Conference Game Day #16

Sorry for all of the late posts this year. We’re in the middle of writing (and re-writing, and re-writing, AND RE-WRITING) our masters thesis. Our masters is in engineering management and our thesis is on indoor agriculture.

Anyway… Let’s jump right in to talking about Saturday’s games.

UAF 75 @ NNU 104

The Nanooks hung around for much longer than we expected (almost the entire first half) but by halftime the Nighthawks were in control.

Nanook highlights: Michael Kluting had a great game with 16 points and 13 boards for the double-double plus a full house of stats. Off the bench Jalon McCullough had five points; Tre Eisenhut had nine points and five boards; Zach Hatch had 15 points; and Daulton Lootens had six points and four boards.

Nighthawk highlights: Obi Megwa had 34 points and five assists; Sam Roth was on fire with 20 points and seven boards on 8-9 shooting from the field; Beto Diaz had nine points; and Spider had 10 boards. Off the bench James Nelson had 10 points; and Jayden Bezzant had 13 points.

Pretty par for the course. Excited about Sam Roth’s numbers; he’s usually a great role player, but this was hopefully a good break-out game. They’re gonna need him next year, big time.

UAA 92 @ CWU 85

Never count out the Wildcats to terrify you down the stretch. UAA was in control, they were cruising, and then CWU went ham and it went down to free throws. We love how clutch CWU is -it makes for really fun and really exciting basketball, even if they don’t win. Plus, isn’t it more fun for winning teams to have the fear of God put in them? We hate it when we’re in the middle of it, but it is way more satisfying afterward.

Seawolf highlights: Tyler Brimhall had 21 points and nine boards; Niko Bevens had 11 points; Brennan Rymer had a whopping 30 points, nine boards, and nine assists for the near-miss of a triple double; Jack Macdonald had 11 points; and Brian Pearson had 15 points and eight boards. No real bench play.

Wildcat highlights: Gamaun Boykin had five boards; Naim Ladd had 11 points; and ZELLIE HUDSON had 24 points and six boards among a full house of stats. Off the bench Jackson Price had six points; Lewis Pope had five points; Malik Montoya had 12 points; and Hayden Nelson had six points.

We get why Malik is no longer starting (he’s a senior in a bad year and the Wildcats have a number of young guys + he makes their bench a lot deeper) but… He’s still a starter in our heart. Much as we consider SMU to have seven starters, we definitely consider CWU to have six.

WWU 90 @ MSUB 94

Props to the Vikings for coming back. The Yellowjackets were absolutely blowing out the Vikings, but… Reeled them back in. And then the Yellowjackets went up a fair bit late in the second half, but the Viks reeled them back in. While WWU didn’t get the win, it’s clear they’re still fighting and they have plenty of opportunities to cause problems for teams in the coming two weeks.

Viking highlights: Tyler Payne had five fouls; KJ Bosco had five fouls; Leif Anderson had 14 points; Trevor Jasinsky had 12 points and six boards; Cameron Retherford has started functioning!!! And had a whopping 19 points and five boards meanwhile going 7-8 from the line. Off the bench Tucker Eeinigenburg had four boards; RJ Secretst had five points; Braden Ahlemeyer had six points; and Micah Winn had a whopping 19 points.

Yellowjacket highlights: Zharon Richmond had six boards; Tyler Green had 20 points and seven assists; Melvin Newbern Jr. had 12 points on great shooting; and Zack Rollins was rolling with 22 points and six boards. Off the bench Kobe Tereshima had four boards; and BRENDAN HOWARD had 20 points and eight boards meanwhile going 7-7 from the line.

Brendan Howard is quickly becoming a pet of ours. He’s super productive and one of our favorite Mariners of all time is Brendan Ryan and so… Name associations can help you. That said, we’re a little nervous because there have been a number of Yellowjackets that have shown incredible promise early in their careers before doing absolutely nothing for the rest of them, so… We’ll see. Congrats to the Viks on a good fight and congrats to MSUB on getting the win.

