WE MADE IT!! The final regular season day of conference games. We actually got here! And now things start to get really exciting. Whoa. Here we go with the final post, of the year, about regular season games!
Saint Martin’s 67 @ Alaska Anchorage 101
The Saints stayed with the Seawolves for a good while and it looked like it was going to be a challenge, but UAA then proceeded to put them away. UAA is peaking at the right time and they should be a danger in the conference tournament, which will make things interesting.
SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Riley Carel almost had a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, three steals, and one block; Tyler Idowu had eight points. Off the bench: Isaac Bianchini had nine points and three assists; Will Bond had a whopping 16 points.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and nine assists; Travis Thompson had 22 points and five assists; Derrick Fain, as noted, almost had a triple double with 16 points, nine boards, and eight assists; Brad Mears had seven points and five boards. Off the bench: Sjur Berg had five boards; Dom Hunter had 15 points and five boards; and KALIDOU had six boards and eight points.
Central Washington 104 @ MSU-Billings 99
Very interesting game, pretty horrifying in many senses. There’s this thing called defense. No, this game wasn’t that awful -people were just on and whether it was a matter of poor defense or Alterowitz being hot on the whole matters little. Still, Central… interesting team.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 10 boards and four steals; Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points. Off the bench, Devin Matthews had six boards, nine assists, and 16 points.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 50 points (yes, fifty), seven boards, and two assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 12 points and eight boards; Jordan Perry had seven points and seven boards; and Tyler Nelson had 10 points and nine boards.
Northwest Nazarene 49 @ Seattle Pacific 60
This was kind of a weird game -beforehand it was hard to predict because the potential of directions it could go in, and even in the middle of it the game itself struggled to decide. SPU was up by eight pretty consistently, but every time it seemed like the Falcons would break it up, the Crusaders reeled them back in a bit.
NNU highlights: Alex Birketoft had 14 points and six boards; Erik Kinney had a full house with 14 points, four boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and four fouls; Kevin Rima had fourteen points and five boards.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards; Riley Stockton had 14 points and six rebounds; Matt Borton had 13 points and 13 boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and seven boards; Cory Hutsen had nine points.
The Falcons’ll be an interesting team to watch during the conference tournament, because while we’ve pretty much figured out what CWU, WWU, and WOU are doing… the Falcons are still a conundrum.
Western Oregon 75 @ Alaska Fairbanks 60
Another game in which it was looking like the worse of the two was gonna stick around and take a stand and then didn’t. Congrats to the Nooks for trying?
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander 19 points; Julian Nichols 10 points and five assists; LEW THOMAS 12 points, fifteen boards, three assists, two steals, five blocks, and one foul for a full house; Andy Avgi had 17 points and seven boards. Off the bench: Adam Hastings had seven points.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had seven points and five boards; Ashton Edwards went on another spree with 27 points and five boards; Almir had 10 points and six boards.
Player-of-the-week’ll be up later today, promise.
Just kidding -there’s no such thing in basketball.
The seeding was announced by the GNAC on twitter and we’re going to post it here for you before anything else just ’cause:
#1 Western Oregon = BYE
#2 Seattle Pacific = BYE
#6 Northwest Nazarene vs. #3 Central Washington
#5 Western Washington vs. #4 Alaska Anchorage
How interesting are those match-ups? NNU swept CWU and UAA swept WWU. If WWU and CWU both win (which is our prediction, actually, then…
WOU faces WWU, having been swept by the Vikings.
SPU faces CWU, having recently murdered the Wildcats.
Any more speculation than that, we’re not going to go for. It’s too much. And we could be totally wrong about WWU and CWU winning the first rounds; being wrong is great -too competitive to be able to stand filling out real brackets; it’s more fun to watch the chaos and simply enjoy basketball being unpredictable.
What’s not unpredictable is the guys in our conference being AMAZING.
Here are the most fantastic of tonight’s highlights:
- Riley Carel of SMU went out with a bang, picking up almost a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, and three steals.
- Will Bond, also of SMU, had 16 points off the bench.
- Derrick Fain was insanely close to a triple double with nine boards, eight assists, and 16 points. UM WHAT??
- Dom Hunter had 15 points off the bench.
- KALIDOU PLAYED!!!!!!!! He had eight points off the bench. Missed you Kalidou!
