Gooood morning! We are wheels up to San Diego as we’re writing this and then you’ll be reading it shortly after we touch down.
There are four potentially AMAZING games ahead of us today, and so… Let’s talk about them.
All times pacific.
#3 Saint Martin’s vs. #6 CU-Irvine @ 12pm
This game intrigues us. This is the D2 equivalent of the 5-12, and so… Saint Martin’s is going to have to be on high alert. Jordan Kitchen, Jared Matthews, and Rhett Baerlocher are likely to ultimately be the major difference makers, because regardless as to how their shots are falling, they are going to be rebounding and playing really smart basketball. The either/ors come from Luke Chavez, EJ Boyce, and BJ Standley. Can one of them get hot? We shall see. If they don’t and CU-I sticks to teamwork focused fundamental basketball, it could be a really long night for the Saints.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#2 Seattle Pacific vs. #7 Chaminade @ 2:30pm
Personally, we’re terrified of this game. Last time SPU was a 2 seed (back in 2014), they got bounced in the first round after being up by 25 on Stanislaus. Chaminade is a really good team, they gave Point Loma all they could handle earlier this season, they made a solid run in both conference play and in the conference tournament, and the Falcons are going to have to be on their toes the whole time because it doesn’t matter what you can do, it matters what you actually do.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#4 UC San Diego vs. #5 Cal Poly Pomona @ 5:15pm
On the one hand, we’re beyond annoyed that this game is happening. On the other hand, we’re super excited to watch it in person. The two teams have gone back-and-forth all year, they’re incredibly well matched, they matched up in the CCAA six days ago. Will their be fatigue after facing each other twice consecutively? Maybe. We could see one team go up by a fair bit and the other team reel them back in, we could see both teams being lethargic, or we could see both coming out in a fight to death. We’re hoping for the fight to the death.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
#1 Point Loma vs. #8 Western Oregon @ 7:30pm
Here’s the thing about Western Oregon: It’s a dangerous match-up because they’re good defensively, and they’re coming in hot having made the conference championship game, buuuut: that was on a neutral court. And WOU has a really, really bad record on the road. On the road they have losses to UAA, WWU, SPU, SMU, NNU, and CU-PDX. The other bad news is that SPU and Point Loma compare really favorably and WOU has two big losses to the Falcons (one home, one neutral), and there’s a running thought that Ryan Looney teams can’t win at Western Oregon, so… *rubs hands together* The Sea Lions lost to the Wolves in the Regional at WOU last year, Ryan Looney hasn’t won in that gym since 2013, and… Revenge is a dish best served hot and sweaty.
Prediction: Point Loma wins.
We’re excited. This is being posted right around halftime of the SMU/CU-I game and it’s mostly just as much of a mess as we expected.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
We realize that we ended up with the titles of these posts being a day off. It made sense in our head as we were going into the third day, but… At this point in the season, we’re exhausted. Really exhausted.
It’s times like this when we’re reaaaally glad these guys are all in their early 20s and have seemingly endless amounts of energy, because the GNAC schedule is brutal. And actually, we remember being on this schedule in undergrad and we were still exhausted. The guys have to be running on pure adrenaline.
Alright men, you have approximately three days to recover and then you’ll be on a plane to San Diego, but… More about that later.
Let’s talk about the GNAC Championship game!
The atmosphere in the gym was interesting. WWU didn’t have a ton of community members in attendance (*coughs* Lacey is better *coughs*) and so the vast majority of people that were there were friends and family of the teams, and… Things were tense. Not in a bad way, just in a “everyone is really focused on getting this win and no one trusts anything,” way.
There was no way to say which way it would go. The thing is, WOU has a number of players that can get really hot: Brandell Evans, Dalven Brushier, Kaleb Warner, Riley Hawken, Darius Lubom, and Buster Souza have all had nights of seeming unstoppable. Seattle Pacific… It’s much more balanced. They don’t necessarily have a go-to guy this year and their “shooters” (as in, guys that are elite from beyond the arc) are underclassmen.
One of our favorite sayings is “Teamwork makes the dream work,” and despite absolutely elite and phenomenal defense from the Wolves, no WOU player got “hot” and as such… Teamwork made the dream work for Seattle Pacific.
#4 Western Oregon 66 vs. #2 Seattle Pacific 78
Does the final score tell the whole story? Not really. SPU was hot early, 32% free throw shooter Coleman Wooten went 2-2 from the line early and so we wondered if something special was brewing for the Falcons, and honestly… Not really? It was a pure grind-it-out game on both sides. SPU would work up a small lead and then WOU would work back into it. Right around the three minute mark was when SPU started to go up for good, but… At the time we definitely didn’t know, because a lead of 12 is still only four possessions and with the type of defense WOU plays and the number of shooters they have, it wasn’t insurmountable if SPU got apathetic.
Ultimately, yes, SPU did win, and we swear their largest lead was by 16 there at the end before letting WOU get a couple of easy baskets knowing they were moot, but… Was it a blow-out? No. Never. WOU’s win over SMU felt like a blow-out as SMU helplessly chucked up shot after shot, even with five or six minutes left. WOU was methodical in everything they did and didn’t go to the shoot-and-hope method until the final two minutes, which actually makes strategic sense.
Wolves highlights: Etan Collins had 12 points and seven boards; and Riley Hawken had six boards. Off the bench Darius Luborn had 14 points and four boards; O’landa Baker had 13 points and five boards; Jaylyn Richardson had three assists; Buster Souza had 10 points and six boards on good shooting; and Cameron Cranston had three boards.
Falcon highlights: COLEMAN WOOTEN WENT 6-6 FROM THE LINE!!!!! and had 25 points and 11 boards for the double-double; Harry Cavell had five boards among a flawless full house of stats; Nikhil Lizotte had 14 points; and Gavin Long had 17 points. Off the bench Sam Simpson had five points and four boards among a full house of stats; and Divant’e Moffitt had seven points.