CU-PDX 50 @ SPU 78

Not what we were expecting. And we get that we watched Concordia get slaughtered two days earlier, but… This could be one of the more horrible match-ups in terms our biases this year because we chronically underrate SPU and yet are probably way overly optimistic about the Cavs.

Cavalier highlights: Tyler Wells had 11 points; Dominique Bradley had five boards; and Dakota Ayala had 17 points. Off the bench Cody Starr had four boards; and Xavier Smith had six points.

Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 16 points and seven boards; Harry Cavell had seven boards among a full house of stats; Nikhil Lizotte had 12 points; Nathan Streufert had seven boards; and Gavin Long had 10 points on good shooting. Off the bench Sharif Khan had five points; Sam Simpson had four boards; and Divant’e Moffitt had 10 points and four boards while going 6-7 from the line.

Divant’e is another guy that’s quickly becoming a pet because like Brendan Howard, he’s a super productive player. And he’s a freshman. And SPU does in fact have the history of players getting better, looking at you Mr. Coleman Wooten.

Congrats to the Falcons on the win… Concordia, we still think you’re great <3. Falcons, if we tell you you’re great it might go to your heads and we can’t have that because we want to make the Regional. Yes Braden Olsen, we just inadvertently paraphrased you, credit where credit is due.

WOU 56 @ SMU 64

On the one hand, it felt like SMU was in control the entire time, on the other hand it felt like WOU was always threatening to grab the victory down to the last minute or two. Ultimately the score is probably pretty representative of the game overall; not a comfortable win, but also not a super close win.

Wolf highlights: Dalven Brushier had five boards; Kaleb Warner had 12 points; and Riley Hawken had six boards. Off the bench O’anda Baker had six points; Buster Souza went 4-4 and had eight points; and Cameron Cranston had five points.

Saints highlights: Luke Chavez had 11 points; Rhett Baerlocher was ON FIRE and had 17 points and 12 boards among a flawless full house of stats; and BJ Standley had 10 points, five boards, and four assists.

Fun game. Oddly paced game. It was great to watch Rhett Baerlocher break out. Wish we got to keep him for another year.

Those games talked about, let’s briefly talk about how the conference tournament looks as of now:

Saint Martin’s, Northwest Nazarene, and Seattle Pacific have all officially clinched spots.

Vying for the final three places include Western Oregon, Alaska Anchorage, MSU-Billings, Simon Fraser, and Western Washington.

While CWU and Concordia aren’t quite mathematically out, it seems highly unlikely because they would have to win all of their remaining games. CWU still has to play both the Oregon schools and the Puget Sound schools (yikes) and Concordia has to play at the North schools, plus host NNU.

Simon Fraser and WWU are both sitting at 6-9, meanwhile having five games left to play because their second match-up was postponed due to snow. This week they’re in Alaska and then the following week they play each other and then host the Oregon schools. The North teams are projected to split the Alaska schools and then who knows against the Oregon schools.

MSUB is at the Puget Sound schools this week and then in Alaska next week. Woof. Tall order. It’s not that we think the Yellowjackets can’t do it, it’s that it is arguably the hardest road in finishing conference play.

UAA thankfully will be favored in most of their match-ups (hosting the North schools, and then hosting UAF & MSUB), so thankfully they have a great shot at making the conference tournament BUT as we noted in the bracketology post: It does them no favors if they were hoping to end up with an at-large bid.

On paper now… We feel confident that WOU is going to make it, but we have no idea what’s going to go down as it comes to WWU/UAA/MSUB/SFU.

We’ll be at the SMU @ SPU game tonight. We have no idea where we’re sitting, but we’ll likely be wearing navy blue and then knitting as usual, so come say ‘hi’!

We’re 100% Switzerland for this game because on the one hand SPU is our alma mater and we love them dearly; on the other hand we also love SMU and if the Saints win out they’re likely to host the Regional.

We keep almost picking one side or the other, but… SWITZERLAND. All we want is no injuries and great basketball played by everyone. Amen.

Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!