- From CWU: Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points whilst going 15-18 from the line.
- Antoine Hosley, of MSUB, had an insane 50 points -going 16/25 from the field and 16/18 from the line, along with picking up seven boards, two assists, and five fouls.
- NNU’s starters actually logged substantial field numbers; usually when teams play SPU you see a lot of 1s, 2s, and 0s.
- Erik Kinney (of NNU) had a full house.
- Matt Borton of SPU had 13 boards and 13 rebounds.
- LEW THOMAS HAD 15 REBOUNDS AND 12 POINTS!!!!!! Little more enthusiastic because he hasn’t really done that much in weeks.
The full run down and thoughts about every game’ll be posted around midday tomorrow.
For a Sunday Funday post, it seems appropriate to talk about some of the favorites in our conference and basically just have some good old fashioned praise. The season is getting more and more intense and difficult and you kind of just need those moments to sit back and go “Hey, these guys are awesome. It’s such a blessing to watch them, even when they’re making poor on-court decisions.”
It’s been well documented that “pets” definitely exist, so… We’ll just go with the usual order.
UAF: Almir. This isn’t really basketball related; he’s a decent player heading toward good, but the fact that he’s from the Balkans is amazing and as much as they’re not happy with each other, the FYR on the whole are awesome and have such a great culture and it’s great that we get to have a piece of it in our conference. Also love the fact that we have Ruben -he is Native American, which is so cool and yet another blessing. He’s out right now due to academics, but we look forward to getting him back next year; temporarily gone but definitely not forgotten and if he finds this: We still believe in you!
UAA: Brian McGill does so much for his team. Love his game, love his facial expressions as he’s running down the court, his mindset seems fantastic. He does everything in his power to procure a win and that means playing unselfishly. He’s awesome on the whole. Travis Thompson isn’t having the year that he wanted to have, but he’s still so valuable and after going through the mid-season all conference teams and looking at and comparing his stats this year and last and beginning to understand all of that… So proud of the kid. Derrick Fain should be mentioned because we give him crap all the time, but he’s starting to deserve less and less of it and we couldn’t be happier.
SFU: Sango -impossible not to love Sango. Does so much for his team, plays so unselfishly even though he’s got relatively little to work with. He’s in it. He’s another guy that we went back and compared his stuff from last year to this year to see where he’s at and they have made him even more useful and again: Just a good guy that’s easy to root for. Rod Evans-Taylor is becoming a pet with his awesome play and effort, but that’s as of late. Still love Michael Harper although he hasn’t been doing as much lately; same with Patrick Simon II -that kid has so much room for growth and can’t wait to see it over the coming few years.
WWU: ANYE. Anye is probably the biggest pet in the conference at this point, although Alex of NNU is starting to make a run for it. Anye graduates this year and it’s happy but sad. He’ll be moving onto better things and it’ll be good to keep an eye on him in Europe. His mindset is great, he smiles all the time, he works for his teammates, he gets the boards, he picks up fouls, and when knocks a guy down he picks them right back up. Such a blessing to watch. Love Mac, really excited for another year of him. He’s improving by the game and it’s great. He’s a massively different player than he was earlier this year and that’s awesome. Kyle Impero and Joey Schreiber are young and promising and are another couple of great guys to watch their development in. Been watching Joey for years now, even when he was at EC, and it’s exciting. It’s cool to see the development and he landed with such a great program in terms of top-notch D2.
SPU: Riley Stockton. It’s been amazing to watch him make the switch to point guard this year and watch him near the triple doubles and his fundamental understanding of the game is great. Matt Borton -another great forward, has aggression issues (meant in the best way possible), he does what it takes for his team, and between him and Anye… that is how basketball is supposed to be played. Mitch Penner. Psycho P. It’s been a growing process this year, but we have full faith that he’ll break out next year. Cory Hutsen, he’s right up with Austin Hudson and Mac Johnson in terms of favorite centers, and his play has finally been getting better lately, can’t wait for it to go further.
MSUB: Austin. Austin will not be forgotten. He was SO great and still a valuable part of our conference. MSUB is starting to be another program that has a zillion blog pets so-to-speak. Jace Anderson is improving, Antoine Hosley has his moments, MOMIR GATARIC; his game is getting better and better and he’s another FYR player! Those guys are bad to the bone.
