Women win four in a row

After compiling a 4-1 record to begin the season, the Seattle Pacific women’s basketball team enjoyed a well-deserved Thanksgiving break. The squad will have ample opportunity to burn off the seasonal-stuffing calories, as it prepares for a four-game stretch in the first 10 days of December.

This is the first year SPU has started the season before Nov. 15, which means the team has played an additional week of games before the holiday.

The Falcons kicked off the season with a loss to No. 13 California San Diego and a win against San Francisco State.

The next pair of games was a part of the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic Nov. 18 and 19 in Royal Brougham Pavilion.

It was the first homestand of the season. The Falcons played California East Bay in the first game. SPU jumped out to a 10-point lead in the first half but led only by two at the break.

Being on the wrong side of scoring runs hurt the Falcons in the first four games, but a seven-point scoring streak gave SPU a secure lead midway through the second half. The Falcons went on to win 70-59. Senior guard Jordan Harazin led with 13 points. Sophomore forward Katie Benson and junior forward Rachel Murray added 12 points each.

“We’ve been working on improving our defense. … Our best teams of recent years had outstanding defense and held [opponents] to poor shooting,” Heisey said.

In the second game against Harding, the Falcons had the best offensive production of the season. SPU shot 58 percent from the field, including 64 percent in the second half.

The Falcons were even more efficient from the three-point range, shooting 60 percent.

SPU dominated the boards too, out-rebounding Harding by 13. Led by Benson’s career high 23 points, the Falcons won 89-66. Murray was named the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. She was also named to the All-Tournament First Team, along with Benson.

“Going into these games, my main focus was to be aggressive and just enjoy myself out on the floor,” Murray said.

The next game was against Puget Sound on Nov. 22. Although it wasn’t as dominating as the previous performance, SPU spread out the scoring in a 71-60 victory.

Benson led with 15 points, and Harazin and Murray added 12 each. Senior guard Nyesha Sims, who led the team in points and rebounds last year, scored a season-high 13 points with six rebounds against Puget Sound.

“[Sims] is a good player. … I think she has gotten better because her passing improved. She hasn’t had a big offensive game, but we know she is capable of it,” Heisey said.

SPU will play its first conference game tomorrow at Simon Fraser (3-1) in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Title: Women win four in a row | Author: Danny Ciaccio | Section: Sports | Published Date: 2011-11-30 | Internal ID: 7927

Danny Ciaccio

Sports Editor Danny Ciaccio is a junior journalism major. He has been sports editor for The Falcon since March 2012. Danny is also a PR assistant for Sounders FC and the marketing intern for ROOT SPORTS. He plans on finishing school in March 2015 and is a projected first round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft.