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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Men’s basketball loses first game of the new year against hot-shooting opponent

Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky hitting a layup. // Photo by Andrew McClain

By Andrew McClain

School hasn’t officially started up again yet, so the bleachers were a little on the empty side as the men’s basketball team took to the Whatcom Educational Credit Union Court in Sam Carver Gymnasium for the first time in 2019.

However the smaller crowd didn’t seem to affect the effort given by the Vikings or their opponents, the Seattle Pacific University Falcons. While both teams hustled hard throughout the game, it was the Falcons who emerged victorious in the contest by a 14-point margin.

The final score, 86-72, was influenced by a number of factors, but the most telling stats are the shooting percentages for each team. While the Vikings had a decent shooting night, going 45.2 percent from the floor and 81.8 percent from the free throw line, SPU seemed to be hitting just about everything they threw up.

The Falcons shot 50.9 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from 3-point range, and an acceptable 75 percent from the charity stripe. Their free throw shooting was particularly effective in the second half as they set up shop at the line and hit a scorching 17-20 attempts.

Their work at the free throw line alone wasn’t enough to put the game out of reach, but combined with their impressive field goal percentage and solid 3-point shooting, the Falcons put on a performance that the Vikings couldn’t quite match.

Trevor Jasinsky, junior forward and co-captain of the Vikings, played 39 minutes and led the game in scoring. He scored 20 points on an efficient 47 percent shooting night. Unfortunately, he also led the game in turnovers with six, though he mitigated those lapses on the defensive end with three blocks and a steal.

Jasinsky said he felt a little gassed towards the end of the game. Understandable, with a workload like that. He went on to describe the Falcons as a disciplined team that came in hungry and worked hard to keep the Vikings off-balance.

“They’re kind of a terror to try to guard,” Jasinsky said, crediting the Falcons with good ball movement and communication on the offensive end.

Vikings freshman guard Jalen Green pointed to rebounding as one of the key factors in the Falcons’ win.

“They really got us off the glass. That’s where we had some problems,” Green said.

The Falcons out-rebounded the Vikings 36-26, and Green said that it would probably be a point of emphasis for the Vikings to get on the boards more aggressively in practice as a team during the coming weeks to help fix that discrepancy.

Despite the loss, Green credited his teammates with performing well and said that he was looking forward to their next outing against the Saint Martin’s University Saints. He said that the team was ready to put this loss behind them and stated that they felt focused heading into Saturday’s game.

This loss puts the Vikings’ record at 7-6 for the year, and constitutes their first loss in Carver Gym for the season.

The Vikings will be back out on the court Saturday, Jan. 5 when they play Saint Martin’s University at 7 p.m. at Sam Carver Gymnasium.

For more coverage on Western Athletics follow @WFSportsLive on Twitter.

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