Happy New Year Blog Fam!!
The last day of 2016 was an interesting day of basketball, very fun, and shockingly we were relatively correct. We told you: this season is nuts, these games are ridiculous; take your victories where you can get them.
NNU 64 @ WOU 59
Talk about a heck of a come back. At the end of the first NNU was down 20. Dead on the court. But whatever their halftime consisted of it worked, and they came back to beat the Wolves. We’re guessing forcing turnovers had a considerable amount to do with it -WOU had 14, which is ridiculously uncharacteristic. Constant vigilance.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye played a full forty minutes, had a full house, including eight boards and 30 points; Maurice Jones also played 40 full minutes, and had a full house with 16 points and 10 boards among other stats. The rest of the team played as a team, acknowledged that it was better with the ball in their hands, no one tried to play hero ball, and they got the team win. Congrats to the teamwork of all the Crusaders.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had a double double with 23 points and 11 boards; Buster Souza had eight boards. Off the bench Akil Reese had a full house; and Demetrius Trammell had 11 points.
Huge game for NNU, not super concerning for WOU, although they’re rapidly approaching needing the auto bid. Not sure what was with the collapse, but it is what it is. This season it’s hard to be freaked out by any one game because the majority are a coin flip.
MSUB 100 @ WWU 93
Can we get a what? what? Honestly the WWU numbers weren’t bad in the slightest, Billings just beat them. No one played any defense, and these were two very evenly matched teams. Not super surprising because WWU is essentially a brand new team, whereas the core of MSUB has been together for three years. That’s the type of recipe that leads to an upset and it happened.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had a full house including six boards and 15 points; Marc Matthews also had a full house with eight boards, five assists, and 28 points; and Jace Anderson had 18 points. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 10 points; Zach Lessinger had eight points; and Cinco Duro had six points.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had four boards, four steals, and 27 points; Logan Schilder had seven boards; Daulton Hommes had a full house including a double double with 20 points and 10 boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson continues to impress with 18 points and six boards; and Trevor Janisky had five boards.
Very little defense by either team. Good free throw shooting by both teams.
CWU 80 @ CU-PDX 73
The Cavaliers had a lead and then kept it close for the most part but just couldn’t do it. Still a good game for them, especially with Davis Nuaimi being so off. Next time?
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five assists; Dom Hunter had a double double with 18 points and 10 boards; Jawan Stepney had 12 points and five assists; Sage Woodruff started and had 14 points and nine boards; Fuquan Niles had 11 points and seven boards; and off the bench Marc Rodgers had seven points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards; Christopher Edward had 14 points and 10 boards; Jarrett Gray had nine points and five boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had six boards; and Tre’ Vance had 12 points and seven boards.
Not the shiniest game, but definitely fun to watch, great effort across both teams, acceptable shooting numbers in regard to not being devoid of defense and yet taking smart shots for the most part. We continue to be impressed by the play of Naim Ladd -partly because he’s small, but largely just because he’s scrappy as all heck.
SPU 79 @ UAF 77
For a while there it looked like we were going to be really wrong, then it looked like we would be really wrong in the opposite direction, and then we mostly ended up right. Not that any of it matters, but it is funny. We feel so clueless than any bone the universe throws us, we’ll take.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double double with 11 boards and 22 points; Tony Miller also had a double-double with 32 points and 10 boards; and off the bench Sharif Khan had nine points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had five boards, four assists, and three steals; Bangaly had 11 points; Zach Pederson had 17 points; and Brandon Davis had 12 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had five boards.
Solid numbers on both sides, for the most part. The Nooks violated the Falcons in terms of shooting within the paint, but it is what it is. SPU just doesn’t have size to match with anyone because they refuse to play the two guys that have size and aren’t terrified of physical play against opponents.
SMU 49 @ UAA 55
Saints and anyone else that wants any success against UAA: DO NOT SEND SUKI WIGGS TO THE LINE. HE WILL MAKE ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE. DO NOT DO IT. P.S. Good job Suki!
Saint highlights: Trey Ingram had 10 points; Cole Preston had 16 points; and Jordan Kitchen had six points while going 3/4. Maybe the most alarming thing was the number of turnovers, but honestly it wasn’t a horrible game; it was just hard. Good shots, okay shooting percentages, just going against a very good team with a great home court advantage.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had five boards and was 12/14 from the line; Diante Mitchell had seven boards, four assists, and 13 points; and Corey Hammell had seven boards.
Impressive feat by the Saints. They need to pull games like this out from now on. They managed to shut down Corey Hammell AND Connor Devine, AND Spencer Svejcar, which is seriously impressive. The bad games of those guys are the good games of just about anyone else, so seriously awesome.
Great day of basketball. Numbers were good all the way around. Parity fully on display. It’s been forever since we’ve done player of the week, but that’ll be up tomorrow -very exciting stuff.
This post is going up on time even if we have to tie ourselves to our chair with an IV drip of glucose to keep us awake.
Seattle Pacific 74 @ Alaska-Anchorage 71
We keep inverting that score because we still can’t believe the Falcons won. They were at Anchorage, incredibly young team, terrible free throw shooting, atrocious rebounding, they lost to UAA at home… The reasons go on. They got it done.
Falcon highlights: Brendan Carroll had 14 points; Gilles Dierickx had 13 points and eight boards; and Mitch Penner had 24 points and six boards. Coming off the bench once again, Coleman Wooten had 12 points.
Seawolf highlights: Spencer Svejcar had a huge game with 23 points; Corey Hammell had eight boards; Brian McGill was back in the starting line-up and finished with 14 points and six assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five points; and Damien Fulp had seven points.
