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Originally published Tuesday, March 12, 2013 at 9:47 PM

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SPU men climb to school-best No. 2 ranking | NW Briefs

Seattle Pacific University's men's team is ranked No. 2 in the NCAA Division II coaches poll, the highest ranking in the school's 70-year basketball history.

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Seattle Pacific University's men are No. 2 in the NCAA Division II coaches poll, the highest ranking in the school's 70-year basketball history.

The Falcons, who were No. 3 last week, moved up one spot after beating Western Washington 72-70 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference championship game Saturday night.

West Liberty (30-1) of West Virginia remained No. 1 and defending national champ Western Washington (27-2) dropped from second to fourth.

"Up to this point they've been able to do some things that nobody else that's come before them have been able to do," fourth-year SPU coach Ryan Looney said of his players.

SPU (25-3) needs two wins to match the school record set in 1999-2000.

The eight-team West Region tournament begins Friday at Carver Gym on the WWU campus in Bellingham. SPU plays Grand Canyon (23-7) at noon, and WWU meets Chaminade (19-10) at 7:30 p.m. The region champion advances to the Elite Eight in Louisville, Ky.

Western Washington is also hosting the women's regional, which starts Saturday. The Vikings play Academy of Art at 7:30 p.m.

Hockey

• Luke Lockhart scored twice in the first nine minutes as the Seattle Thunderbirds beat Tri-City 8-3 in a Western Hockey League game in front of 5,034 at the ShoWare Center in Kent. Seattle clinched a playoff spot with the win. The T-birds (24-37-7-2) will host Games 3 and 4 of a first-round playoff series against either the Portland Winterhawks or Kelowna Rockets. Game 3 will be March 26. Tuesday's scoring was a season-high goal total for the T-birds. Connor Honey, Seth Swenson and Roberts Lipsbergs each had a goal and two assists.

Baseball

Sean Narby and Chris Jaeger drove in three runs apiece as Seattle U beat Saint Martin's 13-7 at Bannerwood Park in Bellevue. Narby had a bases-loaded triple for the Redhawks (6-11). Chandler Tracy had a pinch-hit homer for the Saints (3-15).

• Washington's game against Portland was rained out and rescheduled for 5 p.m. March 19 at Husky Ballpark.

Softball

Brittney Lott and Brianna Guerrero each went 3 for 4 and Richelle Ashburn tossed a three-hitter as Seattle U (10-14) beat visiting Yale, 6-1.

Maria Gau tossed a two-hitter and two other Central Washington pitchers teamed on a three-hitter as the Wildcats swept Northwest University, 5-0 and 8-0 in Ellensburg.

Golf

• Seattle U finished 13th in the 14-team Sacramento State Invitational in Elk Grove, Calif. The Redhawks' Colter Morton tied for 44th at 9-over par 225.

• Eastern Washington's women finished runner-up to Houston Baptist in the Jackrabbit Invitational in Primm, Nev. Marissa Borja of EWU finished second overall.

Tennis

• Washington State's women lost 4-3 to UNLV in Las Vegas, Nev., despite singles wins by Elizaveta Luzina, Andjela Kankaras and Charlotte Koning.

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