Notable things about the numbers… We’re stunned about the lack of numbers from the WOU starters. Kaleb Warner rarely gets hot, and it seems like most GNAC teams have gotten really good at shutting down Riley Hawken, but for the entirety of their starting line-up to put up a collective 24 points and 14 rebounds is insane. Credit where credit is due, Seattle Pacific defense. We’re stunned. They also forced WOU into 15 turnovers, which is an insanely high number for the Wolves. That said, it should also be noted that WOU out-rebounded the Falcons, so credit where credit is due Wolves.
This game was just amazing in every sense of the word, and yes we’re an SPU person so it ended happily in our case, but… We love these WOU players. It’s a privilege to watch them play defense. It’s beautiful to watch them get hot on offense. We keep waiting for Dalven Brushier to have another lights-out game. It was great to get to witness Kaleb Warner get hot against SMU. It’s been fantastic watching Buster Souza finally come into his own, and as much as it’s occurring late… Better late than never, and what better time than in March?
A WOU player noted to us afterward that all year they’ve thought SPU and WOU were the two best teams in the GNAC, and we completely agree. All year, SPU and WOU have been the only teams proven to have an ability to play true fundamental basketball. The thing about college basketball… A college coach can’t really teach fundamentals. There’s just not the time. If the players haven’t grown up playing fundamental basketball and cultivated those skills, they’re not going to all of a sudden appear in college, let alone be able to develop over the course of a season.
Athleticism and coaching talent can lead you to wins, but it’s rarely going to work when you come up against a team that has good-to-great coaching, athleticism, and good-to-great fundamentals, especially with everything on the line.
Now, which teams will get to put it all on the line in the West Region tournament… Is a discussion for the next post we put up.
As for the GNAC tourney experience…
Thank God WWU hosting is over. Please never again. Please never anywhere but at Saint Martin’s again.
The home court advantage thing is clearly moot and all it does is exhaust all of the players even more because of unnecessary travel. Yes, compared to Billings and Anchorage, Bellingham isn’t that bad, and it was nice that both the SFU men and women got to play close-to-home in a year when they both made it, but that was a fluke.
Saint Martin’s is advantageous for everyone because it is:
- Centrally located.
- The locals show up even when SMU isn’t playing.
- Their athletic staff is used to hosting.
- They have no power-tripping arena staff.
- Their gym has a nice intimate feel, but holds a large amount of people.
- Their concession options are good.
- Their athletic facility doesn’t share a parking lot with anyone and so it’s both conveniently located and unoccupied except for people attending the event at Marcus Pavilion.
The concessions at this tournament were seriously inadequate, and it’s not even like we’re super committed to buying arena food; we just like having the option. We opted to go hungry. They only had polish sausages and bratwursts and they ran out before the final game of the night on Thursday. No nachos, no popcorn, no pizza, only two different kinds of chips, a bit of candy, and admittedly a decent drink selection, but… Vending machines have decent drink selections and don’t charge $3 a bottle.
As for the drama during the NNU/SPU game… We’ll leave it at the fact that things were handled poorly by the higher-ups, and ♫ In one shining moment ♫ we had the clapback of our lives. One of the women called us a “F***IN’ PU**Y!!” and we responded “HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY!!” with a big grin. It was International Women’s Day and we will never clapback that hard again, so we’re enjoying the afterglow.
Thanks so much for a fantastic GNAC Championship game, and… The final bracketology post of the year will be up by 7pm.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
First, the SFU/WWU Week 8 Make-Up:
SFU: Jasdeep Singh
WWU: N/A —> Donated to Mike Provenzano of Simon Fraser.
In the final week of conference play, there were some absolutely AMAZING individual games, but… That’s not our MO, especially when some of the guys that had one amazing game also had a second, let alone all of the guys that played two good games.
UAF: N/A —> Donated to BJ Standley of SMU.
UAA: Brennan Rymer
SFU: Wil Balata
WWU: Trevor Jasinsky
SPU: Gavin Long
SMU: Luke Chavez
CWU: Matt Poquette
NNU: Adonis Arms
MSUB: N/A —> Donated to Obi Megwa of NNU.
CU-PDX: Dominique Bradley
WOU: Riley Hawken
Honorable Mention: Jarrett Gray (CU-PDX)
Player-of-the-week is… Luke Chavez!
Great final week. Great basketball being played, with the heat and intensity increasing right as we head into post-season. We love it. We’re practically counting the hours until the conference tournament, and… Game previews’ll be up on Thursday morning!
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Alright, conference play has finished up and the conference tournaments start on Thursday, and so… Let’s talk about where things are as of now in each of the three conferences.
Note: Records noted are all purely in-conference.
The final weekend of the season saw Point Loma beat CU-I 93-83, Azusa beat their two opponents comfortably, and Chaminade eke out a win against Hilo (but rivalry game? So probably whatever).
Dominican is hosting the conference tournament and the seeding is:
- Point Loma (20-2)
- Concordia-Irvine (18-4)
- Chaminade (16-6)
- Azusa Pacific (16-6)
- Holy Names (11-11) -note that this is a big overachievement, nicely done Hawks.
- Academy of Art (11-11) -another big overachievement, nicely done Knights.
Two big overachievements doesn’t speak to the strength of the Pac-West, but it does speak to the idea that the entire West Region is having a down year.
Bracketology remains the same; we expect Point Loma to be in and vying against the GNAC’s Saint Martin’s for the bid to host. SMU has a win over Point Loma, so… If both bow out of their respective conference tournaments at the same time, SMU should get the nod.
The final weekend saw Cal Poly Pomona get a close win against San Bernardino; UCSD blow-out both East Bay and Monterey Bay; and East Bay lose both @ San Marcos and @ UCSD. We now think East Bay’s slipped into being a bubble team if upsets rattle the conference tournament brackets at all.
East Bay is hosting the conference tournament and the seeding is:
- Cal Poly Pomona (17-5)
- UC San Diego (17-5)
- East Bay (16-6)
- San Francisco State (14-8)
- Cal State LA (13-9)
- Dominguez Hills (12-10)
- San Bernardino (11-11)
- Humboldt State (11-11)
Because the CCAA does eight schools, the first round is hosted by the respective higher seeds on Tuesday before everyone heads to East Bay on Friday.
