SPU 81, WWU 68
Seattle Pacific is headed to the West Region tournament with the auto-bid.
We’ll be honest: This game was really, really, really boring. SPU went up with about 15 minutes left in the 1st half and WWU never really closed the gap. The closest they got was within six, but SPU would be in possession and so it would quickly go back to eight or nine. Cory Hutsen was on fire.
Cory Hutsen is actually a really good person to pick on -because he took 23 shots tonight, which is insane, but can be normal for a starting center. Thing is: he made 15 of them, putting him at 65%. Yeah, he shot 50% from the free throw line, but beggars can’t be choosers -he’s it in terms of SPU’s center play, so try to make sure he’s not the one getting fouled and that’s about it. SPU did shoot a nasty 56% from the line, but oh well. Much like NNU had bigger fish to fry than free throws in their game against SPU, lucky for the Falcons, free throw shooting wasn’t what it came down to.
Defense wins championships.
What it came down to was keeping the Vikings out of sorts. We’ve been absolutely in the Vikings corner as of late, because they became a really, really good team that played together, got assists, rebounded, they were amazing. And they were off tonight. They couldn’t find a rhythm, looked straight up discombobulated, and no one seemed to have any idea what was going on. The fouling they were choosing… a lot of it was bordering on nasty, and we weren’t really opposed to a fist fight breaking out -we like hockey as much as anyone- but it didn’t happen, oh well. Came close though, a couple of times.
Now the normal stuff:
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 13 points; Anye Turner had a disappointing full house with three rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, two fouls, and seven points; Harris Javier had eight points; Jeff Parker had 12 points and four boards; Mac Johnson had six boards, two blocks, and six points. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had nine points; Joey Schreiber had 11 points. The Vikings went a nasty 4-18 from three. This was just a weird game -they were taking poor shots, not rebounding, doing all kinds of stuff that they don’t usually do. SPU is known for being a rebounding and defensive team (love it!) but really Vikings? Really? This game has to be a bitter pill to swallow, especially for the seniors.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five rebounds, six assists, and five points; Riley Stockton had nine points; Matt Borton had seven points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a double-double with 11 rebounds and 12 points; Cory Hutsen as noted had a great game, grabbing six boards and scoring a whopping 34 points (bonus points for scoring jersey number). Off the bench: Shawn Reid had seven points, but it doesn’t really count because the dude went 2-8 –luckily, he also picked up four boards.
The Falcons are weird… this was a decent game for them, but it’s hard to call it good when Riley Stockton and Matt Borton barely did anything. It’ll be interesting to see what they do in the tourney. They’re likely looking at an 8th seed which will have them up against Azusa Pacific, which sounds impossible, but… it’s hard to say. If the Falcons can actually put it together… anything’s possible. You can’t deny that this team has talent and discipline… again, weird team. They have a road map for beating APU thanks to CBU, but… the Falcons have no recent history of beating a tournament host on their home court, and last year they responded terribly to the heat of southern California, so… we’ll see. More speculation to come.
GNAC people: seriously, last week’s stats are right here. Player-of-the-week for last week is going to be up tomorrow. For the conference tournament, we may throw together a five person team, but… eh. We like stats that could potentially say something, and all tournament teams rarely do more than tell you the guys everyone already knows are good.
West Region: A final bracket of ours’ll be up around noon.