Was it a great day of basketball? 100%. We loved it. We’re having a blast. Can’t wait to head back to the arena. We’ll talk about yesterday’s games and then preview today’s games and that’ll be that! It’ll be great.
#4 Central Washington 84 @ #3 Saint Martin’s 87 in OT
This game was amazing. Initially CWU was in, then they weren’t, then they were, then they weren’t, then they were and it went to OT and was super back and forth. With six minutes left in regulation we were like “oh, it’s over, SMU has got it,” but… As we always say: CWU is clutch down the stretch. It was amazing. Some of the best shooting numbers we’ve seen out of them. Ridiculously proud of the Wildcats!
Wildcat highlights: Khalil Shabazz had 23 points, 13 boards, and five assists for the double-double; Malik Montoya had eight points; Jawan Stepney had 11 points; Jerome Bryant had eight points; and Fuquan Niles had five fouls. Off the bench Sage Woodruff had 15 points; and Malcolm Cole had five points.
Saint highlights: Luke Chavez had 12 points; Matt Dahlen had eight boards and five blocks; Jordan Kitchen had 12 points and six boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 10 points; and EJ Boyce had five boards and six assists. Off the bench Jared Matthews had five points and five assists and five points; BJ Standley had 13 points; Tavian Henderson had five points; and Cameron Chatwin had six points.
Proud of you Saints. Not entirely sure what we think of this performance and how it compares to what you’ll need against WWU today. The Saints went nine deep and everyone was fairly productive, whereas WWU only goes six deep, but… There’s a talent disparity in favor of WWU and a coaching advantage along with stamina for SMU. Part of us is thinking “Just push the tempo and you’ll be fine and they’ll be gassed,” but… WWU isn’t apt to allow the pushing of the tempo and while they only go six deep, their clutch factor is in the nines.
#5 Alaska-Anchorage 51 “@” #4 Seattle Pacific 64
Oh goodness this game. The Falcons haven’t played like this since before Christmas Break, although our questions about whether or not they could care for an entire 40 minutes was answered as a “no.” At various points they were up by 20+ but let UAA creep within 10 or 12 several times rather than putting the Seawolves away. Great job to the Seawolves taking advantage of the Falcon apathy!
Seawolf highlights: Malik Clements went 5-5 from the line; DJ Ursery was on FIRE including going 6-6 from the line and shooting well from the field to end up with 24 points; and Brian Pearson had six boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five boards; Harry Cavell had six boards and a full house; Gabe Colosimo had 17 points and seven boards; and Nathan Streufert had 11 boards and eight points. Off the bench Hunter Eisenhower had 11 points and four boards; and Trey Miller had four boards.
On the one hand we’re decently happy with this Falcon performance. They rebounded, they largely took smart shots (ahem, Nikhil), but… On the other hand, if they lay off like they did with UAA, WOU is always going to be able to take advantage of it.
Alrighty, jumping into the previews…
All times pacific.
#3 Saint Martin’s @ #2 Western Washington @ 1pm
We’re curious about this game. As mentioned: WWU wins on talent, but SMU wins on coaching. The Saints are going to have to play really smart in order to beat the Vikings. We know they’re 100% capable because they’ve done it before, but the conference tournament is a different environment. SMU played yesterday; WWU didn’t. We’re not sure who that’s advantageous to. Regardless, it is what it is and it should be a good game. SMU goes deeper, but WWU has more capable scorers, so… We’ll see what happens. We could see either team winning by 10 or so, or we could see it going to OT. We have no pulse for this game.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#4 Seattle Pacific @ #1 Western Oregon @ 3:15pm
As an SPU alum, we’re actually really happy to be on this side of the bracket. While WOU has literally only lost one game, the fact that Tanner Omlid played 40 minutes against the Falcons and no other team speaks volumes. We had the opportunity to ask Jim Shaw about it and the answer was unsatisfying, which makes us think we’re onto something. The Falcons got a good warm-up yesterday, but they cannot let off the gas at all, whatsoever, regardless of the score, if they want to win this game. The good news for the Wolves is that their record says they’ll win, but even if they don’t the Regional should be Monmouth-bound, partly because of their own record and partly because of all of the other GNAC schools records against the CCAA and Pac-West.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
Should be a really great day of basketball.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!