (6.5).

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Title: Falcons blow out another opponent | Author: Luke Thoburn | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2001-11-28 | Internal ID: 2330