CWU: Caleb is great. Will be interested to see what he does with his body; it needs major, major work on his part and not so much in the gym as in the kitchen, but the gym could be of some help too. Full faith that he’ll be one of our conference’s top centers by the time he’s done. Joe Stroud is great and getting better by the game and love his rebounding and his blocked shots are awesome and again -this is another guy that smiles while he does it, very approachable, just fun. Gary Jacobs is another guy that’s gonna be interesting to watch develop -he already does so much and will undoubtedly get better and better. Dom Williams is finally starting to be liked around here -it’s taken a lot, but very proud of Dom and his improving shot selection.
NNU: The entire team? It’s not even a matter of if they do anything during post season, just love their camaraderie. Alex is so great, even in his widdle frosh status, and it’s such a blessing that we’ll get to watch him for another few years, hopefully. Kevin -great attitude, team first mentality, gets the boards, smiles while he does it. He epitomizes the idea that you can be both aggressive and happy simultaneously; accidentally knocks you down, immediately reaches to pick you back up too. He plays a hard game of basketball, but jolly giant. Erik Kinney -needs some help and improvement, but another guy that’s awesome and we’re excited to see for another year. Bouna is one of those “there’s not necessarily any reason for this in terms of his game, he’s just great” and he’s a favorite. He’s smiley. NNU has lots of smiley people.
SMU: Trey Adams. He’s going through some growing pains, but can’t wait to see what he does next year. Tyler Idowu -sucker for smiley people and Tyler is that and does some good board work. Riley Carel, of course, bad decision maker in chief, but much as we give him crap all the time he’s a good baller. Tyler Copp -no clue where he’s disappeared to, but he’s been another favorite all year. Rising stars. Honestly, SMU is like NNU; that whole team is just fantastic. If only they could put it together. Ryan Rogers, Cameron Chatwin, Victor Ieronymides, Brent Counts, all are great.
WOU: JULIAN NICHOLS!! Favorite point guard, love his game, love his attitude, he’s come into our conference by storm, made WOU even better than expected and really elevated them -it’s been phenomenal. Lew Thomas -this is a weird one; he just is a favorite. He’s not that good, takes a lot of poor shots, turns the ball over more than any forward should, but he’s still a favorite, no clue why. Andy Avgi, he’s oddly enough not really a favorite, but maybe just because he’s so good that he’s hard to appreciate because you feel like you don’t have to; he’s just Andy, he does what he does, and he always does it. And that’s why even though he’s not a favorite we really should realize he is a favorite because just because someone’s consistent and does what they want, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated for it. Andy is awesome. Not sure what his speed and strength metrics are, but before heading for Europe, he might consider working out for a few NFL teams -at 6’6/260 you can’t teach size and he’s so good at shoving his way through -TE or DE may hold promise.
At times this blog is tough on guys and teams, but there’s no vindictiveness behind any of what gets written. All of these guys are such a blessing to get to watch so closely and that’s why it was important to cover the whole conference. It’s just not something that really happens on a D2 level; we mostly see school publications giving the highlights, and so when critiques get thrown out it can feel like a major affront when it’s not; it just happens rarely because writing a blog is a big commitment and we don’t really see that fan/community commitment on a D2 level.
Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there. These guys are great; they absolutely get down night in and night out; they deserve attention; they deserve praise; and they deserve that fan and community commitment on a level to match D1. Engage the culture, change the world; a blog isn’t much, but it definitely is a way to engage the culture, and hopefully on some minute level change the world of at least someone. There’s the whole thing that “I Chose Division II” and yet for many it’s not that easy. There’s a feeling of failure that you ended up D2 and [potentially] unable to succeed on a D1 level; maybe if more people cared, some of that burden could be relieved.
Have a fantastic week, a NightLights post that should’ve gone up last night will go up tonight at about 11pm, usual POW stuff tomorrow.
Good morning! What an intense night of basketball. WWU is finally starting to look like the old WWU (awesome), CWU still looked strong even in their loss, MSUB held on for a ridiculously long time before letting it go, SFU got the upset! Way to go Clan!! And finally: SPU managed to squeak past Fairbanks, but the Nooks held on strong and admirably.