As good as Cal Poly Pomona is, their lack of non-con makes us think they have no hope of hosting. With UCSD, because they ended the season tied and went on a bad losing streak late, their well-played non-con ends up being moot because PLNU and SMU both also played good non-cons and finished the regular season strong.
The final weekend of GNAC play brought chaos as four teams vied for the final two spots, while SPU and NNU vied for the first round BYE. Ultimately MSUB won both of their games, while UAA, SFU, and WWU all split leaving the three teams tied. UAA’s best win was against #3 NNU, and so they were out; SFU and WWU both were 1-1 against SMU, 0-2 against SPU, and the distinction was made with SFU being 1-1 against NNU while WWU was 0-2, and thus perpetual basement dweller Simon Fraser is IN THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT!!!!!
SPU @ NNU ultimately saw the Falcons grind out a close victory (make your free throws, folks!), while conference leading SMU almost got upset by second-from-the-bottom Central Washington; it went to 2OT. Insane.
Western Washington is hosting the conference tournament and the seeding is:
- Saint Martin’s (17-3)
- Seattle Pacific (16-4)
- Northwest Nazarene (14-6)
- Western Oregon (13-7)
- MSU-Billings (10-10)
- Simon Fraser (9-11)
Bracketology: We think SMU and SPU are for sure in, probably regardless as to whether or not they bow out early. NNU is a bubble team, their “what have you done for me lately” is 50/50. They lost at WOU, they almost lost at GNAC #9 CU-Portland, they lost to SMU, and they lost to SPU. They also don’t have as good of a non-con compared to #3 peers Chaminade and East Bay.
As for hosting the Regional, we think the Saints control their own destiny. If they win the conference tournament, they should be hosting. If they lose at the same time as Point Loma, they should be hosting. If Point Loma wins the Pac-West and SMU doesn’t win the GNAC, we’re likely headed to San Diego.
Right now, provided upsets don’t scramble the conference tournament brackets, in our opinion it should be:
- Saint Martin’s
- Point Loma
- Cal Poly Pomona
- Seattle Pacific
- Northwest Nazarene
- East Bay
With East Bay getting the nod over CU-I just because it’s a rare occurrence for East Bay to be up this high, whereas CU-I has consistently been good on a D2 level and we assume that they know they’re having a bad year and simply seeded #2 in a down year for the Pac-West.
We can’t stand the Top 25 ranking system as it comes to D2, and so we usually don’t look at rankings until the Regional Rankings come out, so… Let’s see what the Powers That Be are saying now…
WHAAAAT??? THEY ACTUALLY AGREE WITH US?!?! Their seeded list from a week ago is:
- Saint Martin’s
- Point Loma
- Seattle Pacific
- Cal Poly Pomona
- Northwest Nazarene
- East Bay
- Western Oregon
We didn’t want to put SPU that high because we felt like we were being homers and because we look at this SPU team and compared to past SPU teams they’re not that great, but… It is a down year and what they’re doing is apparently enough.
We like that WOU is listed at 10 because they do feel like a threat to receive the auto bid and those guys do have so much experience and they have a recent blow-out win over NNU. They also have a recent loss to GNAC #7 WWU, but… That’s why Regional #10. They’re in the conversation and a definite threat to win the GNAC tourney, but not a guarantee.
All of that said… That’s where things are at as we head into the conference tournaments.
GNAC’ers: Player-of-the-week math is being done tonight, so it’ll be up tomorrow, along with the final iteration of the conference round robin.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Hi, we’ve now completed our fifth regular season of writing about GNAC Men’s Basketball and we still clearly DON’T KNOW ANYTHING. No, parity is just amazing. It’s so fun to be in a conference in which literally any team can win on any given night.
One of the CWU broadcasters joked in 2OT that it was GNAC Basketball After Dark, and as a religious watcher of Pac-12 After Dark because of the chaos it tends to bring… Heck yes. It was definitely GNAC Basketball After Dark, and so… Let’s talk about it!
MSUB 92 @ UAF 65
UAF never had any hope. Ever. There was a point about five minutes in when they were only down by five and… That was the high point of hope. MSUB absolutely crushed them and left no doubt. We love it. We love seeing teams do this as they’re going into post-season.
Jackets highlights: Sven Jeuschede had 11 points; Zharon Richmond had five boards; Tyler Green had nine boards; Melvin had nine points, five fouls, and a full house of stats; and Zack Rollins had an amazing night going 6-7 from three and finishing with 19 points and seven boards. Off the bench Kobe Tereshima is getting hot at the right time and had nine points and five boards; and BRENDAN HOWARD had 25 points and seven boards on great shooting.
Nooks highlights: Alex Baham had 15 points and five boards; Daulton Lootens had five boards. Off the bench Jalon McCullough had seven points; Jaqua Morrow had six points; and MICHAEL KLUTING had 27 points and 10 boards in what’s become a typical outing. BEAST. Tymoryae Glover didn’t play.
Huge congrats to the Jackets on heading into the conference tournament with your stingers out, and… Thank God It’s Over for UAF. Next year should be better.
WOU 68 @ SFU 56
In a game that seemed destined to be a blowout from the start, it interestingly enough wasn’t. It was reminiscent of the SPU/CWU game on Thursday in that WOU would go up comfortably and then SFU would climb back in, and then WOU would go up comfortably and then SFU would climb back in, and then ultimately WOU won comfortably.
Wolves highlights: Dalven Brushier had 19 points and six boards, as well as going 6-6 from the line; and Riley Hawken had 12 points and seven boards. Off the bench Brandell Evans had six boards; and Buster Souza had six points and five boards.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 12 points; Wil Balata had 13 points and eight boards; Mike Provenzano had six assists; and Jasdeep Singh had 13 points and nine boards. Off the bench Bongani Moyo had five boards.
This game was honestly terrible as it comes to a numbers stand point, but… Someone has to win and someone has to lose and we’re a little disappointed in SFU. This game was totally in your grasp and you let it go. Congrats to the Wolves on bouncing back and getting it done.
