| Menís and Womenís Basketball
Teams Open the Season on November 22
A COUPLE OF senior-dominated Seattle Pacific University
basketball teams will open the regular season on November 22. The
Falcons are ranked No. 15 in one womenís preseason poll and are also
a slight favorite for the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship.
Meanwhile, the menís team begins a new era in the wake of the departure
of several key individuals.
All five starters are back for the womenís team, which plays 17th-ranked
North Dakota State in its first game, November 22, as part of a tournament
in Bellingham. Gordy Presnellís club went 22Ė6 and earned an NCAA
tournament berth for the sixth year in a row in 2002. Among the returnees
is 6-foot-3 center Kelley Berglund, who averaged 16.0 points and 7.9
rebounds as a junior. Seattle Pacific will host a Thanksgiving weekend
tournament November 29Ė30 for its only two home games prior to Christmas.
Jeff Hironaka has his menís team playing at home seven times prior
to December. Following a pair of exhibition games, the Falcons face
Minnesota-Duluth on November 22 and Central Washington on November
23 in the Vitamilk Tip- Off Classic at Brougham Pavilion. They begin
Great Northwest Conference play December 5 at Central Washington.
SPU brings back six seniors but will look very different from teams
of the past few years. Hironaka succeeds Ken Bone as coach
after an 11-year run as Boneís top assistant. Among the seniors who
graduated from last yearís GNAC co-champions were four-year starter
Brannon Stone and Nick Johnson, both all-conference picks. Yusef Aziz,
the Falconsí top scorer as a junior, returns.
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