WHOA. There were so many blowouts and then a couple of really, really amazing games in Alaska. There was also a lot of great play -this is yet another day when we’ll probably do a “nightlights” from last night tonight, because last night was too nuts for us to be able to get one up.
Northwest Nazarene 91 @ MSU-Billings 67
NNU did precisely what they needed to and looked night and day from the last time these two teams played -last time the Crusaders just snuck out a win at home, but then again: they have Alex now. MSUB has likely thrown in the towel, so CWU should dodge that bullet, but… MSUB has been decimated; then again: so have a few other teams.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft had 12 points; Erik Kinney had 19 points; Mike Wright had four assists; Kevin Rima had 16 points and six boards. Off the bench: Bouna had 12 points and seven boards; Matyas Herring had five points and five assists; David Shedrick had seven points. Good to see the bench play from the Crusaders.
Yellowjacket highlights: Antoine Hosley had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 20 points and five boards; Jordan Perry had 13 points and five boards. Off the bench: Kendall Denham had eight points; Marc Matthews had five points, four boards, and three assists. The Jackets definitely had some turnover issues, but really just straight up got beat.
The Crusaders are going to have their hands full at SPU on Saturday, but getting that win and sending the conference into a royal standings mess seems completely possible.
Central Washington 47 @ Seattle Pacific 69
Yes, it’s a rivalry game and anything can happen, so CWU has that going for them, but… in the last one, they had won by six -this time, SPU won by… a lot. 22 to be exact. CWU will carry the chip for the conference tournament, so at least they have that going for them; they also get to play MSUB next whereas the Falcons face off with NNU.
Wildcat highlights: Joe Stroud had a full house with 15 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, two blocks, and four fouls; Dom Williams had seven points, three boards, and four assists. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had eight points.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had seven boards, three assists, and four steals; Riley Stockton had a full house with 12 points, seven boards, four assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls; Matt Borton was amazing with 17 boards and 15 points; Mitch Penner came back strong with 10 boards and seven points; Cory Hutsen had 17 points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had eight boards and 11 points.
The Wildcats are going to be out for blood if these two teams meet up in the conference tourney, so… at least we have that to look forward to. Before that, SPU’s going to have their hands full with NNU.
Simon Fraser 77 @ Western Washington 110
WE’RE NOT MODIFYING THESE STATS!!!!!!!!!! Why? Because WWU didn’t suffer an insane number of turnovers. That’s the key tipping point and huge focal of the SFU offense; while plenty of guys had 3 and the turnover numbers are high, generally it’ll be at least one guy picking up five that triggers us to modify the stats. Plus… they had 33 assists. That is a good A/TO ratio.
Clan highlights: Sango had 20 points; Justin Cole had five boards; Patrick Simon II had 10 points. Off the bench: Daniel Deflorimonte had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 12. Decent team rebounding effort.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 14 points, six assists, and three steals; Anye Turner with the full house on 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals, three blocks, and just one foul -all in 21 minutes of play: WHOA!; Javier Harris had eight assists; Jeff Parker was a monster with a full house of 31 points, nine boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and one foul; Mac Johnson had a more quiet game but still picked up seven boards. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 13 points, five boards, and four assists; Joey Schreiber had 22 points, eight boards, and three assists in just 18 minutes; finally: Mark Hopkins had nine points.
Crazy amazing game for the Vikings, exactly what we need them to look like, our pick for winning the conference tournament, congrats on a fantastic senior night!
Saint Martin’s 78 @ Alaska Fairbanks 82 in OT
Meaningless game but a good one all the same. Some pretty good play from both teams; stats say Saint Martin’s should have won but they just couldn’t get it done. Congrats to UAF on doing so, despite poor free throw shooting and too many turnovers.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 27 points and six steals; Victor Ieronymides had nine boards and six points; Tyler Idowu had 11 points and five boards. Off the bench, Isaac Bianchini had 15 points.
Nanook highlights: Anthony Reese had 10 points and 13 boards; Alex Duncan had 14 points, five boards, and five assists; Ashton Edwards had 11 points; Kyle Tomlinson had 16 points; Almir had 20 points, nine boards; two assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls for the full house. Off the bench: Eric Fongue had eight points.
Again, this game doesn’t matter, but WOU should be happy; the Nooks are gonna be exhausted.