CU-PDX 79 @ WWU 70
Cavs, do you know how much we love you?? A LOT. Just when we’d finally been like “Okay, they’re good, but they’ve lost it, and they’re not coming back,” THEY COME BACK. THEY GET THE WIN. They end the season as giant killers. Is WWU a giant this year? Not really, but… We live in the past. Our first year of GNAC basketball WWU won the Natty, so giants they remain. They also have such deep pockets, that it’s like seriously?? How are you not winning. This is ridiculous. They’re the Arizona of the GNAC.
Cavs highlights: Jarrett Gray had 13 points, five boards, and five assists; Dom Bradley had 11 points and nine boards; and Hunter Sweet had 17 points, five boards, and four assists among a flawless full house. Off the bench Cody Starr had five assists; and Dakota Ayala had 12 points and 11 boards on good shooting.
Viks highlights: Tyler Payned had five assists; Leif Anderson had 11 points; Jalen Green had six boards; Trevor Jasinsky had nine boards; Cameron Rethford had 13 points, eight boards, and five fouls among efficient shooting and a full house of stats in just 24 minutes; and off the bench Micah Winn had 14 points.
Once again: Great job to CU-PDX on letting Trevor shoot. Congrats to the Viks on getting through this trying season.
SMU 105 @ CWU 96 in 2OT!!
Hooooly cow. You gave them everything they could handle and you almost had it, Wildcats. The good news is, had you won, you would have handed SPU a share of the conference title, so… Maybe there’s a bright side in the loss. Respect your rivalries. Losing just so your rival doesn’t get a share. That’s admirable. Congrats to SMU on digging deep and finding a way to win, and thus winning the conference regular season outright.
Saints highlights: Luke Chavez had 33 points and five boards while going 6-6 from the line; Jared Matthews had 10 points; and Rhett Baerlocher had 14 points and eight boards while playing -45- minutes, geez. Off the bench BJ STANDLEY had 29 points, five boards, and six assists while playing -46- minutes; and Tavian Henderson had eight points and eight boards while playing -38- minutes. This is why we maintain the Saints have seven/eight starters. The Saints have lost EJ Boyce meanwhile gaining Jared Matthews, so… 7.5 starters.
Wildcat highlights: Jeryn Lucas had 27 points and five boards; Naim Ladd had 16 points; Jackson Price was back down to earth and had five fouls; Malik Montoya had nine points, six boards, and five fouls; Matt Poquette had 14 points on good shooting and while going 8-8 from the line; and off the bench Gamaun Boykin had 16 points and eight assists.
Once again: HOOOOLY COW. We actually got back to our hotel just in time to watch both periods of OT. Do we wish we had been at this game? Honestly no, because had we been we wouldn’t have discovered how awesome the CWU broadcast guys are. Love it. Also loved seeing Naim Ladd have a great final game. Again: Congrats to SMU on winning the conference regular season outright.
SPU 87 @ NNU 82
Oh goodness. What. A. Game. SPU would go up by eight or so and be there for a bit and the NNU would hit shots, and then SPU would go up by eight or so, and… Back and forth until the final five or so minutes when things got REAL and it seemed as though NNU was refusing to lose this game. It didn’t work out that way, but the drive and the “taking what’s ours” play style was there.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five boards and five assists; Nikhil Lizotte had 23 points and went 7-8 from the line; Nathan Streufert had five boards; and GAVIN LONG had 21 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Sam Simpson had a double-double with 10 points and 11 boards among a full house of stats; Sam Boone had five boards in just seven minutes; and Divant’e Moffitt had six points.
Nighthawk highlights: Adonis Arms had 30 points and five boards and went 9-9 from the line; Obi Megwa was on fire nad had 22 points; and Spider had five fouls and five boards. Off the bench Sam Roth had six points; Beto Diaz had four boards; Felix White had four boards; and Jayden Bezzant was ON and had 15 points and a huge presence on the court.
We thought this game was headed to OT. It was crazy. It was amazing. We’re excited to see this NNU team back on track. If they play like this on Thursday, SFU has no hope. So many great moments from players on both teams. Special shout-out to Coleman Wooten of SPU for sportsmanship. Felix White of NNU ended up getting the wind knocked out of him while a bunch of guys were battling in the paint, and it was Coleman that was with him the whole time, making sure he was okay, and talking him through it.
THIS. IS. MARCH. MADNESS. Love you all soooo much, we’re so proud of you, and can’t wait for those that we’ll see at the conference tournament.
Tomorrow, we’ll get into the Bracketology Round #2 regarding what’s gone on in the CCAA, Pac-West, and yes also the GNAC because in pre and post season, we tend to get a lot of their folks checking in.
We think we’ll wait until Tuesday for Player-of-the-Week because the bracketology is more pressing, but… Maybe both. We’ll see.
Once again: Thank-you so much NNU, we had a great time. Great atmosphere.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
What. A. Night. And so… Let’s talk about it.
MSUB 67 @ UAA 56
First and foremost: Yes, UAA’s regular season is done, no they’re not yet officially out of the conference tournament. This game was decently back and forth and we were thinking UAA was going to ultimately pull out the victory before MSUB walked it up just enough to get a semi-comfortable win.
Jackets highlights: Zharon Richmond had nine points; Tyler Green had five boards; and Melvin had a good game with 11 points on 5-6 shooting from the field. Off the bench KOBE TERASHIMA had 16 points and 11 boards for the double-double; and Brendan Howard had 11 points.
Seawolves highlights: Tyler Brimhall had 13 points and five boards; Niko Bevens had nine boards among a full house of stats; Brennan Rymer had 11 points and seven boards; and off the bench Keenan Dowell had five boards.
Excited to see Kobe Tereshima coming on strong. For some reason we thought he was a senior (guess we assumed he was a community college transfer) but it turns out he’s only a sophomore! Yay! We get to keep for another two years. Very happy about that. Congrats on MSUB to pulling out the critical victory.
CU-PDX 84 @ SFU 72
WE KNEW IT. WE KNEW IT, WE KNEW IT, WE KNEW IT. We didn’t trust SFU at all. But Julian did see minutes, which is good. Not a ton of them, so they’re easing him back, but… If you can beat WWU without Julian, then you should be able to beat CU-PDX with him on limited minutes, and yet they did not. Congrats to CU-PDX on taking full advantage.
