Hooooooly… What an absolutely positively insane night of games. The Alaskas vs. the Oregons went to OT, the Puget Sound schools vs. the East schools were threatening to, and Western Washington finally actually looked like the conference leaders they should be.
And so… Let’s talk about all of it.
SPU 77 @ NNU 68
This game seemed to take forever. There were three minutes left in the first half and it felt like it should already be the second half. Second half, same thing. The Nighthawks will wear you out. They have great post presence and are a great rebounding team and despite the Falcons coming away with the win, we’re sure that they are feeling the battle this morning and that is high praise to the Nighthawks.
Falcon highlights: Harry Cavell had 11 points and eight boards; Divant’e Moffitt had 10 points and five assists; and Gavin Long had 11 points. Off the bench Braden Olsen had 17 points on good-to-great shooting; Sharif Khan had 10 points and four steals; and Jacob Medjo had eight points.
Nighthawk highlights: Jaylen Fox had 14 points on great shooting; Sam Roth had 10 boards and seven assists; Beto Diaz had 16 points and five boards; George Reidy had 11 points among a full house of stats; and Spider had seven boards. Off the bench Zac Furgerson had seven points; and Zeke Alley had 10 points.
It’s funny how much the numbers can differ from impressions; we felt like George Reidy had an amazing game, and yet numbers-wise he didn’t. Same with Sam Roth; we never trust Sam Roth, while tonight he went 1-7 the Falcons were EVERYWHERE trying to defend him and it definitely took a lot of their energy. Really well fought battle by both teams; the Nighthawks were in it at the end, Spider made a huge jump shot and it got dicey, but the Falcons hit their free throws and pulled it out.
SMU 79 @ CWU 76
Heartbreak for the Wildcats two games in a row with just not being able to seal the deal. They led by 13 and one point, battled down the stretch, had the ball as they needed it in the waning seconds to get the final shot, and then Xavier Smith turned it over and that was the end of it. Ouch.
Saints highlights: Demonte Malloy had 12 points; CJ Jennings had 18 points, four boards, and four assists; LOGAN ROONEY started and had 13 points; John Moore had 13 points among a full house of stats; Marky Adams had a flawless full house with a double-double of 11 points and 10 boards; and off the bench Alex Schumacher had four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Davon Bolton had five boards; and Tariq Woody had 12 points. Off the bench Jeryn Lucas had 13 points; KEVIN BAKER was on fire and had 19 points and eight boards; Amari Stafford had four assists; and Marqus Gilson had seven boards and six points.
The numbers confuse us. The minutes distribution by the Wildcats confuses us even more. How they were in this game at all is a miracle that we would attribute to Alex Schumacher playing wayyyy too selfishly. With the Wildcats, it’s looking like Rinta really wanted to get everyone involved (almost everyone saw 20 minutes) and yet… At what cost? There was no foul trouble, so why did Matt Poquette only see 18 minutes? Why did an on-fire Tariq Woody only see 20 minutes? Why did an on-fire Kevin Baker only see 22 minutes? Rarely do we have a desire for a post-game interview, but… The minutes distribution is a head scratcher at best and moronic at worst. Congrats to the Saints on pulling out the victory.
MSUB 62 @ WWU 86
This game was never a contest. Ever. WWU went up 13-0, and that was as close as MSUB got. The Viks led by 27 at halftime, the Jackets came back out ready to play, but… The contest ended just post tip-off.
Yellowjacket highlights: Chrishon Dixon had five assists among a full house of stats; Tyler Green had a full house; BRENDAN HOWARD had 17 points and 13 boards for the double-double; and Seth Christaens had five boards. Off the bench Clarence Daniels had four boards; and Stevie James had nine points while going 6-7 from the line.
Viking highlights: D’Angelo Minnis had 15 points and four steals; SIAAN ROJAS started and had six assists; Logan Schilder had eight boards and 10 points in limited minutes; JALEN GREEN had 23 points and five boards among a full house of stats; and Trevor Jasinsky had a full house. Off the bench RJ Secrest had eight points; Luke Lovelady had 17 points and four boards; and Cameron Retherford had seven points.
