Heyo! Here we go. 30 hours late is better than never, eh?
Seattle Pacific 60 @ MSU-Billings 44
This game had upset potential written all over it and at times the Yellowjackets were close but ultimately the Falcons regained control and everything went status quo. It could be said that this was an unimpressive win for the Falcons -their rebounding was dismal and shot selection poor (like the rest of the conference) but MSUB was worse.
Falcon highlights: Riley Stockton had eight boards, one steal, one block, and six points; Matt Borton had nine boards, two steals, one block, and 15 points; Mitch Penner had eight boards, two assists, two blocks, and 13 points; Cory Hutsen added two rebounds, three assists, one block, and eight points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had five boards and five points; Joe Rasmussen had nine points and two boards on 4-5 shooting.
MSUB highlights: Tyler Nelson had seven points and five boards; Jordan Perry had six points and five boards; Emmanuel Johsnon had eight points off the bench. Their collective shooting was a big uh-oh, and then they had what typically happens when teams play the Falcons: almost no field stats, which is sad because as noted: the Falcons didn’t have a good game at all what-so-ever.
Saint Martin’s 87 @ Simon Fraser 97
They lose by 3 at Western to lose by 10 at SFU. Okay then. We’ve discussed this: For the approximately five people (including yours truly and retired center/forward Lucas Shannon) that genuinely care about Saint Martin’s and follow them really closely, this chart is most applicable:
Saints highlights: Tyler Idowu had an okay game, going 5-7 and finishing with a modified 9 points; Brent Counts added 9 points on 5-7 shooting along with dismal free throw shooting; Will Bond added six points; Isaac added seven; Trey went a nasty 4-12 and finished with a modified 9 points and three turnovers; Tyler Copp made his free throws and ultimately scored a modified 10 points; Riley Carel’s game was interesting (naturally).
Riley Carel… Probably also needs to use the kit. We regularly get after him for not distributing, saying “trust your teammates” and he keeps [proverbially] screaming back “YOU’RE NOT GETTING IT,” but we kept saying “trust your teammates.” Our shouting was going to get literal if it persisted much longer, but now… not sure what to think. His shooting was respectable and his FTs were fine; he finished with a modified 7 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, one block, four player fouls, and… six turnovers. Six. The SFU game had no screen, so it’s hard to say if guys weren’t reading the passes he was sending and in this case we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn’t on him.
All of his numbers went up -his assists, his shot percentages, and his turnovers. But it’s hard to say. It’s really hard to say whether or not it was worth it. He ended up with almost the same numbers as WWU except more recorded turnovers; if the Saints were a notoriously strong rebounding team then it would make the shots taken look smarter -they’re on the lower end of things in terms of the conference (ranked eighth) and so those turnovers might be worth it. This probably wasn’t the game to try and distribute more -SFU plays at such a frenetic pace that this would’ve been a good game for him to keep chucking up shots. Anyway, he got a full house so good for him.
Simon Fraser shot far worse than the Saints, but ultimately their depth got them the win -they had 10 guys play more than five minutes; the Saints only had eight. As such, SFU highlights: Sango scored nine points and had three rebounds, four assists, two steals, one block, and three fouls for a full house; Justin Cole had five rebounds, one steal, and 15 points; Rod Evans-Taylor had six boards, one steal, and 11 points; Patrick Simon II had five boards and ultimately scored eight points; the bench didn’t do too much.
Western Oregon 90 @ Western Washington 87
First and foremost this was an amazing game from a free throw standpoint: WOU shot 91% with WWU shooting 86%. Wow.
Western is still playing a pretty limited line-up, which is concerning. It’s not as bad as it has been, but… guys are playing way too many minutes with other guys not playing enough. Anye has got to figure out a way to not pick up so many fouls because him playing 20 minutes a game isn’t gonna work.
WOU highlights: Julian Nichols had a great game with some good shooting –6 for 9 and 5-6 from the free throw line, grabbing eight boards, three steals, and finishing with 18 points; Lew Thomas went 5-6 and 2-2 from three; Jordan Wiley had a full house with three boards, three assists, one steal, one block, and four fouls, ultimately picking up 15 points; Andy Avgi grabbed five boards, one assist, two steals, and ultimately finished with 21 points. The bench didn’t do much, although Marwan grabbed four boards.