Cavs highlights: Tyler Wells went 6-6 from the line and finished with nine points; Jarrett Gray continues to warm back up with nine points and seven boards; DOMINIQUE BRADLEY had a whopping 22 points and 10 bards for the double-double; and Hunter Sweet had 10 points. Off the bench CODY STARR had 14 points on good shooting; and Dakota Ayala had 10 points and five boards.
Clan highlights: Michael Hannan had five boards; Wil Balata had an INSANE 30 points and 16 boards; Mike Provenzano had five assists; Jasdeep Singh had 17 points and five boards; and off the bench Julian Roche had four boards.
The struggle was real, the effort was real, and the result was rarely in doubt that Concordia was going to win. SFU is now relying as much on others as they are on themselves for a bid in the conference tournament. Congrats to Concordia on playing the spoiler -do it again tomorrow!
WOU 69 @ WWU 79
Was this game ever in doubt? It’s complicated. On the one hand, WWU took control early. On the other hand, we never trust the Wolves. WOU made a push about halfway through the second half and yet… Never could get it and they never really led. Nicely done to the Viks on bringing the heat when it counts.
Wolves highlights: Dalven Brushier had 11 points; Kaleb Warner had five fouls; and Riley Hawken had 15 points, nine boards, and five fouls. Off the bench Darius Luborn had seven points, five boards, and four assists; O’landa Baker had five points; and Buster Souza had 10 points, seven boards, and five fouls.
Viks highlights: Trevor Jasinsky went 11-12 from the line and finished with 17 points and 10 boards among a flawless full house of stats; and Cameron Retherford went 11-11 from the line and finished with 17 points and 11 boards also on a full house of stats. Off the bench Tucker Eenigenburg was out of his mind and shot well among having 20 points end eight boards; RJ Secrest had 11 points; and Leif Anderson had 11 points.
Interesting. Wonder what Leif did off the court to get himself benched. Is WWU one of those teams that punishes guys for showing up late to class? Hmmm. Good to see it didn’t affect his production. Congrats to the Viks on a great win.
SPU 74 @ CWU 62
Our favorite game each year. Our favorite team in our favorite place. The final score is about average? It was an inch worm score. It would be close and then SPU would lead by a lot, and then it would be close and then SPU would lead by a lot, and ultimately it ended up somewhere in the middle. It seemed like the game was either full in doubt or fully not in doubt for the Falcons, but rarely in the middle where it ended up.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 16 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Harry Cavell was on fire and had 15 points and nine boards; Nikhil Lizotte had six assists and five fouls; and Gavin Long had 15 points while going 7-8 from the line. Off the bench Sam Simpson had eight points; and SAM BOONE had a whopping 12 rebounds in just 17 minutes.
Wildcat highlights: Jeryn Lucas had five boards; Zellie Hudson had five fouls; and MALCOLM COLA was back and had seven boards. Off the bench JACKSON PRICE was absolutely on fire and had 18 points; and Malik Montoya had five points.
The Jackson Price thing was interesting. We’ve barely talked about him this year, so we know SPU didn’t really plan for him to get hot, and they adapted decently in the second half. The Falcons out-rebounded the Wildcats 48-27, which is good, but… We don’t trust them against NNU at all.
SMU 97 @ NNU 87
Ooooh goodness. This game was absolutely nuts. NNU went up by quite a lot at one point and then SMU pulled them back in and eventually SMU was up by an okay amount but not a great amount and we were like “they’re close to breaking it open, but we won’t trust it until after the two minute mark,” and sure enough, NNU got back in it and it was a battle to the end.
Saints highlights: Luke Chavez went 12-13 from the line and finished with 23 points and seven boards; Chandler Redix had 21 points and five fouls; Jared Matthews started and had 13 points and eight boards; Jordan Kitchen had 12 points and five fouls; and Rhett Baerlocher had seven boards. Off the bench BJ STANDLEY WAS ON FIRE and had 20 points on great shooting; and Tavian Henderson had five points and four boards.
Nighthawks highlights: Adonis Arms went 6-7 from the line and finished with 18 points and five fouls; Obi Megwa had a whopping 30 points and five boards; and Spider had nine boards. Off the bench James Nelson went 3-4 from the line and finished with seven points and four boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 18 points on solid shooting.
Oh geez. Insane numbers. No EJ Boyce =( Hope he’s back soon. Congrats to the Saints on a great come-from-behind victory in a hard place to play.
Thanks so much for an absolutely AMAZING night of basketball.
Game previews for the final day of the regular season will be up in the AM, and we’ll talk more about the conference tournament implications of each game.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Hoooo boy, doozy of a night incoming and so let’s talk about it!
All times pacific.
SMU @ NNU @ 6pm
Hoooo boy. SMU is fighting to win the conference, NNU is fighting to beat out Seattle Pacific for the second first round BYE in the conference tournament. Last time the two teams met, NNU lost 86-88. NNU is a challenging place to play, but they’ve been spiraling as of late. They barely escaped a spiraling Concordia-Portland team, and now they’re taking on a decently hot SMU team. They’re theoretically fairly well-matched, but… We shall see. One of those games where we feel like either team could win a close one or SMU could blow-out NNU.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
SPU @ CWU @ 7pm
Rivalry game with SPU battling to procure a first round BYE in the conference tournament and CWU wanting to play the spoiler. We can’t wait. Last time the two teams played SPU won 97-82, but… That was a long time ago and that was at RBP. CWU was able to hang with WOU for a really long time and that was on the road at WOU, so… We’re liking the progress. While SPU has been super hot as of late, procuring a couple of great wins against SMU and MSUB and being on an eight game winning streak… As an SPU alum, we never trust the Wildcats, and we feel our posterity should take heed.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
CU-PDX @ SFU @ 7pm
We’re suuuuper curious about this game. Usually these teams are pretty well matched, CU-PDX has been playing a lot worse as of late than we know they’re capable of, and… Honestly, we think they hold the edge on Simon Fraser. Simon Fraser has a good amount of talent, but leaves a lot to be desired as it comes to fundamentals. CU-PDX isn’t as talented as Simon Fraser, but they are better as it comes to fundamentals. SFU was missing Julian Roche on Tuesday, Jarrett Gray of CU-PDX started to bounce back against NNU and seems like he should be back to his normal amazing tonight, and so… Who knows. Last time the two teams met CU-PDX lost 94-99 in OT, and thus:
Prediction: Pick ’em.
