Lauren Allison, Staff Writer
The Marcus Pavilion bleachers were filled with eager fans for the double-header games during Pack the Pavilion night at Saint Martin’s. Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams walked away with a win after tough fought battles. The student section was packed with fans wearing red from top to bottom as they cheered on the Saints throughout the night.
The women, currently ranked ninth in the standings (2-8) played against last place Alaska (0-10). After a back and forth fight to gain the lead throughout the games, SMU maintained control during the last three minutes, finishing with a 66-61 win over the Nanooks. The team lost their center player, senior Elin Johansson due to injury early in the game. Johansson is ranked third in scoring, third in field goal percentage, fifth in minutes played, eighth in blocked shots, 10th in defensive rebounding, 12th in rebounding, and 13th in offensive rebounding in the GNAC. The Saints shot 78 percent from the free throw line which came in clutch throughout the game. The Nanooks were up by eight during the second quarter, but a perfect 8-for-8 run at the free throw line for the Saints tied up the game going into halftime. Senior Hannah Reynolds, added two more free throws with five seconds left, making the score 64-61 and then another two after a turn over by Alaska, sealing the win for SMU.
Along with the 78 percent from the free throw line, the Saints shot 31 percent from the field and 23 percent from the beyond the arc. They recorded 32 rebounds, 8 assists and 5 turnovers, along with two blocks and seven steals. Saniah Simpson-Patu recorded a career high of 24 points, along with seven rebounds, one block and one steal. Followed by Makenna Shultz with 11 points, Rebekah Baugh with nine points and seven rebounds and Reynolds with 10 points, three assists and two rebounds.
Following the women’s game, the SMU Men’s team walked off the court with a well-deserved win of 75-69 over Montana State Billings (ninth in GNAC). Once again, Luke Chavez was a key factor in the win, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and seven assists. Jordan Kitchen recorded 14 points and five rebounds, followed by Matt Dahlen who had 13 points and three rebounds. As a team, SMU recorded 36 rebounds, 14 turnovers and seven steals. They shot 49 percent from the field, 50 percent from beyond the arc and 56 percent from the free throw line.
The game started off with back and forth scoring, putting the score at 5-5. With over five minutes remaining, the Yellowjackets went on a 10-0 run putting the Saints down by seven points (33-26) going into halftime. With 18 minutes remaining in the second half, SMU cut the Yellowjacket`s lead to just two points. Two three-pointers from Rhett Baerlocher and Chavez put the Saints in the lead. Two more baskets from Tavian Henderson and EJ Boyce kept them in front with a 52-49 lead with 11 minutes left in the game. The men then went on a 10-0 run, increasing their lead against Montana. The Yellowjacket’s were able to close the gap to 71-64, but the Saints responded with four free throws in a row which guaranteed them their 75-69 win. The Saints currently sit third in the GNAC with a record of 6-4.