Grabbing an early lead in a low-scoring first half, the University of Alaska Fairbanks men’s basketball team held on for a 64-56 victory Thursday night over Seattle Pacific to open Great Northwest Athletic Conference play.

The Nanooks used defensive pressure, especially clogging the middle, to prevent the Falcons from either driving or passing the ball inside with frequency. That forced SPU into a poor outside shooting night, as they hit just 36 percent for the night (20 of 55) including six of 22 from beyond the three-point line. Not scoring the first two and a half minutes of play, the Falcons went through six more stretches of over two minutes throughout the night when they couldn’t find the basket.