WOU @ WWU @ 7pm
Yet another amazing game being played tonight. Last time the two teams met the Viks lost in DOUBLE overtime. This time it’s at Carver, the Viks are coming off of a heartbreaking loss at SFU, and are in the middle of a battle for the conference tournament. WOU has already safely clinched their bid in the conference tournament, but is still battling for an at-large berth in the Regional. Both teams have solid players, there’s a huge history between Riley Hawken and Trevor Jasinsky, and… We’ll see what happens.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
MSUB @ UAA @ 8:30pm
Geez louise, the final insane game tonight. Both teams are battling hard to earn a spot in the conference tournament. Last time the two teams met MSUB won 89-74, but that was in Billings. This time. MSUB is coming off of a couple of losses to the Puget Sound schools while UAA is coming off of a couple of losses to the North schools including a gut wrenching OT loss to Simon Fraser. Both teams want to get this win more than anything, they’re decently well matched, Niko Bevens of UAA has bounced back while Kobe Terashima looks like he’s finally found his rhythm, hopefully.
Prediction: Pick ’em.
We absolutely cannot wait for tonight. It’s going to be insane. We’ll be following along with everything on our phone while we’re out at CWU. As always, we’ll be sittin’ and we’ll be knittin’ so come say ‘hi!’
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Hoooo boy. We figured we’d wait until today to talk about possibilities regarding the final two spots of the tournament because we wanted to get through WWU @ SFU and UAF @ UAA.
UAF 86 @ UAA 100
Just when you’d think UAA was about to break it open, UAF would hit shots. The Seawolves didn’t manage to distance themselves until about eight minutes left in the game. Is that a moral victory? Eh. If you’re really bad and your rival is fighting for a spot in the conference tournament, we struggle to see the moral victory in staying with them. Crush their dreams. Congrats to Anchorage on not falling for the dream crushing.
Nook highlights: Tymoryae Glover had 10 points and foul trouble; Spencer Sweet had 16 points; and Michael Kluting is back to earth with 11 points and five boards. Off the bench Tre Eisenhut had good game with 19 points; Jaqua Morrow had 18 points; and Isaiah Easaw had five points.
Seawolf highlights: Tyler Brimhall had 33 points; Brennan Rymer had a double-double with 15 points and a whopping 13 assists; Jack Macdonald was on FIRE had had 24 points on great shooting including 6-7 from three; and off the bench Brian Pearson had seven points and eight boards.
Wow. Six players fully functioning on the Seawolves. We’re surprised and pleased, but… If it takes you six players functioning, when only four function, and you’re merely beating this year’s version of the Nanooks… Ooof. Congrats on the win Seawolves. You’re still fighting.
WWU 73 @ SFU 76
HOOOOOLY. Okay, the Vikings aren’t as good as they normally are, but we got up there only to find that the Clan’s Julian Roche was out with an injury. We’re not sure specifically what, but the lack of a visibly disabled extremity makes us think concussion. The Clan managing to get a win against a fundamentally sound team without their big bangin’ center is big, big, BIG.
Viking highlights: Tyler Payne had 20 points; and Trevor Jasinsky went 6-6 from the line and had seven boards. Off the bench Tucker Eenigenburg had eight points; and KJ Bosco continues to impress with 15 points on good shooting among a full house of stats.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had 11 points; Wil Balata had 13 points while going 5-6 from the line; Mike Provenzano had 12 points among a plethora of field stats; Jasdeep Singh was OUT OF HIS MIND with 31 points and seven boards; and off the bench Bongani Moyo had five boards.
As great as it was to see Jasdeep have such an awesome game… We think he would have preferred less points but with the assistance and presence of Julian. Ah well, a win’s a win, and a win without one of your best players is HUGE. Good teams find a way to win and that’s exactly what the Clan did. Congrats to the Vikings on some really cerebral play and congrats to the Clan on procuring a victory over adversity.
So… What’s the situation with the conference tournament? Complicated. Very complicated.
SFU is 9-9
UAA is 9-10
WWU is 8-10
MSUB is 8-10
SFU and WWU both play two games hosting WOU and CU-PDX respectively.
UAA has their final game against MSUB.
MSUB has their two final games against UAF and UAA.
Prediction-wise… We expect MSUB to end up at 9-10, UAA to end up at 10-10, SFU to end up at 10-10, and WWU to end up at 9-10.
If that happened, it would simply be UAA and SFU in the conference tournament.
Unfortunately for WWU, not everyone ahead of them can lose. WWU’s best case scenario would be:
In that scenario WWU makes the tournament. But if they were to drop one game and MSUB were to beat UAA but lose to UAF, we could end up with a scenario of all four teams being 9-11, and how does that tiebreaker work?
WWU split with UAA and SFU, and is 0-2 against MSUB.
SFU split with UAA, WWU, and MSUB.
UAA split with SFU, WWU, and in this scenario would be 0-2 against MSUB.
MSUB holds the tiebreaker over WWU and UAA.
In the case of UAA vs. SFU vs. WWU where they’ll have all split straight up, we believe the tiebreaker goes to the team with the best record against the top teams and in that case it’ll be dependent on what’s gone on between the Puget Sound schools and NNU.
UAA is 0-4 against the Puget Sound schools but split with NNU.
SFU is 1-3 against the Puget Sound schools but split with NNU.
WWU is 1-3 against the Puget Sound schools and 0-2 against NNU.
Basically: It’s a mess and we’re not going to know until we know. This happened back in 2017 as well, so… We shall see. And we know that holding your breath through an entire basketball game is unhealthy, but… Eh. Oh well =)
Game previews will be up tomorrow morning.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Geez louise, what a night. Western Oregon has officially clinched a berth in the conference tournament and holy bananas a ton of other exciting games happened, so… Let’s talk about them.
