Goood morning! We are officially halfway through conference play. Wow. We’ll do a ‘Discussions’ post on Wednesday, and catch-up on a few weeks worth of POW, but for now… Let’s jump right into yesterday’s games.
UAF 86 @ MSUB 78
It started off with MSUB going up by a whopping 15 points, and UAF working their way back in slowly but surely, but more of slowly because MSUB led decently well for the vast majority of the first half. The halftime adjustments were real and it was largely very back-and-forth until UAF took their first lead with under four minutes to play, and then remained up from there. Clearly there was some frustration involved considering two techs were awarded to MSUB as a team… And then UAF hit their free throws and that was that. Intriguing.
Nook highlights: SHADEED SHABAZZ had a huge game, with 38 points, eight boards, and four assists, and a whopping -10- steals while going 10-11 from the line, geez louise; Spencer Sweet had a reliable 12 points; KOBY HUERTA had a great day with 16 points on great shooting; and off the bench Markel Banks had 15 points and seven boards.
Yellowjacket highlights: Chrishon Dixon had six boards among a full house of stats; ZHARON RICHMOND HAS SETTLED IN AGAIN and had 24 points, 11 boards, and five blocks; Tyler Green had five boards; and Brendan Howard had 28 points and nine boards. Off the bench Clarence Daniels had five points; Psalm Maduakor had six points and four boards; and Jordan Lehrer had four assists.
Ultimately some really great performances from the Yellowjackets, despite another agonizing (although differently so) loss. This coming week they host CU-Portland and Western Oregon, so… Maybe some hope on the horizon? Big congrats to UAF on getting the win in Alterowitz -they host the Falcons and the Saints this coming week, so… Intrigue.
SFU 68 @ SPU 94
We were braced and ready for this to be a game for the first five minutes it was! Then the 15 minute mark happened and it really wasn’t ever a game again. To be fair though, the SPU style is kind of SFU’s kryptonite as it is, and then the fact that the SPU shooters were on, the Clan really never stood a chance.
Clan highlights: Wil Balata had 24 points and seven boards on good shooting; Mike Provenzano had five assists; Jas Singh had 11 points and five boards; and Julian Roche had five boards. Off the bench Matt Kiatipis went 3-4 from the line; Graham Miller had six points; and Drew Bryson had eight points and seven boards.
Falcon highlights: Harry Cavell had a huge bounce back game, scoring 27 points and grabbing nine boards; Divant’e Moffitt continues his sophomore stardom with 23 points and eight boards; and Filip Fullerton had 12 points and eight boards. Off the bench Braden Olsen had 10 points and four assists; and Jacob Medjo had five points.
As noted on twitter: The battles between Braden Olsen and Mike Provenzano, as well as Drew Bryson and Mehdi El Mardi, were a good time. Braden and Mike are super similar players, with Braden being a broader but otherwise having similar bodies. Drew and Mehdi, on the other hand… Drew is listed at 6’3/180; Mehdi is listed at 6’8/235, but he’s probably 6’6/240 if we’re being real, and Drew got the better of him. Big time. Good job, Drew! Despite the blow-out, an entertaining game; Matt Kiatipis looks super promising for the the future, so looking forward to seeing more of him.
WWU 85 @ SMU 78
The result we were expecting in regard to being a WWU win, but definitely not the game we were expecting. It’s kind of unsurprising in that WWU and SMU match each other oddly well, both teams were likely frustrated after getting similar results on Thursday, but… WHAAAAT? WWU, the conference’s “best” team, being given almost all they could handle by SMU, the conference’s worst team of the year? Go Saints!!
Viks highlights: RJ Secrest had 10 points; D’Angelo Minnis bounced back nicely with 14 points; Jalen Green had 10 points and seven boards among a full house of stats; Trevor Jasinsky had eight boards among a full house of stats; and Cameron Retherford fouled out yet again among 11 points and five fouls. Off the bench Leif Anderson started to click into gear with 12 points; Tucker Eenigenburg had six points; and Luke Lovelady had nine points and five boards.
Saints highlights: Alex Schumacher had 17 points and five fouls; John Moore had nine points, six boards, seven assists, and three steals; and Marky Adams had 13 points and four boards. Off the bench CJ Jennings had 16 points and four boards; Lorgan Rooney bounced back slightly and had seven points, eight boards, and five fouls; and Alex Clinton had 14 points and four assists.
Some interesting numbers from the Saints. Not sure what was up with Demonte Malloy only playing five minutes, and yet having three turnovers in those five minutes? Perhaps a ‘pick your battles’ and Landon decided that WWU had figured Demonte out and so there was no point in playing him? Who knows. Great to see the Saints bench go deep and that matches the theory before; play guys that they couldn’t practice for. Either way, as a fan of SMU we like the result; as a fan of the GNAC, the result doesn’t help us. Congrats to the Viks on digging in and pulling out the win.
CWU 66 @ WOU 83
Don’t let the score fool you -this was a game for a very long time. The Wildcats always seemingly can make some magic in the New PE Building and while they couldn’t make magic through the end, they did keep it close for a good while, despite the meager numbers put up.
Wildcat highlights: Amari Stafford had six boards; and Marqus Gilson had 12 points. Off the bench Jeryn Lucas had six points; Gamaun Boykin had four boards; Zellie Hudson had nine points; and Matt Poquette had 10 points and six boards.
Wolf highlights: Jaylyn Richardson had 20 points; Dalven Brushier had 17 points and six assists; and Darius Lubom had eight boards. Off the bench Emanuel Gant continues to impress, this time with 12 points and six boards on great shooting -only 19 minutes because of foul trouble, but quality line otherwise; and Riley Hamilton made some noise with 12 points and six boards among a flawless full house of stats.
Not sure what to make of this game and these numbers. It’s good to see WOU bounce back and get a win, it’s good to see CWU play things close with WOU, but… In regard to conference implications, WOU losing to NNU was bad, bad news because even if NNU can be good (and they are on paper) there’s still no consistency.
NNU 75 @ CU-PDX 60
It was close for a long while, with the Nighthawks even being down by four at halftime, but ultimately they put in a strong second half to win comfortably.
Nighthawk highlights: Jayden Bezzant had 14 points; and Spider had 11 boards. Off the bench Jaylen Fox had 15 points; and Zeke Alley continues to improve his consistency, with 17 points, four boards, and four assists.
Cavs highlights: Xavier Smith had nine points, five boards, and four assists; and Hunter Sweet had nine points and six boards. Off the bench David Wheeler had nine points and five boards; and Dom Bradley had eight points.
The Cavs had a whopping 20 turnovers and Dakota Ayala was entirely contained, to the point that we wonder about an injury. Weird, weird numbers from Dakota. Honestly, this game is just causing us to wring our hands because after going over all of the other numbers from the other games… All of it screams ‘one bid league,’ and it’s totally fair, but… WE DON’T WANT THE GNAC TO BE A ONE BID LEAGUE.
Clearly there’s a lot to discuss, mid-season analysis, checking in with the Pac-West and CCAA. We’ll do a POW dump tomorrow for the last three weeks, and then we may actually end up doing ‘Discussions’ on both Tuesday and Wednesday, just depending.
Good day of games, good information provided even if it’s not the information that we want, and so… We’ll see y’all tomorrow morning.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!