Considering that Seattle Pacific’s men’s basketball team received numerous preseason accolades — including GNAC favorites and Sporting News’ No. 1 in DII — it was probably a shock for many to see the Falcons trail to DIII Concordia University 30-25 with 3:35 remaining in the first half. Ryan Looney, SPU’s head coach, was well aware of the visitor’s capabilities.
“They already had 28 practices and played three exhibition games,” Looney said. “I was worried about that.”
The Falcons eventually settled into their usual pace and found holes in the Cavaliers’ defense, seizing a 36-32 lead. In the second half, SPU continued to separate from its opponent, sparked by a 10-point run a few minutes after the break.
Junior post Cory Hutsen led SPU with 24 points,and senior forward Patrick Simon added 21. Senior point guard David Downs, the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year, had 13 points and a team-high eight assists. In his first game with the Falcons, junior guard Matt Borton, a transfer from the University of Idaho, had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
As a team, the Falcons shot 53 percent from the field, while limiting the Cavaliers to 40 percent, and won the rebound advantage 43-31. It did appear to be an early season game, though, as the Falcons uncharacteristically had 18 turnovers, including 10 in the first half.
The Falcons will travel to Palo Alto, Calif., to face Stanford in their final exhibition game on Saturday at 2 p.m.