Game Weekend: Finals Week

MSU-Billings 62, Montana Western 72
MSU-Billings 80, Alumni 82

MSU-Billings… What are we going to do with you? A better question might be what are you going to do with yourselves? It is the prerogative for us to keep loving you because conference brethren, but if this weekend doesn’t cause a reality check that makes you start playing defensive basketball rather than shoot until the cows come home and hope it works basketball… Yikes.

Shout out to Simon Fraser… for SFU, it’s mostly working. Or at least half the time. And they’re in every game. The MSUB game started before all of the other games and was pretty compelling simply because at this point the Frontier Conference is looking pretty darn good, and so ultimately almost the entirety of it was watched and… MSUB had their chances, but it definitely had the feel of being Montana-Western’s to lose rather than MSUB’s to win.

Central Washington 82, Quest 49

The main highlights of this game include the fact that a lot of players played quality minutes, Dom continues to impress, and it was just a good win to get. Quest isn’t impressive at all, but there’s starting to be an alarming trend of not resting big minute players in blowouts and quite frankly: it’s incredibly worrisome. CWU is so deep, which is shocking to say, but they are, and it was good to see them use some of that depth.

Seattle Pacific 100, George Fox 62.

Unfortunately we’ve reached a point where we have to take games against D3 and NAIA schools somewhat seriously. George Fox held on for a while and made some really good adjustments, but the Falcons did what’s becoming typical of them in lower division games and walked away after half time. Mitch Penner had a phenomenal game; full house, plus a double-double. The main issue with the Falcons is that they play their starters so many minutes. They win by thirty and yet four out of five starters played more than 25 minutes -good luck with that if/when the annual basketball plague breaks out during conference play.

Western Oregon 94, Camosun 59

Exactly what was supposed to happen. This’ll be discussed more in the power rankings next week, but WOU has had some really good games. This was an incredibly balanced one -they had six players score in double digits, good shooting percentages, not particularly fantastic team stats, but if the shootings happening against a super low level team, it’s hard to nitpick too much because every player that entered the game (12 in all) played double digit minutes which is fantastic.

Idaho State 69, Northwest Nazarene 57

That win actually makes our conference look somewhat respectable. That’s one of the closer scores we’ve seen of our conference vs. D1 this year, and even if Idaho State is terrible… WHO CARES?! We’ve gotten beat worse by NAIA teams, so we’ll take it! Kevin Rima had 13 points and eight rebounds; the team overall had decent rebounding numbers and their A/TO wasn’t horrifying. It would’ve been cool if they’d escaped with the ‘W’ but it’s a very respectable score and theoretically shows the Crusaders making some good progress.


The Seawolf Jamboree

BYU-Hawaii 81, Alaska-Fairbanks 62

The Nooks were doing so well at half time and then collapsed. Not super surprising —BYU-H is looking pretty legit this year, which isn’t a bad thing -quality losses can be quality. It’s disturbing that we’re at that point, but oh well. The big problem with Fairbanks this weekend is that they just showed a fundamental lack of teamwork and lack of desire in that second half. They definitely could have won -it was looking like an upset was potentially on the horizon, and while the arena was dead… No. The Nooks could’ve proven something and they let it slip out of their grasp, which is just sad. Their Big Three of Ruben, Kyle, and Adam can go to the hoop with any Big Three in the conference… now if they can just create some chemistry within the rest of the team.

Humboldt State 87, Alaska-Anchorage 83

Such a close game, Anchorage should’ve/could’ve won -Humboldt got it instead. Derrick needs to learn when to stop shooting. He could be productive if he could start focusing on things that matter, like helping his teammates. Brian McGill had a great game; Travis Thompson had a fantastic game; Kalidou was super solid; Christian Leckbend contributed some quality minutes off the bench, although should’ve quit with the threes much sooner. Still not sure what to make of this Anchorage team… definitely something more for contemplation during Christmas week.

Humboldt State 84, Alaska-Fairbanks 66

Again… Ya need teamwork. This wasn’t an inherently bad game -they rebounded (no pun intended) and grabbed 47 boards, their assist to turnover ratio was fine, Almir stepped up. They actually beat Humboldt in just about every statistical category except shooting percentage, at which point the real story is told. Ya need defense. Which, in the GNAC this year may or may not be unnecessary most of the time, but… gotta put up when you do. If they’d played lockdown D, again: they could’ve likely gotten the ‘W.’

BYU-Hawaii 90, Alaska-Anchorage 69

BYU-H got really lucky playing so many GNAC schools this year, that is incredibly evident. Generally their schedule of teams in terms of us would be considered a gauntlet… We’ll see what they do in conference. As for Anchorage: Brian McGill wasn’t great, but was at least productive when shots weren’t falling; Travis Thompson had an okay game, but could’ve done more 4-10 from three is never acceptable. You may argue that’s 40% is okay, but team numbers and individual numbers are very different heads of a monster; Kalidou continues to be consistent, which is fantastic -reliability in college basketball is highly appreciated and yet usually not talked about until it’s dancing in front of you wearing a tea cozy.

What the Seawolf Jamboree taught us:

A lot of GNAC teams should be salivating about the Alaska trip right now. Those teams are usually darn hard to sweep and yet this year… the potential is there. For a lot of teams. We say any given night in any year… this year that phrase is going to be on steroids and in Alaska, maybe even on whale blubber.


Posted late, but that’s finals for you. There’ll be another few posts that go up today.

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