WWU 85 @ UAF 75
UAF hung around for a really long time before the Vikings finally separated a bit on free throws at the end. Very close game. Very exciting. Congrats to the Viks on a good win (for your program and your program only).
Viks highlights: Tyler Payne had nine assists; Leif Anderson had 11 points; JALEN GREEN had 23 points on good shooting; Trevor Jasinsky played a FULL 40 MINUTES and had 24 points and seven boards; Cameron Retherford had six boards; and off the bench KJ Bosco had 12 points, six boards, and five fouls among a full house of stats. Again: KJ, we’re loving it! Awesome improvement.
Nook highlights: Michael Kluting had whopping 28 points and 17 boards. Off the bench Tre Eisenhut had 10 points; and Alex Baham had 12 points.
Congrats to the Vikings. Loving the numbers, although… Really: It was against UAF, and so as much as we give the Viking program props for winning in a semi-unlikely gymnasium for their program: Seriously, UAF is really bad this year. Congrats on shutting down Tymoryae Glover.
SFU 67 @ UAA 63 in OT
CONGRATS SIMON FRASER!!!!!!!!!! HUGE, HUGE, HUUUUUGE WIN. Love it. Winning at Anchorage is a challenge for everyone and you did it! Ridiculously proud of you.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had a full house of stats; Wil Balata was back in the starting line-up and had 12 boards; Mike Provenzano had six boards and six assists; Jasdeep Singh had 15 points and five boards; Julian Roche had 11 points and 11 boards for the double-double among a full house of stats; and off the bench Mike Hannan had five points.
Seawolves highlights: Tyler Brimhall had six boards and five fouls; NIKO BEVENS had 24 points and five boards; and SJUR BERG was back in the line-up and had 12 points and 13 boards. No real bench play.
Honestly… These numbers on either side aren’t good. No one was shooting well. That gym is really hard to shoot in and so… Perhaps the Seawolves finally realized it. We get it, it’s a nice gym, but… We miss their old one. The current one… We come from D1. It’s a par-for-the-course D1 gym. It’s nothing special. But their old gym, right next to the hockey rink, natatorium, and student center, felt special because everything was together. We’re all about the togetherness. Congrats to the Clan on the win and the Seawolves on the battle well-fought.
MSUB 56 @ SMU 73
It was close for a long while. The Saints didn’t pull away until there were five or so minutes left, and even then the Jackets made a push before SMU hit shots down the stretch. Really good game, really well-matched teams.
Jacket highlights: Off the bench Kobe Tereshima had six points, six assists, and four boards; and Brendan Howard had 13 points and six boards.
Saints highlights: Luke Chavez had a HUUGE game with 16 points and eight boards; Jordan Kitchen had 14 boards; Rhett Baerlocher had nine boards; and EJ Boyce had 12 points. Off the bench Jared Matthews had five fouls; and BJ Standley had 11 points.
Honestly: Not particularly great numbers on either side, but the teams were well matched and it was exciting. It was also nice to get to see SMU clear their bench on senior night.
NNU 79 @ CU-PDX 78 in OT.
Ouch. Valiant effort Concordia. They had been down by a lot early, but kept chipping away at it and… Took it to OT, only to lose. Painful. Painful, painful, painful. Proud of you Cavs and proud of the Nighthawks for digging in deep and getting the win.
Nighthawk highlights: Adonis Arms had seven boards and eight assists among a full house of stats; Sam Roth had nine points; Beto Diaz had five boards; and Spider had 10 boards among a full house of stats. Off the bench James Nelson had 13 points and six boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 11 points and four assists.
Cavs highlights: Jace Cates had eight boards; Cody Starr started and had seven assists; and Jarrett Gray went 6-7 from the line and finished with 22 points among nine boards and six assists. Off the bench Dom Bradley had 11 points and eight boards; and Dakota Ayala had 12 points.
When we saw this score we were reeling. We still are this morning. We’ve been waiting for the Cavs to bounce back and they finally did, and… Ouch. So close. Next week. Up at the North schools, both are fighting for a spot in the conference tournament… Be the spoiler. Congrats to the Nighthawks on pulling it out.
CWU 62 @ WOU 77
Par-for-the-course score, but the Wildcats hung around a very long time. The Wolves didn’t start pulling away until about 10 minutes left in the second half, so the fact that the Wildcats could overcome halftime adjustments is big. Seattle Pacific should be paying close attention to this -the Wildcats are getting it together and are dangerous.
Wildcat highlights: Jeryn Lucas had 22 points; and Zellie Hudson had 10 points and seven boards. Off the bench Naim Ladd had five points; and Malik Montoya had nine points and five boards.
Wolves highlights: Brandell Evans had 15 points; Bryan Berg had nine points; Buster Souza had 10 points and five boards among a full house of stats; Kaleb Warner had five boards; and Riley Hawken had nine points and six boards. Off the bench Darius Luborn had nine points; Jaylyn Richardson had nine points; and Cameron Cranson had five points.
Congrats to the Wildcats on a hard fought battle and congrats to the Wolves on officially clinching a berth in the conference tournament.
We’re going to actually look at what’s going on in regard to conference tournaments and the implications of the other two conferences in a different post (up later today) and so… As much as many of the numbers were atrocious: Congrats on hard fought battles to all teams.
Player-of-the-week will be up tomorrow and we have a big final week of conference play ahead of us.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!
Oh goodness, so many great games… Let’s talk about them!
SMU 63 @ SPU 67
Oftentimes early in the game, we’ll end up getting a feeling about who’s going to win. Not this game. Definitely not this game. We had no idea even until the very end because EJ Boyce is so, so clutch. Didn’t come down to it this game, but we will say that we love the numbers: This was a “prototypically” good game from SMU -no one was out of their mind, but no one played surprisingly badly either.
