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Originally published Thursday, November 29, 2012 at 10:41 PM

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Benson powers SPU women to victory | NW Briefs

Katie Benson had 18 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots as Seattle Pacific opened the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's...

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Katie Benson had 18 points, 17 rebounds and two blocked shots as Seattle Pacific opened the Great Northwest Athletic Conference women's basketball season by beating Northwest Nazarene, 76-69 at Brougham Pavilion Thursday night.

The Falcons (4-1 overall, 1-0) won their conference opener for the 11th time in 12 tries.

Northwest Nazarene (5-1, 0-1) lost for the first time this season.

Betsy Kingma came off the bench to score 15 points, Rachel Murray had 12 points and seven rebounds, and Aubree Callen contributed 11 points and four assists for SPU.

Megan Hingston scored 19 for NNU.

Other basketball

Patrick Simon scored 30 points as Seattle Pacific won its GNAC men's opener, 72-60 at Alaska Fairbanks. Simon, a 6-foot-8 junior transfer from Washington State, hit 13 of 17 shots, including 4 of 6 three-point attempts. The Falcons (6-1, 1-0) shot 60 percent and hit 10 of 15 three-point tries. Jobi Wall scored 14 for the Falcons and made all four of his three-point shots. The Nanooks (4-4, 0-1), meanwhile, were 3 of 17 behind the arc.

• Sydney Donaldson's 16 points helped Western Washington (5-0, 1-0) beat Western Oregon 77-54 in Bellingham in a GNAC women's opener.

Volleyball

Western Washington advanced with a victory but Central Washington was eliminated in the first round of the NCAA Division II tournament in Laie, Hawaii. Kelsey Moore had 10 kills as Western (24-3) beat Sonoma State 25-20, 25-18, 26-24. Central lost to Cal State, 25-16, 20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 15-13, and finished the season 21-8.

Golf

Former Husky Richard Lee shot a 5-under 67 and is 11 under par, two strokes out of the lead, after two rounds of the PGA Tour qualifying tournament in La Quinta, Calif. The top 25 and ties will receive 2013 PGA Tour cards, and the next 50 and ties will earn Web.com Tour cards.

Sailing

Charlie McKee, a Washington graduate and two-time Olympic medalist, was appointed high performance director for U.S. Olympic Sailing. His responsibilities will include managing all on-the-water elements of the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider.

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