The good news is that the Wolves procured what’s turning out to be the most quality win the GNAC has and will have procured this non-conference. The bad news is that Crusaders may have procured the worst D2 loss our conference will have this season.
Northwest Nazarene 57 @ Cal State LA 70
CSULA led the entire time. NNU dug themselves a hole early. For a while in the second half it looked like it was closing -the Golden Eagles kept sending Bouna to the line and Bouna was making all of them (GO B!!) and then they realized they better stop doing that and that was the closest the Crusaders ever got. The numbers from this game (outside of Bouna) were atrocious on so many levels. We’d started actually getting really excited about the Crusaders and yet… When shots weren’t falling, their defense wasn’t stepping up either. You can have an off-night shooting provided you take your defense all the more seriously. This was a really, really, really bad loss to pick up. CSULA was 0-7. The Crusaders had just beaten Dominican, on apparently what was an off night for the Penguins (overlook factor? potentially) and a good night for NNU. This was not that. This was two relatively evenly matched teams going at it and it did not turn out well for the GNAC.
Highlights: BOUNA!!!!! Full house consisting of 22 points, two boards, one assist, two steals, a block, four fouls and 11/12 on FTs. Off the bench Leeor Konenkov had seven boards and nine points. Those were the highlights. Yikes.
NNU has one more chance to prove their worth in non-conference and that is on Friday against a decent San Francisco State team, so… cross your fingers.
Western Oregon 67 @ UC San Diego 63
Could we be any more proud of WOU? Don’t think so. Honestly, this was a game of fouls. UCSD picked up a lot of really, really stupid ones and WOU did what good teams do and took advantage of it. That was the difference. There were a couple of non-calls that we thought a bit iffy, but… California. This weekend we watched a player get head-locked and horse collared simultaneously with no call, so… Go figure.
Highlights: Devon Alexander had a super game with 12 points, three boards, an assist, and two steals on great shooting; Alex Roth had 11 points and seven boards; Julian Nichols had 11 points; Jordan Wiley had five boards and 15 points; Andy Avgi had a super rough game but picked up four boards and four assists. Off the bench Janvier Alaby five points; and Tanner Omlid had six boards.
The thing about this game is that it happened so late we don’t think the polls will account for it, so unless teams ahead of them lost, WOU isn’t likely to see a bump in the rankings until next week at which point they probably should be bumped up. Last week we had noted that we didn’t necessarily agree with the Wolves ranking not because we don’t believe in them, but because they needed a signature win. This is a signature win. Good team, on the road, best player not playing well, still pulled it out. Awesome. Oddly enough though -we still thing UCSD should probably move up in the rankings, because they were 14th and lost to what is a really, really good WOU team by a mere four.
Simon Fraser @ Western Washington @ 7pm PST
What are we expecting out of this game? That is a very good question. We’re expecting WWU to win, but maybe not by the 25 or so that we’d usually expect. The closest SFU’s gotten to a D2 win is a loss by “7” (because fouling) to an exhausted SMU team that had gone toe-to-toe and lost by three to the Vikings two days earlier. Both teams come into this game very fresh and if the Clan can’t win in this scenario, we’re a little concerned. By that same token: If WWU can’t procure a win by 15+ in this scenario, what does that really mean for the Vikings? We’re not sure. As long as they win, it’s fine, and “as long as they win” is put with a modicum of neutrality because it really just comes down to the fact that they beat SMU and have a few non-conference wins whereas SFU doesn’t. Basically our conference is a bit of a mess, but that’s a discussion for a different day.
Tomorrow we’ll do POW noms and the announcement an hour later, and then Thursday’ll be our discussions post. As always: If you have something you want us to talk about, leave a comment or shout out on Twitter.