Saints highlights: Luke Chavez had six boards; Chandler Redix had 11 points; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; and EJ Boyce had 23 points while going 7-7 from the line. Off the bench BJ Standley had 11 points; and Tavian Henderson had eight boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had nine points and eight boards; Harry Cavell had six boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 26 points including going 8-9 from the line; Nathan Streufert had eight boards; and Gavin Long had 16 points.
Excited about this game for the Falcons. Hard fought. Impressive defense. We’re also excited about this game from the Saints perspective: SPU is a better team than we tend to give them credit for and we don’t think this game should impact the Saints chances of hosting the Regional, but… Any other loss in the rest of conference play definitely could.
MSUB 67 @ SPU 76
This game… MSUB led a huge majority of the time by five or so, the Jackets were playing a good game, and yet we never felt like the Falcons were going to lose because SPU wasn’t playing badly -just lethargically. Definitely a bit of a let-down game after the huge win over SMU on Tuesday.
Jacket highlights: Zharon Richmond had 13 points among a full house of stats; Tyler Green had 18 points and went 6-6 from the line; Melvin Newbern Jr. had five boards; Zack Rollins had 11 points; and off the bench Brendan Howard continues to tear it up with 16 points and six boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had 14 points and five boards; Sam Simpson had six boards; Nikhil Lizotte had 14 points; and Nathan Streufert had five boards. Off the bench Sharif Khan had five steals; Harry Cavell had 12 points; and GAVIN LONG had 20 points and went 8-9 from the line.
If that order looks weird, it’s because it was the Falcons’ senior night and so Harry and Gavin came off the bench meanwhile Sam Simpson (and Conner Van Dyken) started. Congrats to the Falcons on a solid grind-it-out win, and congrats to MSUB for putting up good numbers. SMU upset on Saturday? We’ll see.
SFU 71 @ UAF 66
For a while there we were thinking that UAF was going to get the win, then we were thinking that SFU was gonna roll, and it ultimately ended up that SFU got the win, but it was definitely hairy. The Clan is still in the fight for the conference tournament, but the games are ticking down and we shall see.
Clan highlights: Othniel Spence had six boards; Mike Provenzano had 10 points and eight assists; and Julian Roche had 15 points and six boards. Off the bench Wil Balata had 13 points and seven boards; and Drew Bryson had six points.
Nook highlights: Tymoryae Glover had 19 points and six boards; Jalon McCullough had nine points; MICHAEL KLUTING had a huuuge game with 17 points, 16 boards, and five fouls. No real bench play.
Great to see the Nooks keep it close, and promising to see the Clan win despite an ineffective night from Jasdeep. Congrats to the Clan on the win.
WWU 76 @ UAA 66
A game we really wanted to watch and yet once again: the stream was terrible. C’mon UAA, you have that fancy gymnasium, you can provide a decent stream. That said, we never trusted WWU. It felt like UAA could come back in it at any time until there were maybe five minutes left and then it was just “okay, they’re not coming back.” But we are pretty surprised and very happy for the Vikings.
Viking highlights: Tyler Payne had 14 points and zero turnovers!; Leif Andreson had nine points and a flawless full house of stats; Trevor Jasinsky had 14 points and five boards among going 6-7 from the line; and Cameron Retherford had six boards. Off the bench Tucker Eenigenburg had 11 points among a full house of stats; and KJ Bosco had 12 points and seven boards.
Seawolf highlights: Tyler Brimhall had 31 points and six boards; Brennan Rymer went 5-5 from the line and grabbed eight boards among a full house of stats; Brian Pearson had 10 points and five boards on good shooting; and off the bench Travis Adams had five assists.
Pretty typical night for the Seawolves. They need all of their starters functioning or else life gets really hard. Excited to see KJ Bosco of WWU playing well. He started a couple of games and didn’t really do much, but that was a great outing and a great place to have a great outing. Proud of you KJ! Congrats to the Vikings on picking up a critical win in a hard place to play.
CWU 79 @ CU-PDX 73
CONGRATS TO THE WILDCATS ON THE WIN!!!!!!!! They’re giving us serious side-eye like “You should have been here. You owe us.” We go to all of their home games and root against them. The guilt is real, and this game was quality. Back and forth almost the whole time, we never felt like one team was destined for the win, because… We’ve seen Concordia do amazing things. They haven’t as of late, but we have seen them do it in the past.
Wildcat highlights: Jeryn Lucas had a whopping 19 points including going 5-6 from he line; Gamaun Boykin was PERFECT from the field and finished with 13 points and five boards; and Matt Poquette had a good bounce-back game with 15 points among a full house of stats. Off the bench Naim Ladd had seven points; Malcolm Cola had five points; and Hayden Nelson had six points and five boards.
Cavs highlights: Jace Cates had seven boards; Tyler Wells had a good game with 15 points; and Jarrett Gray had 17 points among a full house of stats. Off the bench CODY STARR had eight points and a whopping eight assists and four steals with ZERO turnovers; and Dakota Ayala had 13 points and four boards.
We like most of the numbers from the Cavs, so… Why not pick up a win against the Crusaders? We know you can do it, you beat the Wolves, the Wolves just killed the Crusaders, do it Cavs, do it!
NNU 66 @ WOU 81
We feel like the final score makes it look closer than it was. This was never a game. Like from the beginning the Wolves were dominating. It honestly doesn’t surprise us because the Crusaders have been spiraling, but… We don’t know. They showed a lot of promise in the first half of conference play and they are a dangerous team, but… GNAC basketball is complicated and the Wolves are really good at home.
Nighthawk highlights: Adonis Arms had 25 points and 10 boards; Sam Roth had five assists. and off the bench James Nelson had 11 points and five boards.
Wolves highlights: Etan Collins had 15 points and five boards; Dalven Brushier had nine points and five boards; Kaleb Warner had 13 points and seven boards; and Riley Hawken had 20 points, six boards, six assists, and four steals. Off the bench Darius Luborn had eight assists; Jaylyn Richardson had eight points; and Buster Souza had eight points and three blocks.
Congrats to the Wolves on the win and good luck to the Nighthawks on bouncing back against the Cavs.
Really fun night of basketball. Game previews up in the AM.
Be safe, have fun, go GNAC!