Fairbanks, Alaska – Patrick Simon poured in a game-high 30 points and Seattle Pacific shot better than 60-percent from the floor en route to a 72-60 men’s basketball victory against Alaska in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener for both teams on Nov. 29 at the Patty Center.
Simon, a transfer from Washington State, shot 13-of-17 for the game, including four-of-six from three-point territory to lead the Falcons (6-1, 1-0 GNAC) to a the conference-opening win. Jobi Wall tallied 14 points to go with three assists and David Downs had 12 points and seven assists.
The Nanooks (4-4, 0-1 GNAC) were led by junior guard Pat Voeut (Bellingham, Wash./Communications), who had a team-high 15 points, including 10 in the second half, as well as five assists and a game-high five steals. Junior center Sergej Pucar (Belgrade, Serbia/Business administration) chipped in nine points and two blocks while four others combined for 26 points.
SPU shot the lights out for the majority of the game, finishing 60.4-percent (29-48 FG) from the field. It also shined from outside range, hitting two-thirds of its three-point tries on 10-of-15 shooting. The Falcons held the rebounding edge 25-20 and had 20 assists on 29 made shots.
Alaska shot 47.8-percent (22-46) for the game but struggled from three, hitting only 17.6-percent (3-17 3PT) of its attempts. Free throws were also a little down as the Nanooks converted on 68.4-percent (13-19 FT) from the stripe. They had just 12 turnovers, while forcing the Falcons into 16, resulting in 10 steals for the hosts.
After the Nanooks took an early 4-0 lead, the Falcons surged in front with a 10-0 run on four-of-four shooting that spanned 1:55 to give the visitors a 10-4 advantage with under 16 to go in the first. SPU led 16-12 but a jumper by Andy Poling and three by Wall extended it to 21-12 with 9:36 to go before halftime. Later in the frame, a trey and jumper by Simon gave SPU the first double-digit lead of contest at 35-24 with 2:55 remaining and it would take a 39-29 lead into halftime.
Neither team could put up any sort of run in the second half as the SPU lead remained between nine and 13 points for the 10 minutes of the period. The Falcons opened up the game a bit after Wall made a layup with just over eight to play and Simon drained a three-ball with 7:49 to go to give them a 60-44 lead, the largest of the game. SPU stretched it to 19 at 70-51 with 2:256 left but Voeut scored seven unanswered for the Nanooks trim it back to 12.
Earlier Thursday, the Yellowjackets (4-3, 0-1 GNAC) fell 79-65 at the 25th-ranked Alaska Anchorage Seawolves (7-1, 1-0 GNAC) down in Anchorage.