Down by 16 at one point, the Seawolves fought until the very end and almost had it. We sense that revenge may be coming in the conference tournament if that match-up happens because this was a weird one (although typical for SPU) where the Falcons got a lead and then gave up and then almost lost but not quite. Youth. No real experienced leaders. Hmmm. Congrats to Anchorage on a game well played; great sportsmanship, made their free throws, did all the right things. Very good team. If you didn’t look at our Late Night Hoops post, we currently have them projected as the 7th seed in a very crowded and talented west region, so we know just how good they are.
Central Washington 68 @ Western Oregon 85
We get the feeling that we care about that score more than most CWU fans. It was close for a while and then WOU opened it up through amazing rebounding and slice and dice shooting and it was all over.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had five boards and 17 points; Devin Matthews had six boards and 13 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had four boards and Desmond Ross had six points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 17 points; Julian Nichols had six boards and eight assists; Tanner Omlid had nine points; Jordan Wiley had 10 points and six boards; and the Always Amazing Andy (that’s not sarcastic, we promise!) had seven boards, four assists, four steals, and 27 points. Wow. “Off the bench” Alex Roth had 10 points. He’s not a bench player, he’s a 6th starter, although not sixth man because sixth man is defined and Alex and Tanner keep switching. They’re both starters.
Fun game if you’re a Wolves fan, not so fun if you’re a Wildcat but if you have to lose to someone -WOU is the team that it’s not as painful because they are really, really good. We officially feel like we can call them the #1 team in the region at this point, which is very exciting. Chaos has reigned but since the loss at CWU the Wolves have been consistent in getting it done.
Northwest Nazarene 70 @ CU-Portland 72
Mike Wright took the final shot, and it was the right decision because the Cavs defended Bouna so well. The Cavs targeted Bouna, almost to their own detriment, but ultimately it was the right decision and they got the close fought victory.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had seven boards; Bouna had five boards; Detwon Rogers had nine boards and a whopping 25 points on good shooting; Mike Wright served as the defensive rock but ultimately ended up with five boards, four steals, and 13 points. Off the bench Kyle Bailey had five points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had nine points and five boards; Latrell Wilson had 10 points; RILEY HAWKEN HAD 12 BOARDS AND 17 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He also had a full house, just throwing it out there. Off the bench Jace Cates had nine points; Davis Nuaimi had 10 points; and Brandon McGurkin had seven points.
Fun game to watch, terrifying regardless as to who you were rooting for. We get to root for both teams, so… We just got to watch a really fun basketball game, which is awesome, so thank-you to both teams for that.
MSU-Billings 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
We keep waiting for SFU to upset someone and they almost did with this one. They even had the lead for a bit (16+ minutes because half time, HA), which was good, except MSUB was without two of their best players so… Guess SFU could argue this was the first game they had Max Barkeley in a super long time so they should have won easily. Or something. Maybe that makes it worse.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had a double double with 12 boards and 22 points; Marc Matthews bounced back with five assists and 20 points; Kamal Tall started and wound up with 10 points. Off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points; and Cade Alcorn had seven points and six rebounds.
Neither Emmanuel played and with Emmanuel Olufemi we wonder about passport issues; back when SPU had Modou, he couldn’t cross the border, so… Who knows. We’ll be honest: We’re not intimately familiar with the politics between Canada and various African nations and what the requirements are for temporary travel between them, so it could be a coincidence.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had nine points and five boards; Michael Harper had nine points and six boards; Gibran Sewani had 14 points; and JJ Pankratz dodged out on some friendly fire to finish with 17 points and nine boards. Off the bench Max Barkeley had 13 points -good to see him back in the game; we’d heard concussion rumors, so very relieving to see him playing again.
Saint Martin’s 77 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 85
Don’t let the score fool you -this game was close through the entirety. Just when we were ready to throw in the towel and think the Saints weren’t coming back, they’d get it to within three or four before Mariner’ing it up again. Yes: we just made the Mariners, and their propensity for letting their supporters down, into a verb. It’s like Couging It but maybe a little bit less heartbreaking because you accept it ploddingly; there’s not nearly so much hope involved.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 11 points and eight assists; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards; Fred Jorg managed to eek out a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, plus/including a full house. Off the bench TREY INGRAM had 14 points, largely thanks to going 100% from the line. We say it all the time: Make your free throws. He did it and we’re glad to see him back in the boxscore. Brandon Kenilvort also added five boards.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had five boards; Travante Williams had a monster game with 22 points and nine boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points; and Almir epitomized what a center should do and had 22 points on 9/11 shooting -he also broke the stereotype, going above and beyond, grabbing two assists and THREE steals. Off the bench Alex Duncan had eight points; and Zach Pedersen had seven points.
Very Rubato game. Kind of an uneasy feeling in a sense, maybe in a good way, because you never knew who was going to win and it was up for grabs for so much of the time, but you ultimately really expected UAF to start walking away and just as they would, SMU would get back in, before UAF finally put it away in the last 30 seconds shooting fouls. But you wanted to think they were putting it away in the last two minutes, but SMU made shots down the stretch. Great, hard fought win for the Nooks.
Interesting and fun day of basketball.
If you were with us on Twitter, you inevitably saw as we watched chaos go down in the Pac-West. You also likely made note of by far the most unsettling game of the night with CCAA heavyweights UCSD and Cal Poly Pomona finishing in that order with a score of 41-35. Seriously. That happened. It was revolting and incredible, although we’re yet to watch it because there were actual good close games going on. Both teams shot right around 25% from the field. We’re not sure yet if it was never ending bad decisions or legitimately really good defense on behalf of both teams. Maybe both. We can’t decide if we like it better or worse than regulation games that have both teams finish with over 90 points a piece. To be discussed on Wednesday.
POW nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the winner announced at 11.