WOU 66 @ SMU 56
Let’s all take a minute to appreciate how much their key guys really didn’t play, except for Julian Nichols. Julian is probably one of those guys that if you don’t put him in, he’ll pace around the end of the bench itching to get in, because it seems likely the coaching staff would’ve rather played him less.
WOU highlights: Julian had 11 points, four assists, four rebounds, three steals, and one block, just missing the foul for a full house; Lew Thomas had seven boards; Andy Avgi had 22 points on an amazing 10-11 shooting. Off the bench, Marwan Sarhan scored eight points.
SMU highlights: Riley Carel had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists, a steal, and a block for a full house; Ryan Rogers had eight points and four rebounds. Off the bench, Victor Ieronymides had 15 points and eight boards.
Not much to write home about, but still feel like it shows an improvement in the Saints because before it would be likely that they got blown out entirely?
CWU 77 @ WWU 83
Good to see the Vikings get this home victory against their rivalest of rivals. Around here, we always say free throws win the day and while the percentage was minute -71 vs 73, WWU got the free throw win and won the game. It could be unsurprising, but in this conference: at this point, I don’t know that there’s any surprise/non surprise. Ready for anything on any given night.
CWU highlights: Marc Rodgers with 11 points, four rebounds, three assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls for the full house; Joe Stroud, not as good of a game as hoped, but grabbed five boards and scored 12 points; Dom Williams had 23 points. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs with a phenomenal 15 points and seven assists… that assist number is positively glorious; good on the rest of the guys for making the shots that came their way.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell with 20 points; Anye had 17 points and 12 boards for the double-double; Jeff Parker had 18 points and nine rebounds, just missing the double-double; Mac Johnson had 10 points and seven boards -bit of a let down game, but we still believe in Mac. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had seven points; Joey Schreiber had nine.
Overall a less-than-idea performance for the Vikings, but they got it done.
NNU 88 @ SFU 92
Oh NNU… showing so much promise and then doing this. Oh well. Bounce back. Oh wait, they have to play WWU. Good luck with that. Congrats on the win SFU!! Super proud of you. Per usual: these stats are modified; in terms of when they get modified, the kicker isn’t number of points: it’s number of turnovers. If a single player has more than five turnovers, that’s how we can really judge the tempo.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft with 11 points and seven rebounds; Erik Kinney with 11 points and four boards; Matyas Herring with seven points; Kevin Rima with 15 points and 11 boards (dat double-double, even with modification!). Off the bench: pretty much nothing. That explains the loss -usually they get more from their bench play.
Clan highlights: Sango had a good night with 14 points; Justin Cole had a good night with 12; Rod Evans-Taylor had an amazing night, picking up a full house with three rebounds, three assists, four steals, a block, and four fouls, as well as 23 points; Patrick Simon II had a decent night with eight points. Off the bench, JJ Pankratz had seven.
The Clan was functioning on all cylinders and it looked moderately okay. Hopefully they keep it up.
MSUB 68 @ UAA 82
The Yellowjackets were in it for a long time, but you can’t overcome the power that is Travis Thompson when he’s having a good night. Still, props to the Yellowjackets for the solid effort.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 10 points; Marc Matthews had a whopping 25 points along with three boards and four assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 17 points and five boards; Tyler Nelson picked up a massive 12 rebounds; and that was pretty much it. Poor MSUB team. They’re the epitome of a poor man’s WWU right now with their short rotation and WWU winning and them not. No one wants to go to Billings, which is sad because that coaching staff is great and deserve more.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 14 points, five rebounds, and five assists; Travis Thompson had 23 points with some awesome shooting, in particular going 7-8 on free throws; Derrick Fain with that development -he had 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Off the bench, Dom Hunter had 10 points.
Not the prettiest game all around but the Seawolves got it done. Good on them.
SPU 74 @ UAF 64
UAF was leading at the half and was showing so much promise and then… nope. Falcons took care of it. Not too much to write home about on this one, but here we go:
SPU highlights: Riley Stockton had nine boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the double-double; Cory Hutsen had 2o points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had 14 points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Anthony Reese had 10 points; Alex Duncan had 10 points; Ashton had 14 points; Almir had 14 points, five boards, and five blocks.
Overall not a great night of basketball, but not bad either. There are already discussion points popping up from this, so… could make for a late night post, which might be fun. Once again: Congrats to the Clan!