Overall really good game to watch: heartbreaking for the Vikings, huge for the Wolves. Western against Western with massive implications for a number of other teams in the conference. One thing that was also interesting to note is that Carver appeared downright snuggly -it made you want to be there and be a part of the game between two great teams, so that was cool.
Central Washington 74 @ Alaska Fairbanks 70
This game… whoaaa. UAF came so close and then let it get away. It’s not surprising knowing what we know about that team vs. Central Washington, but what heart break.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had four boards and 12 points; Dom Williams had three steals, three boards, and 15 points; Julian Vaughn added four boards; Jordan Russel added 14 points. Not a particularly good game for CWU but they got it done and that’s what counts.
Nanook highlights: Alex Duncan had fourteen points, five boards, and two assists; Ashton had 18 points; Almir had five boards and 11 points, along with a nasty five turnovers. The bench play was actually pretty comparable: Rashaad Allen had seven points; Adam Griffin had 7 points; and Isaac Ladines also had 7 points. Also not a good game for the Nooks and yet they almost got it done. CWU was having an off-night and they could’ve had it. Rough.
Northwest Nazarene 57 @ Alaska Anchorage 67
Another game with some good free throw shooting: NNU shot 80% and UAA shot 90%. Both teams posted some good numbers. It was a good game. As noted previously: UAA would go up, NNU would catch-up, UAA would go up, NNU would catch-up, but it felt pretty clear the whole time that unless NNU actually made a move to make a stop, it wasn’t gonna end well for the Crusaders. This is the learning experience they avoided on Thursday but walked right into on Saturday.
Crusader highlights: Erik Kinney went 8-12 for the line, picked up four boards and two assists, and finished with sixteen points, although did have four turnovers; Aubrey Ball had a full house with three boards, one assist, one steal, one block, and one foul, although only picked up two points on terrible shooting (1-11); Mike Wright picked up four boards and four assists along with four points; Kevin Rima grabbed seven rebounds and eight points. Off the bench Bouna N’Diaye had five boards; and Matyas Hering grabbed three boards, four assists, and twelve points.
Seawolf highlights: Rebounding. The entire team. Very balanced; almost every player had at least one, the average was four, and a couple of guys (Brad & Christian) had six and five respectively. Brian McGill was back and grabbed four boards, four assists, one steal, and scored 11 points; Travis Thompson made 8-9 free throws, picked up four rebounds, had two assists, and scored 20 points; Derrick Fain grabbed four boards and had four points; Travis Parrish had four boards; Brad Mears as noted had six rebounds and then also scored six points; Christian chipped in six points, a block, and a steal along with his five boards; Boomer Blossom had four boards, four assists, and a whopping thirteen points off the bench. Sadly, the Seawolves’ shooting wasn’t great, but they got it done and that’s what counts.
As noted: not a great week for basketball. It’s clear that fatigue is setting in, but the thing is: everyone’s gotta dig in, fight through it, and come out the other side. Everyone will dig in, fight through it, and come out the other side.
Yes, it’s frustrating -coaches, teammates, media (ahem, sorry Riley), but the fact is: We’re all in this together (shut-up wildcats) and there’s no getting off the ride.
So right now, you’re invited (yes: YOU) to take a deep breath:
and another one:
And take a moment to recommit: Basketball is just a game. And it’s fun. We’re here because we love it. We’re here because we love our teammates and coaches too, even when they aggravate us. Behind all frustration there should be love. Lots of love, for the sport at the very least.
One more deep breath.
We only have another six weeks (and those six weeks will pass quickly) before roles change and we’re left waiting all year for October to come around again. Basketball is a blessing. Repeat that: Basketball is a blessing. And it’s especially a blessing when you’re in a conference that’s as much fun as the GNAC.
Up next’ll be player-of-the-week nominations and the announcement; figure at 7 & 8pm PST, respectively.