It’s going up late so we’re just gonna jump right in:
Dixie State 71, Alaska-Fairbanks 58
Joe Slocum needs to be benched. We’re kind of fed up and done with him at this point because we expected an extra year would do him a solid. A couple years ago UAF had four good guys and Joe was that fifth starter that wasn’t great but was better than the bench. We figured this year he’d had a redshirt year, he plays guard which means the entire offense flows through him, and we were so ready to go “Solid returning pieces, experienced point guard, bam, this is gonna be good.” No. Although this loss wasn’t as bad as it could have been.
Highlights: Bengaly Kaba had five boards, four assists, one steal, one block, three fouls, and 10 points for the full house; Trevante Williams had four steals; Almir had five boards, three blocks, and four fouls. Off the bench Brandon Davis had seven points.
Nothing really to write home about. Lots of bad shooting. This game was wholly winnable and they didn’t do it and it’s a stain on our conference, and it’s a big stain on UAF because they don’t have an opportunity to procure another quality “neutral” win let alone a quality non-conference road win. Now they’re looking at going into WOU, WWU, and SPU as necessary wins to prove their worth. Good luck Nooks.
Western Oregon 81 @ Notre Dame de Namur 51
Lots of good numbers, but now we’re just flat-out worried about Julian Nichols. Another bad game and this was against ND de Namur of all teams. Other than that though, it was a very well spaced win, lots of time for the bench folks, good experience builder, yada yada yada.
Highlights: Alex Roth had 13 points; Julian Nichols had four assists; Jordan Wiley had 15 points; Andy Avgi had 24 points, seven boards, one assist, and three steals. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had 11 points and four assists.
Wolves did exactly what they were expected to do and with that: continuing on the grind.
Dominican 92 @ MSU-Billings 74
Good team effort, not horrible numbers, questionable shooting. With the last, we’ll commend-ish Dominican’s defense. The reality is this is exactly what Dominican wanted to do and wanted to prove. Dominican has tended to exist either as one of the lower seeds in the tournament or just missing out, so this win against MSUB helped them on that quest. MSUB is a well coached team and it wasn’t ugly per say, but it bordered on it. Losing by 20? Yeah. Borders on it at the very least.
Highlights: Marc Matthews had five boards, four assists, a steal, a block, three fouls, and eight points; Jace Anderson had 17 points; Christian Evans had 10 points and five boards; Cade Alcorn had five boards. Off the bench Preston Beverly had 12 points and six boards; Jordan Perry had 16 points, six boards, and four assists.
Really like what MSUB is getting out of their bench. Remember, last year Western Washington only went seven deep so it’s totally possible to have some amount of success even while having a very short bench.
Concordia-Portland 70 @ Cal Baptist 102
Lots of really horrible, nasty numbers to the point that we can’t overlook it even for the conference baby brother. You’re our baby brother, that means you represent us, and it means you better do it with some level of respectability even if you’re getting blown out. The shooting numbers were vomit inducing. You guys all play D2 basketball, it ain’t D1, but you’ve still supposedly proven that you function on a relatively high level on a basketball court and these numbers do not do that.
Highlights: Tyler Gutierrez had fourteen boards. Off the bench: James Phillips had seven points; Jarrett Gray had five points. The team overall had a low number of turnovers, but… the other team was able to grab 65 rebounds. 65. There were were a grand total of 101 rebounds grabbed in this game. That is some really, really, really bad shooting.
Seattle Pacific 62 @ Chico State 50
We’re going to try really, really, really hard not to down play this win even though everything in us wants to because that’s how we watch WWU and SPU -great, you won by double digits, you messed up here, and here, and that can never happen again, but… It was a positively brilliant game for both teams. Chico State was picked to finish first in the CCAA, they’ve gone to the tournament the last couple of years, they’re incredibly well coached, and if you’re looking for a basketball game to watch: Watch a Chico State home game; their broadcaster is the cream of the crop.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had fourteen rebounds, five assists, and sixteen points. Gilles Dierickx four boards, 20 points and two fouls; Mitch Penner had six boards and 10 points; Garrett Swanson had seven boards, two assists, seven points, and three fouls.
This win is big. It is a true road win, it’s against a well coached team that made the tournament and that’s projected to make the tournament again. SPU executed as flawlessly as we’ve ever seen, their defense was stifling, and while they were doing it… It still almost wasn’t enough. Chico crept back in after the Falcons were up 16. SPU shot 75% from the free throw line and needed every single one of those shots. The boards that were being grabbed… If you want to see why basketball is a beautiful and kinetic game, watch the tape of this one, it was pretty freakin’ textbook in terms of fundamental basketball. Did everyone have a great game? No. But every single person visibly did their job with the mindset that “It doesn’t matter what I do, it matters what we do.” And what they did was go into Chico State and procure a win.
Tonight’s game previews will be up in an hour, just in time for UAF to take on Dominican.