What a night! First and foremost congrats to Simon Fraser on an awesome win! Gotta get it done, no excuses.
Simon Fraser 84 @ Seattle Pacific 83
Interestingly enough the half time score was SFU 35, SPU 34, thus both teams scored 49 points in the second half. The other interesting thing is it looks like SPU managed to control the tempo decently well, but the cake is a lie: the shooting in this game was abominable. All the same: we will be modifying the stats per usual, thus every number is multiplied by .66, rounding up as applicable.
SFU highlights: Sango -18 points; Rod Evans-Taylor had 12 points, five boards, one assist, two steals, two blocks, and five fouls for a full house. Overall a decent example of teamwork -the team collectively had eight boards, which is always good to see. Besides Sango, no one really did too much but the group came together well.
SPU highlights: Mitch Penner had 12 points; Cory Hutsen had 18 points and 6 boards. Not too much to write home about, but the Falcons almost got it done, but not quite. It was pointed out last night that WOU had a brutal stretch -SPU had one almost as bad and that may be what happened here; WOU to WWU to SFU. While WWU really shouldn’t count as brutal this year, rivalry games always are. Unfortunately, this was supposed to be the “resting” game and they lost it, barely.
Could not be more proud of the Clan. It’s hard to go into SPU and win, and while it’s honest to say the Clan got lucky -if Cory Hutsen had made even half of his free throws, it wouldn’t have been a problem- there’s strategy in fouling Cory. He’s shooting something like 50% for his career, so it was theoretically a calculated move and a good one at that.
WWU 75 @ MSUB 65
Good game for the Yellowjackets -they were in it pretty much the whole time. There some places where they were up and places where they were down, but they at times were definitely giving the Vikings a scare. Practices makes progress.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 10 points; Anye Turner had a full house AND a double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal, four blocks, ZERO turnovers, and two fouls; Mac Johnson also had a full house with 12 points, five boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, and two fouls. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 12 points and four boards; Joey Schreiber had 10 points and three boards. Solid full team outing from the Vikings.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had six boards; Marc Matthews had 11 points; Jace Anderson had a whopping 18 points, although needs to stop shooting from three; Jordan Perry had 10 boards and eight points -so close to a double-double.
Another good team effort, this time from MSUB.
WOU 66 @ NNU 62
This game was sloppy and that’s ultimately what killed NNU -for having 21 turnovers, they sure kept it close. It was good, it was a good watch. They were in it until the end and then Alex jumped the gun and… we’ve told him this was his one freshman learning experience for this matter. DO NOT JUMP THE GUN. But he does so much for that team, it’s easy to forgive him; frosh moment.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander like whoa with 19 points and six steals; Julian Nichols, back in strong, grabbing 14 points and five boards; Andy Avgi gettin’ it done with a full house consisting of 15 points, eight boards, two assists, three steals, two blocks, and two player fouls. Not much from the bench, but they did do a good job relieving the starters. As noted: the WOU starters have to be dead at this point -three tough games, including one that went to 2OT, all in seven days. Wow.
Enjoy your lack of a Thursday game, WOU.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft with 15 points; Erik Kinney with a full house including 13 points, eight boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and two fouls; Mike Wright had 10 points and almost created a double-double of doom with eight turnovers; Kevin Rima had 10 points, six boards, and three assists. Off the bench Bouna N’Diaye had eight points and four boards.
As noted: Turnovers killed the Crusaders, but another great learning experience for Alex. You’ll get ’em next time. Maybe. Reality rules.
SMU 79 @ CWU 88
To be honest: this game was completely written off, but SMU stayed in it far more than given credit. Granted, we started the season off totally believing in SMU and then they just stopped caring and so the lack of faith is totally fair. All the same: good for CWU to get a win when a team is firing as best they can, and they themselves are largely firing on all cylinders.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram with 18 points; Riley Carel with 19 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for the full house -first game he’s actually beaten the other Riley; Tyler Idowu grabbed six boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had 12 points and five boards and Isaac Bianchini had 14 points.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had six boards and four assists; Terry Dawn had 14 points, six boards, two assists, one steal, one block, and one foul for a full house; Joe Stroud had 11 points, seven boards, one assist, one steal, SIX blocks, and four fouls for a full house; Dom Williams had 23 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and a foul for a full house. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had a fantastic 23 points, two boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and a foul also for a full house. Whoa those last two look similar. Really great team performance from the Wildcats -good to see them put it all together, and oddly enough in this game they needed pretty much every ounce of it.
