SPU jump-starts conference games

The 10-3 women’s basketball team stormed into the regular season during the winter break.

The Falcons’ regular season started with a bulk of conference matchups to look forward to.

In their first game, where they defeated the Montana State Billings 70-61, defense was key even among the top offensive performers for the Falcons. Jordan McPhee paired her team high score of 19 points with a pair of blocks and three steals.

McPhee wasn’t the only SPU player with an impressive defensive game, Julia Haining having one block and three steals.

The second game, against Northwest Nazarene, ended in a extremely close defeat for the Falcons. SPU was on the verge of a major comeback throughout the third quarter and into the fourth, but could not quite finish out the game.

The Falcons got the game within one point after a fourth quarter 8-2 point run. Mcphee was able to get her hands on a rebound from a missed NNU layup with nine seconds left on the clock. The ball was driving up the court when it was knocked out of bounds with only 1.6 seconds left. The Falcons’ Lindsay Lee threw in to McPhee, only for a NNU player to force a jump ball with just two-tenths of a second left. The jump ball fell in NNU’s favor and they ran the rest of the clock out.

Despite the loss, SPU kept the highest scoring team in the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference 25 points below its scoring average. Along with defeating NNU’s scoring average, SPU was able to grab 12 steals. Jordan McPhee accounted for the team high of four steals.

McPhee accounted for the team high score of 13 points against NNU.

The third game seemed to be a much easier contest for Falcons, winning 62-43.

McPhee was able to top the charts in this game as well. She accounted for a team high 14 points, four assists and three steals.

Although McPhee tops the stats in several categories this season, her coach says it’s all due to her play and not the game plan.

“Jordan enables herself to be in position to score,” said Julie Heisey, head coach of the women’s basketball team. “She makes defensive plays, she cuts and rebounds and it puts her in a spot to score. Just this last game she grabbed an offensive rebound and was able to put it right back up for the first points of the game and that got us ahead by two.”

The game plan gives the opportunity for several players to earn stats like McPhee does, but McPhee is able to capitalize on more opportunities than most, Heisey said.

“I’d like to have at least four girls get double numbers, but it also depends on the team. We may focus on rebounds, steals depending on how the other team plays,” she said.

Guard Rachel Shim sticks with George Fox player to keep her from moving toward the hoop and passing to any of her teammates

The Falcons next game is on Jan. 11 at Western Washington at 7 p.m.

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