Western Oregon 78 @ Alaska Anchorage 80
Incredibly shocked this game didn’t go to OT. Much thanks to the Seawolves social media for keeping us updated -we were unable to watch the game due to outside circumstances, but it was incredible following along with. Speaking of Seawolves: They finally have a “signature” win and it could be just in time -always good to go into the conference tourney strong.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had a full house with 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block, and one foul; Julian Nichols had a full house with 14 points, two boards, four assists, three steals, one block, and three fouls; Jordan Wiley had eight points; Andy Avgi had 19 points and eight boards. Off the bench Nick Nestell had nine points; Marwan Sarhan had three boards.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had six points and eight assists; Travis T. had 11 points. Off the bench: Christian Leckbend had 16 points, five boards, and three assists; Sjur Berg had six boards; Dom Hunter had 14 points, three boards, and three assists. The team made 100% of their rebounds and that was the difference.
There’s a lot to discuss in regard to the conference standings and there’s just not time right now, but there should be a post later tonight about them because the situation is incredibly intriguing.
Tomorrow morning in the Game Day Previews we’ll be sure to clarify who else you should be rooting for, depending on your team situation.
Missouri State 55, Alaska-Anchorage 51
Simon Fraser 123, Holy Names 121
Texas A&M Kingsville 84, Northwest Nazarene 70
Western Oregon 84, CSU Monterey Bay 73
Alaska-Fairbanks 78, Notre Dame de Namur 68
Hoooly bologna there are the results against the Pac-West that we’re looking for.
Missouri State and Alaska-Anchorage… congrats to the Seawolves on keeping it respectable! It’s great particularly right now not because that’s a D1 team, but because they’re showing growth and growth is everything. The main problem with the conference results thus far is how much the “growth” will be taken seriously once we enter into exclusive conference play in January.
Player highlights: Brian McGill with 12 points and four fouls; Travis Thompson with 14 points and four steals; Kalidou Diouf with 11 points and eight rebounds. Overall pretty balanced performance; doesn’t mean much, but those guys got it done and again: it was respectable.
SFU won the battle of “who can play the most offense and just enough defense,” in what is becoming a common theme: heart attacks for all of us watching. It’s so exciting though because last year SFU had a bunch of games like this and DIDN’T win and now they’re starting to; watching the progression is simply amazing.
Player highlights: Sango Niang once again –29 points, three rebounds, six assists, and four steals; Justin Cole with 27 points, Roderick Evans-Taylor with 13 points and seven rebounds; Michael Harper with 11 points, Patrick Simon II with 10 points and five boards; finally: Hidde Vos with 15 points off the bench.
We all know the Clan’s style helps them significantly in terms of sheer numbers, but whatever gets it done. This is looking like a drastically improved team, which is fantastic. Really excited to get to watch them in person later this year.
Northwest Nazarene lost, which, okay… not unexpected. That’s not a knock on the Crusaders; at this point anyone winning or losing a game isn’t surprising. It was mentioned a bunch pre-season: predictions are pointless. Sometimes they happen just for skits and giggles, but most of the time they’re not something to even bother with.
In terms of player highlights the first thing that stands out is that Bouna didn’t have a particularly good game, which could explain the loss. Bouna is already massively standing out as a player to watch in conference, and he’s really becoming the Austin Hudson of the Crusaders; Erik Kinney had a great game full of balance with 12 points, eight rebounds, six assists, and one steal; Aubrey Ball had 22 points; Mike Wright had 10 points; Kevin Rima had 10 points and seven rebounds; finally, David Shedrick had eight points off the bench.
The Crusaders continue to struggle with turnovers and their bench play needs to get better now, but… they still look mildly promising, at least in regards to improvement over last year.
WESTERN OREGON, YOU ARE SEEN! Picking up that win against CSU-MB. Balanced scoring is always a great thing. Turnovers however… oh dear. And five assists? No way Jose.
Devon Alexander had 13 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with 17 points, three rebounds, one assist, two steals, and one block; Lew Thomas had a double-double with 14 REBOUNDS and 11 points; Jordan Wiley had 16 points; Andy Avgi had a relatively quiet game (for him) with six boards, two steals, and eight points. Nothing particularly of note from the bench, so… we’ll look for the Wolves to improve on that.
UAF: Stop trying to make “Alaska” happen, it isn’t going to happen. You are Fairbanks. Deal with it. Yes it’s a recruiting disadvantage to admit you’re in Fairbanks -we get it, but seriously: just stop. On the brighter side of things (of which, there’s not much brightness in Fairbanks at this point) you picked up a ‘W’ against ND de Namur.
Ruben Silvas had 10 points; Ashton Edwards had a fantastic 24 points; Kyle Tomlinson had nine points and seven rebounds; Adam Griffin had 10 points; and finally: Isaac Ladines contributed seven rebounds and five fouls off the bench -shout out to the big man defensive specialist for gettin’ it dirty and done.
Up next is Saturday’s games; on the horizon this week is looking at the conference games that start on Thursday, and what the Pac-West and CCAA are up to/how we’ve faired thus far.