Great game to watch, shockingly. Still disappointed in the Saints, because seriously that’s how you can play if you actually function? Great. Again -so proud of the Wildcats, really, really good performance.
UAF 72 @ UAA 74
Great nightcap of a game. Was exciting the whole time. Just when you thought Anchorage was going to put it away for good, the Nanooks came storming back. Really close, really sloppy overall -the shooting was less than ideal, and the rebounding was messy, but it was exciting basketball so there is that. Kind of odd how much it echoed the SFU/SPU disaster.
Nook highlights: Eric Fongue had 12 points; Almir had 16 points and eight boards; Anthony Reese had 11 points and eight boards; Alex Duncan had five assists; Ashton had 18 points and five assists. Didn’t get much from their bench, but they were in it the whole time.
Seawolf highlights: Travis Parrish had 6 boards; Travis Thompson had 23 points and seven assists; Derrick Fain had 14 points and four assists. Off the bench: Dom Hunter had 13 points. Again, not too many highlights but it was enough -even with Brian McGill having a bad game, which is notable.
Good night of basketball. It’s mid-season, all of this is brutal, good luck to everyone recovering in the next few days. POW nominees plus the winner will be up in the AM at some point.
Eff. That. Superbowl.
Alaska Anchorage 115 @ Simon Fraser 98
That score is misleading -Anchorage’s victory was never in doubt, far as we saw. Simon Fraser… nice victory over UAF, couldn’t keep it going. All numbers modified.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and six assists; Travis Thompson had 20 points and four assists; Derrick Fain had 15 points and six boards; Dom Hunter had 9 points off the bench. The team shot 60% overall and 62% from three -wow.
Clan highlights: Sango had 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists; Justin Cole had nine points; Roderick Evan’s Taylor had 10 points.
Alaska Fairbanks 57 @ Western Washington 80
The Nooks put up a valiant fight, but… trying to take on WWU out home without your best player is usually going to end badly and badly it did.
Nook highlights: Ashton scored 13 points and had three assists; Eric chipped in 11 along with a nice nine rebounds; Almir finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds; and then off the bench Isaac had nine points. Nothing too shabby. Shooting for the most part wasn’t atrocious.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Anye Turner had a full house with eight boards, three assists, three steals, one block, four fouls, and two points; Jeff Parker had 26 points, along with three boards, two assists, and two steals; Mac Johnson had 12 points, seven boards, two assists, and four steals. The team went 8-8 from the line, which was great.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Western Oregon 94 in 2OT
Andy Avgi had his way with the Falcons, Brendan Carroll was a turnover machine, the reffing was terrible on behalf of SPU, and Julian Nichols more than earned his nod as the conference’s best and one of the most consistent players thus far. This game’ll be in major focus during our Tuesday discussions.
Falcon highlights: Riley Stockton played a whopping 49 minutes and had 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and managed to not foul out; Brendan Carroll had six boards, two assists, six points, and a horrible six turnovers; Matt Borton had nine points, four boards, one assist, two steals, and fouled out; Mitch Penner had 19 points, seven boards, five assists, one steal, and fouled out; Cory Hutsen had 18 points, three boards, one assist, and fouled out. Off the bench: Joe Rasmussen had seven points and four boards; and Shawn Reid had seven points and three boards on terrible shooting.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander scored 20 points and had three assists, three rebounds, two steals; Julian Nichols scored 18 points and had six boards, six assists, and three steals; Lew Thomas had five boards, four assists, and three blocks; Jordan Wiley scored 10 points; Andy Avgi was amazing -finishing with 33 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks but no fouls.
Central Washington 64 @ Northwest Nazarene 66
This game was insane! And the Crusaders did it, learning from the Alaska trip; super great.
