The Falcon | Volume 83, Issue 52
Published 5/22/13 | Log In
Team sweeps tournament; Murray MVP
By JEFF REINTJES, Staff Reporter
Published: November 14, 2012
Perfection is something that is hard to maintain for any period of time. It’s even more impressive when it’s lasted for 12 years. Seattle Pacific’s women’s basketball team has posted a 24-0 record in the last 12 Sodexo Tip-Off Classics. The two most recent wins came over the weekend.
Saturday night, the Seattle Pacific’s women’s basketball team knocked off Western State Colorado 62-45 at the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic at Royal Brougham Pavilion. Senior forward Rachel Murray led the team with 12 points and earned Most Valuable Player honors for the second straight year.
“Rachel played very consistently over the two games,” head coach Julie Heisey said. “She was very versatile, playing both guard and post, and made few mistakes. She has a great understanding of the game and she does the things you can’t see in the stat sheet.”
Royal Brougham has historically been a tough place for opposing teams to win. Last year, the women’s team had a record of 12-3 at home.
“SPU has always taken pride in protecting our home court,” Murray said. “Like many other years, we have set goals to be undefeated at home, and it all starts with the Sodexo tournament. I’m extremely proud of our team for our performance this weekend in general, and it’s also exciting to be a part of the unbeaten streak.”
In the matchup with Western State Colorado, it was the women’s philosophy of creating offense through their defense that won the game.
“Being tough defensively worked for us,” sophomore guard Suzanna Ohlsen said. “Generating steals and keeping the flow of the game the way we wanted it helped us. It’s important that we get a few wins under our belt in front of our home fans.”
This year, the women’s team is looking to improve after yet another winning season.
“This year there are three big things that I think we have improved on,” Ohlsen said. “We are much more disciplined, we have improved team chemistry and [we] have a greater goal that we are working towards.”
The women’s team has had to deal with injuries this year.
However, Heisey believes that these injuries haven’t been only negative.
“Because of the injuries we are dealing with, players have had to step up,” Heisey said. Some players are now gaining experience and learning now what they would not have gotten because of these injuries.”
On Friday night, the Falcons squared off against Illinois Springfield.
SPU dominated the game, winning 80-54.
“One thing that will help this team is how we’ve all bought into our weight lifting,” Ohlsen said. “Our team is stronger this year and in better shape.”
This year’s team also features a nice blend of veteran leadership and young promise. With four seniors on the team, the Falcons have the luxury of experience, but also a promising future core with four talented freshmen.
“Our coaches did a great job recruiting four great girls that fit into our team perfectly,” Murray said. “They are all talented, work hard and are eager to learn, which has made it an easy transition. I also believe that our returners have matured and grown since last year, which created a strong core for the newcomers to join. I believe our team is not only built for success this year but also in years to come.”
On Friday, the women’s team heads to Western Washington University to compete in the West Regional Crossover Tournament against UC San Diego.
Just like the rest of the team, Murray is excited and ready for the rest of the season.
“I’m really excited for our team,” she said. “I think we have a lot of potential, and we have all worked really hard in the offseason. I think the biggest keys for us this year includes sticking to the fundamentals, making the most of each opportunity and also to just have fun and enjoy the experience.”