First, some GNAC logistics we’ve heard people talking about:
We assume that CU-PDX leaving the conference will just see the conference round-robin go back to what it was before they entered, that being SMU being travel partners with WOU and SPU being travel partners with MSUB. Why are SPU and MSUB paired? Because in order to get to Billings from most GNAC locales, you have to fly through SeaTac, and so it actually works relatively well.
Second: Seattle Pacific has officially won the regular season championship. We thought they clinched it with the win on Thursday night but the conference website said it was only a partial, and yet… Every team directly behind them won, and yet now they’ve clinched it for real? Go figure. Congrats Falcons -keep battling; with the way the Pac-West and CCAA are going, it’s looking like the only guaranteed entry is the autobid.
Now, let’s jump into yesterday’s games:
SFU 64 @ WOU 76
We kind of thought this would be a blow-out, and yet Simon Fraser kept it relatively competitive. Relatively. The Clan was never going to win, but at the same time it never truly got out of hand, so… Moral victory? The consensus seems to be that WOU is the most dangerous team while UAF’s Shadeed Shabazz is the most dangerous player.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 15 points; Jas Singh had 18 points; and Julian Roche had 10 points and six boards. Off the bench Corey Nzigamasabo had four boards; and Mike Hannan had nine points and five boards.
Wolf highlights: Cameron Cranston had 13 points among a full house of stats; Dalven Brushier had 11 points; Darius Lubom had 15 points; and John Morrill-Keeler had five boards. Off the bench Emanuel Gant had 14 points and six boards; and Riley Hamilton went 6-6 and had 14 points and five boards.
Not the prettiest game, but big congrats to the Wolves on getting it done. If the Clan was going to try and make the Falcons overlook them, they may or may not have done a good job with Wil Balata and Mike Provenzano playing atrociously.
WWU 91 @ CU-PDX 65
It was never really a game and Rhodes continues to rotate his guys heavily in regard to starting. Dakota has now proven two games in a row that he doesn’t care at which point he plays, he’s going to hurt you, while Hunter Sweet has given other schools a good display of not being adaptable, seeing as he’s now had two really bad games in a row. Good to know.
Viking highlights: D’Angelo Minnis had 20 points; Siaan Rojas had 11 points and six boards; Logan Schilder had seven boards; Jalen Green had five boards; and Trevor Jasinsky had 13 points. Off the bench Leif Anderson had 11 points; RJ Secrest had six points, five boards, and four assists; Luke Lovelady was back and had five points; and Cameron Retherford had nine points.
Cavalier highlights: Dom Bradley had nine points. Off the bench Bryce Cheney had nine points and six boards; and Dakota Ayala had 27 points and six boards.
Congrats Vikings on getting the ‘W.’ Cavaliers, you should be aware that we did grad school at the NAIA level, and so we’re also very familiar with the Cal-Pac, Cascade, and Frontier conference, so you can also reach out if you have questions about those schools. We’ve been to probably 15 of them in person? They span Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Idaho, and Montana.
SMU 59 @ MSUB 79
It was a game for a while before MSUB blew it open in the second half. It’s games like this that prove that the transitive property is kind of BS as it comes to basketball. We’re not sure how the mental state factored in; MSUB is in “Win now” mode because they need to sweep these last five games in order to make the conference tournament. One down, four to go. Let’s go Jackets!
Saints highlights: CJ Jennings had 21 points; Marky Adams had 12 boards, nine points, and five fouls; and Alex Schumacher had 16 points, seven boards, and four assists.
Jacket highlights: Chrishon Dixon had nine points and six boards; Stevie James had nine points; and Brendan Howard had 21 points and nine boards. Off the bench Clarence Daniels had seven boards; Psalm Maduakor had 10 points, five boards, and five assists; and Jordan Lehrer had six boards.
Great to see Psalm and Stevie heating up as the season itself gets hotter. They had some good games early and then faded a bit in the middle, but… Now is the time! The march to March, time to step it up. Congrats to Alex Schumacher on having a good bounce-back game and congrats to the Jackets for living to see another day in the battle to Seattle.
CWU 68 @ UAA 70
iAy caramba! Another spicy game for the Seawolves. Interestingly enough they led pretty comfortably for the entire first half and then well into the second half, before CWU started clicking into gear with about 13 minutes left and then things were hot from there on out.
Wildcat highlights: Kevin Baker had 12 points; and Marqus Gilson had five fouls. Off the bench Jeryn Lucas had 13 points; Gamaun Boykin had 17 points and seven boards; and Micah Pollard had 10 points, five assists, and four steals.
Seawolf highlights: Niko Bevens had six boards; Tyrus Hosley had 18 points; Tobin Karlberg had eight boards; and Oggie Pantovic had a whopping 24 points and 15 boards. Off the bench DeAndre Osuigwe had six boards; and Tyler Brimhall had seven points.
How was CWU in this at all?? Their numbers are still SO bad and they have zero consistency. We’ve been hearing rumblings from the ‘fire Rinta’ camp, and what is it about playing at UAA that makes us want to throw in the towel on head coaches? We’re not quite there yet, but… These numbers compared with the numbers that guys have put up in the past screams coaching interference and/or poor recruiting of personalities, so… It’s only his second year, but the seat may be warming. Congrats UAA on digging deep and pulling out the win.
NNU 94 @ UAF 52
We were expecting an insane game and we got this, which is insane in its own way. Oh my my, Nighthawks you is bad. Much like Billings (okay, but a lot better than Billings) NNU is clicking into gear beautifully in the march to March. We love it. We knew they had great guys, and so to see them finally playing like it and dominating is fantastic.
Nighthawk highlights: Sam Roth had 10 points and eight boards; Beto Diaz had 13 points and seven rebounds; Jayden Bezzant had 25 points, five boards, and five assists; and Spider Adentunji had nine points and 11 boards. Off the bench Jaylen Fox had 11 points; Zeke Alley had 18 points and six steals; and Gabe Murphy had seven boards.
Nanook highlights: Spencer Sweet had 16 points. Off the bench Marcus lee had eight points; and Alex Sommerfield had nine points and seven boards.
Yes, Shadeed Shabazz went 0-12, but the Nanooks lost by 42, so… Him not scoring the 29 points he attempted didn’t really affect it. Could he have been distributing? Yeah, but these numbers appear that the Nooks are good at getting into the hot hand when the hot hand is hot; they’re not good at doing the stone soup of points and field stats. NNU had a whopping 50 rebounds to UAFs’ 25, which is probably even more insane than the lopsided score. The Nanooks have a HUUUUGE game against UAA on Tuesday and so we’ll see how that goes. Anything in can happen in a rivalry game, so watch out.
Not the day of games we expected, but so goes the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Player-of-the-week for this week and last will be up in the AM.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!