Central highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points and five assists; Joey Roppo had 13 points and three boards; Devin Matthews had five boards and 11 points off the bench.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: Alex Birketofte! He had 16 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, FIVE blocks, and two fouls while shooting a whopping 90%; Erik Kinney made his free throws -had a bunch of nasty turnovers, but: make your free throws so he’s fine and ultimately finished with 11 points; Kevin Rima had a double-double with 10 boards and 14 points, also making his free throws. Off the bench: Bouna N’Diaye managed to collect a full house with one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, a foul, and eight points.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Saint Martin’s 75
Congrats Saint Martin’s on a nice victory. MSUB playing without Momir Gataric definitely helped -it probably would’ve been much closer had they had the man that’s become their main squeeze. All the same -exploit the weakness, take advantage where you can, that’s exactly what the Saints did.
Yellowjacket Highlights: Emmanuel Johnson finished with a full house with nine boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, two fouls, and seven points; Jace Anderson added nine points; Jordan Perry added 11 points and nine boards; Tyler Nelson had seven boards. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had 14 points, three boards, and two assists; and Marc Matthews had 21 points and four boards on 8-11 shooting.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 15 points and six assists; Ryan Rogers had six boards; Tyler Idowu had seven points; Cameron Chatwin had 15 points and four rebounds on 5-8 shooting. Off the bench: Victor Ieronymides had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, three fouls, and five points; Brent Counts had five boards; Isaac Bianchini had 11 points; and Tyler Copp had 15 points.
In the jungle, the GNAC jungle, it’s cool to follow the crowd. In the jungle peer pressure leads us to take bad shots all around… Some weeks there are endless highlights from tons of teams; this weekend it was pretty minimal. We’ll have to see about POW; we may go back to highlighting every team without even doing the “ten best players” thing because highlighting the 10 best players can at times be grimace inducing.
Regardless of how it’s calculated: POW noms & POW will be up in the AM.
Good luck recovering from that Super Bowl.
Wow! What a great night for college basketball. The briefs include that WWU continues to confuse, UAA continues to bounce back, parity reigns, WOU and SPU appear to know what they’re doing (that game is gonna be great tomorrow). It was good to see the SPU bench open up a bit -nine guys played at least 10 minutes.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Simon Fraser 79
Good to see the Clan beat the Nooks -this falls into our “best case scenario” idea. Pretty bad shooting on both sides. While this score is normal, it’s still really tempting to modify it, but to be honest: it wasn’t a game watched and so it’s unclear whether or not SFU abandoned their breakneck offense, or if both teams were truly just that bad. The numbers support both sides, so we’ll see more on Saturday.
Fairbanks highlights: Anthony Reese went 6-8 from the line, grabbed 10 boards, and finished with 14 points; Alex Duncan grabbed six boards, two assists, two steals, and went 4-4 from the line, finishing with 15 points; Alex Ladines chipped in five rebounds and 10 points; Eric Fongue off the bench went 4-6 and 3-5, getting seven rebounds to ultimately finish with 12 points. Still no Ruben Silvas.
SFU highlights: Sango had seven rebounds, three assists, two steals, and 23 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor almost had the double-double with nine boards and 13 points; Daniel Deflorimonte finished with 10 points; finally, Hidde Vos grabbed seven boards and twelve points.
Overall, very poorly shot game but not entirely unexpected. Those numbers are all unmodified, but… we’ll see what Anchorage does on Saturday for for whether or not we come back and modify them. SFU has the decided the offense they’ll employ and that’s fine, but we’ll stick to it even on nights that they find it impossible.
Alaska-Anchorage 81 @ Western Washington 76
The score is misleading -Anchorage led by quite a bit for HUGE stretches of it. This year is going to live in infamy in the hallowed halls of Carver. The game ultimately shows a differential of five, and guess which team won? Yup, the better free throw shooting team.
Anchorage highlights: Brian McGill -pretty modest, six assists and 10 points, BUT went 6-6 from the line; Travis Thompson finished with 16 points; Derrick Fain added five boards, two assists, and 19 points; Travis Parrish chipped in six boards, four fouls, and 10 points; Dom Hunter was hella clutch, going 12-13 from the line, picking up four fouls, and finishing with 22 points.
WWU highlights? Lordy. His name is Anye and he was BALLIN. Easily the best performance we’ve seen this year. In fact, his performance by himself was better than the second and third best Anchorage player combined. And that includes minutes played. If you combine the two best players into a one player average, he was better than both of them combined. What were his numbers? 31 minutes played, 12-15 from the line, 15 rebounds, two assists, two steals, one block, five player fouls, and he finished with 24 points. Double-double AND a full house. Whoa.
