We can be honest: Yesterday was not a good night for basketball. It was moderately exciting for all of the wrong reasons. That being said, here we go:
Saint Martin’s 61 @ Western Washington 64
FOR THE LOVE OF JAMES A. NAISMITH SAINTS, what on earth are you doing? You go up to Western and lose by three. Oookay. Your shooting percentages were terrible, you did not deserve to win that game in the slightest. Vikings -you’re laughing now but you’re not much better. Who do you think you are? Almost getting beaten at home by Saint Martin’s. Your shooting wasn’t much better. You both are better than this, c’mon.
Saint Martin’s highlights: Ryan Rogers had 18, Tyler Idowu had 12 along with seven boards; Cameron Chatwin also picked up seven rebounds; Riley Carel had eight rebounds and four assists. There are your highlights.
Vikings: Jeff Parker had 16; Anye had a full house with seven boards, two assists, two steals, two blocks, four fouls, and nine points; Mac Johnson had six boards; Jaamon Echols had a good game, going 5-6 on free throws, grabbing four board, and picking up four assists, ultimately to score 17 points; Joey Schreiber also had a full house with nine boards, three assists, two steals, one block, one foul, and ultimately picked up 12 points.
Limited highlights. Don’t give me the whole “well, they played defense.” Neither team had great shot selection. Neither team distributed as well as they could have. SMU and WWU have the distinction of being second tier coddled teams around here, so initially when the game came on there was the thought that there was no way to lose -nope; turned out there was simply no way to win.
Western Oregon 114 @ Simon Fraser 75
That score looks closer than it should have been. WOU was in control the whole way, really put on a clinic. This win was substantially more impressive than SPU’s win over SFU, largely because WOU was able to exert their will on the Clan far more than the Falcons were. The numbers don’t really explain it; they’re pretty similar, but having watched both games WOU maintained dominance whereas the Falcons eventually became apathetic.
Highlights for the Wolves: Devon Alexander went 5-7, Jordan Wiley 8-10 with seven of those being from three; Lew Thomas picked up a modified seven boards; Andy Avgi a modified five boards and thirteen points. Off the bench, Marwan Sarhan went 6-7 on free throws. Julian Nichols went 2-8, but other than that the Wolves were completely solid.
Simon Fraser, oh dear, highlights: Sango Niang scored a modified 11 points; JJ Pankratz a modified 6 points. And that is all.
Central Washington 77 @ Alaska Anchorage 68
It was mentioned in the preview that UAA’s depth was going to be a weakness while it’s a strength of CWU. The point came to fruition even more than expected when it turned out that UAA was without Brian McGill. The fact that the game ended up at a point differential of nine should count as a miracle in the eyes of UAA -yes, it was that bad.
CWU highlights: Joe Stroud continues to put up pretty good numbers, going 5-6, picking up six boards, and ultimately finishing with 11 points; Marc Rodgers added six assists; Joey Roppo had 11 points; Dom Williams added 21 while being perfect from the line. Nothing particularly concerning -would’ve liked to see more bench play from the Wildcats seeing as though they have quality available, but that’s about it.
UAA highlights: Travis Thompson went 6-6 from the line and finished with 14 points; Christian Leckbend chipped in seven rebounds; Dom Hunter added 21 points off the bench, going 7-9 from the charity stripe; Kalidou grabbed eight boards and seven points. The collective UAA shooting was atrocious and one of the big discussion topics of this week is going to be Travis Thompson, so that’ll be on the horizon.
Northwest Nazarene 75 @ Alaska Fairbanks 73
All came down to the final minute and could’ve been won at the buzzer but wasn’t. NNU was up pretty substantially at one point and then let it slip away. Not too concerning for NNU -they’re learning, they’re growing, the Patty Center is really hard to play in, and they still pulled the ‘W’ out. It should be a good and not too painful learning experience. It’ll be interesting to see what they do in Anchorage.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft went 6-8, 4-5 from three, grabbed eight boards, two assists, one steal, one block, and three fouls for 16 points and a full house; Erik Kinney went 9-11 on free throws and also grabbed eight boards -finished with 19 points; Aubrey Ball had 19 points; Bouna went 5-7 on free throws, had five boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and four fouls, ultimately ending up with a full house and 12 points. Nothing too concerning for the Crusaders beyond going ice cold in terms of their shooting.
Nook highlights: Ashton went 8-8 from the line and finished with 19 points; Anthony Reese grabbed six boards and three steals; Almir went a fantastic 9-11, grabbed eight boards, and finished with 24 points. There was some poor shooting on the Nook side of things too and Ruben Silvas still isn’t back -never good. UAF is notorious for being a team that loves a challenge and loves to play the spoiler role -we’ll see what they can do against CWU on Saturday.
As noted: Overall a nasty day of basketball in the GNAC. Lots of parity, but also lots of poor decision making. Remember: the committee is watching.