The big news of the day seems to be that Dixie State beat BYU-H. The reason this is big news for us is because WOU and SPU both beat Dixie State but BYU-Hawaii was 4-0 against the GNAC, so… could have bracketology implications in terms of procuring or losing an at large bid if we manage by some miracle to be in the running for one.
Back in our own conference: the status quo ruled the day. WWU won, SPU won, WOU won, and CWU won, and then the Alaska schools are enjoying rivalry week so we’ll check in with them on Saturday/Sunday.
MSU-Billings 68 @ Western Washington 88
There’s the Vikings we all know and love/hate. Honestly, this victory says good things about the Vikings but nothing particularly bad about the Yellowjackets. They’re probably pretty disappointed in themselves thinking that now would be the prime time to beat the Viks, but… MSUB is dealing with a lot right now in terms of figuring out their identity.
Player highlights include Momir Gataric’s 25 points on 10-14 shooting and 3-5 shooting from three; Tyler Nelson had a team high six rebounds; Antoine Hosley chipped in 17 points on 8-11 shooting and honestly: that’s about it for that team. Their free throw shooting wasn’t great, they only had 25 rebounds and 11 assists, it wasn’t a particularly cohesive game. Oh well: Again, it’s hard to play the Vikings, even harder at Carver, and MSUB’ll figure out their identity as they go on. The SFU game looms large, they should feel no shame about this one, and get right into focusing on beating the Clan.
As for the Vikings highlights: HOLY GUACAMOLE. Where to even begin: Kyle Impero may not have had the best shooting night, but he still chipped in a whopping seven assists; Anye Turner got a full house with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, five blocks, and 11 points; Harris Javier also had a poor shooting night but still turned in 10 assists; Jeff Parker chipped in 17 points; Mac Johnson went 7-11 for fifteen points, and had nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal; and Joey -the-man-himself- Schreiber went 6-6 from the line, 6-9 from three, had 12 rebounds, and 38 points -that is one heck of a double-double.
Seattle Pacific 115 @ Simon Fraser 81
It was beyond thrilling to get to watch SFU in person and started to make a lot more sense of what they do and how they win. Sango is such a cool player and there is no way he’s 6’0 but all the same he does what he does. It was in his play that we can really appreciate how much SPU did to disrupt their offense, even while the score crept up substantially.
Usually Sango is really good at getting the guys around him involved, but this game he had comparatively fewer assists and his stats were definitely down. While he scored 27 points total before the usual modification, that’s not a number that’s out of the ordinary for any player. No SFU player really scored a bunch or did much in the field, which is really a testament to SPU. Justin Cole had eight, Michael Harper had eight, Adam Westfall had seven, Patrick Simon II had 14, and then their bench didn’t really do much. There was a horrifying fall by Roderick Taylor-Evans, which haven’t heard the official word yet but looked season ending; his knee completely buckled and it looked like it had to tear something.
Seattle Pacific: These are all modified numbers so you know in context of what they normally do -that being said, so many guys had fantastic games even still. Riley Stockton went 5-7 from the field for eight points, although was in foul trouble for much of the game; Brendan Carroll made his minutes productive; Matt Borton had 10 rebounds, and fourteen points for the double-double; Mitch Penner went 11-15, 2-3 from three, and 7-9 from the line finishing with eight boards, five assists, and 21 points; Cory Hutsen picked up three rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block, and finished with a full house on 20 points -AWESOME. Again, the bench didn’t really contribute although Bryce Leavitt was helpful with ball distribution in Riley’s absence.
Here it comes again: Okay game for the Falcons -not great. They should’ve been able to control the tempo more. It’ll be interesting to see what they do against WWU on Saturday at Carver.
Central Washington 70 @ Saint Martin’s 68
This was a really interesting game, mainly because CWU played terribly and yet still pulled out the ‘W’ and that’s what you’ve gotta do. It’s gotta be a bad loss to swallow for the Saints because… it was theirs and they let it go. It would be easy to blame their 60% free throw shooting, but when it comes down to two points and your team has a hefty seven assists -it’s not the free throws, it’s the cohesion, which has been the complaint now for weeks against SMU.
SMU could be a mediocre team that does well through teamwork, or a mediocre team that does poorly through lack of teamwork. They should choose the former.
CWU didn’t have many highlights, here they are: Joe Stroud was 7-9 for 15 points; Jordan Russell was 5-8 for 15 points; Dom Williams had a game high four assists; Gary Jacobs was 5-6 from the line, picked up six boards, and ultimately had fifteen points. Balanced scoring, but not cohesive basketball either. Still, the Wildcats managed to do just enough and get it done and more power to them for that.
Saint Martin’s highlights: Trey Ingram went 7-11 overall, 3-5 from three, and 3-3 from the line to finish with 20 points, unfortunately he also had eight turnovers -zoinks; Ryan Rogers picked up eight boards and 10 points; Tyler Idowu picked up six boards; Riley Carel went 6-8 from the line and finished with 22 points.
On the whole this game went down to the wire but was rather disjointed through it’s entirely.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 66
The good news is: both teams wanted it, badly; both teams were really committed to defense; this game was a battle for the better and WOU did exactly what they needed to do in coming out on top.
In terms of Northwest Nazarene: Alex Birketoft had nine rebounds and ten points; Erik Kinney had seven rebounds and 21 points, going 5-6 from the line; Mike Wright chipped in seven assists; Matyas Hering added 14 points. The bad -Erik had five turnovers, Kevin Rima was almost silent, and they got pretty much nothing from their bench.
WOU: Devon Alexander had four rebounds, three assists, and eleven points; Julian Nichols went 4-4 from the line, had eight rebounds, five assists, five steals, and finished with ten points; Lew Thomas also had eight rebounds, though a mere two assists, one steal, two blocks, and two fouls, as well as an abomination of a shooting percentage; Jordan Wiley added 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists; Andy Avgi 18 points, three rebounds, and one steal. Like the Crusaders, WOU received almost nothing from their bench.
Overall, good game for WOU to pull through and good game for NNU to get experience.
As noted: This was a really status quo day. Saturday looms large -there is not going to be a bad game to watch on Saturday. Game previews’ll go up tomorrow morning.