We’re actually relatively pleased with the Yellowjackets play, despite the blow-out. The numbers say they were distributing and trying new things when the old things weren’t working, which is everything. Don’t do the same darn things expecting to get a different result. We’re surprised the Vikings weren’t able (or didn’t care) to shut down Brendan; and then Trevor Jasinsky despite having an off night from the field was still super effective. Congrats to both teams on a game well fought.
CU-PDX 111 @ UAF 116 in 2OT
Hooooly what. At one point the Cavs led by 10 in the first half, 13 in the second half, and yet couldn’t hang on. Ouch. This is a loss that’s likely to haunt them for a while, but hopefully they learn from it? The Nooks really only led in the final two minutes of regulation, the Cavs managed to tie it, it went to the first OT and the Cavs consistently led until the Nooks tied it at the end of that first OT, it was back and forth in the second OT, and then Shadeed Shabazz got a steal and the Cavs couldn’t recover. Free throws and the Nooks win. Nuts.
Cavs highlights: El-roi Butler had five fouls; Caleb Larsen had five fouls and went 6-6 from the line; HUNTER SWEET played a whopping 47 minutes and had a full house of stats among 26 points, five boards, seven assists, and four steals; and Dakota Ayala had 22 points, six boards, and five fouls. Off the bench David Wheeler had 18 points and seven boards; and Brendan Ritschard had 14 points and eight boards.
Nanook highlights: SHADEED SHABAZZ played a whopping 47 minutes and had a full house among a whopping 43 points with solid shooting from the field, good shooting from the line, four steals, and five fouls; SPENCER SWEET also played 47 minutes and 19 points and six boards on good shooting; and QUINN DAUGHARTY started and had five boards. Off the bench Zach Hatch had five boards and four assists; and MARKEL BANKS had a whopping 33 points and six boards among a full house of stats and absolutely elite shooting from both the field and the free throw line, going 11-14 from the field and 11-12 from the line. Insane.
The numbers from this game are crazy and this is what we would describe as good minutes distribution; some of the Nooks go-to guys weren’t playing as well as they could have, and so swaps were made and they were effective. Special note that while Quinn Daugharty and Zach Hatch didn’t put up remarkable numbers, they played 25+ minutes apiece and that says that their defense and propensity of being team players was high, so very quality minutes right there. Basketball IQ, basketball IQ, basketball IQ.
WOU 86 @ UAA 88 in OT
And this is why everyone always says playing in Alaska is hard. While we picked WOU to finish eighth, we didn’t expect them to get swept in Alaska; we picked them to finish eighth because never count transfers before you see them play in-conference games, and this is why. Anchorage worked their way up in the first half, before WOU was able to tie it going into halftime. Anchorage at one point led by 10 in the second half before WOU was able to get back in and tie it leading to OT, and in JACK MACDONALD made a three and the game was over.
Wolf highlights: Jaylyn Richardson had 12 points and seven boards; Cameron Cranston had 21 points; Dalven Brushier played 41 minutes and had 21 points, 10 boards for the double-double, along with five assists; Darius Lubom played 40 minutes and had 17 points, five boards, and five assists; and John Morrill-Keeler had 14 points and eight boards. No notable bench play.
Seawolf highlights: DeAndre Osuigwe had 12 boards and six assists; and Tyler Brimhall had 11 points and five boards. Off the bench TYRUS HOSLEY had 16 points, four boards, and six assists; Jack Macdonald had seven points and seven boards; and our guy OGGIE PANTOVIC had 20 points and 13 boards.
The bench was the difference. It’s looking like WOU is going to continue having an insanely short rotation, which can be fine but in this game wasn’t. Anchorage went way deeper and it paid off; some of the UAA starters didn’t have the best nights, but their bench bailed them out and they got the ‘W.’ We still think individual guys at WOU have more talent, but UAA was able to utilize the collective talent more and procure the victory. Nicely done Seawolves.
Really great night of basketball. We’ll get into some non-con analysis this coming week, along with the first round of player-of-the week nominations and the POW winner tomorrow morning.
Congrats to all on some insanely hard battles (yes, including you MSUB) these games were all amazing.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!