Other good highlights from the Vikings: Ricardo Maxwell finished with 10 points, three rebounds, and two assists; Jeff Parker added five boards, one assist, and 15 points; Mac Johnson added eight points. Anye was doin’ it all, but he did it in the right way. You procure the board and can take the shot -okay; he shot 55% from the field on the night.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Saint Martin’s 52
Yes, I never give the Falcons credit -ever. It’s painful to do it right now, but… they had a decent game and they finally used their bench. It was pretty funny to be like “wait, who are these guys?” but oh well. Saint Martin’s… a correction is being issued: Ryan Rogers apparently was simply bloated while they were in Vegas, because the dude has a really good body. Still, that means the Saints literally have no classified bangers, which is a whole ‘nother issue.
Seattle Pacific highlights: Riley Stockton was perfect from the field, 4-6 from the line, and picked up a full house -five boards, five assists, one steal, one block, and one foul, to finish with 16 points; Brendan Carroll had a good game with perfect shooting on all fronts, finishing with 10 points, and picking up four boards, three assists, one steal, and three fouls; Matt Borton also had a full house, grabbing five boards, four assists, three steals, two blocks, and one foul -um, what?- and finished with eight points; Cory Hutsen went 5-6 and finished with 11 points. Off the bench, Shawn Reid scored 23 points; Joe Rasmussen added 7; and Garrett Swanson also added 7. Also of note: there was a stretch where the Falcons were playing with a pretty massive line-up; a 6’4 backcourt and 6’8 front court, which was interesting.
Saints highlights: Victor Ieronymides finished with 10 points and three boards; Riley Carel four boards, two assists, two steals, and 13 points; Ryan Rogers nine points; Brent Counts off the bench, a straight up five fouls. Guess that’s who they’re using as their banger… so high school, it’s hilarious. And he fouled out with like seven minutes left. “Seriously, just go in and hit some poeple.” “Coach, it’s not football.” “I don’t care, go in and hit some people.” Don’t get the wrong impression -they weren’t hard fouls, it wasn’t nasty, it was just funny.
Actually, the hardest foul of the game was friendly-fire: Riley Stockton positively clobbered Matt Borton. That was hilarious, Matt was bum over tea kettle. You don’t mess with Riley Stockton, dude is stocky and fearless.
MSU-Billings 74 @ Western Oregon 94
Remember how it was said “pick your poison and they’ll do it better” and hoped that MSUB would have an antidote? Nope. Western Oregon apparently was looking at the game as a warm-up for SPU and thus set on kill mode. A lot of guys played really well. MSUB… no one played particularly well.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had nine points; Jace Anderson had eight points; Jordan Perry had five boards; Tyler Nelson had five boards and eight points. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had five boards, four assists, three rebounds, and finished with 23 points; Emmanuel Johnson added six boards, three assists, two steals, four fouls and 17 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander with 10 points; Julian Nichols with four boards, 11 assists, four steals, and seven points; Lew Thomas added 14 points; Andy Avgi added four boards and 13 points. Off the bench: Adam Hastings added 17 points; Marwan Sarhan added eight points; and JJ Chimside grabbed five boards.
Good warm-up game. Both the Falcons and the Wolves look ready. Interestingly enough, this game was very necessary for the Wolves; they’ve got a pretty brutal stretch coming up with SPU on Saturday, a now good NNU team on Thursday, and then CWU next Sataurday. Gonna be some fun times coming up.
Not a bad day for basketball. As noted, we got the best performance of the year thus far in Anye Turner’s play. Anye’s day was so good, that he could not play on Saturday and still make the top 10 players -that’s how amazing it was- however not playing would disqualify him from POW considerations, so… hopefully he’ll turn in another monster game.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow morning per usual.
Wow. That was a really fun night of GNAC games. The madness started at 6pm PST and for the most part didn’t overlap at any super critical part, so enjoying the games was in full force.
In every instance the team with the better FT shooting won, so there’s that note.
If you need some extra entertainment, check out the UAF fan in the comments. UAF’s currently suspended from post season play due to APR, so… on that note:
WWU 60 @ UAF 64
There’s the sense from Vikings fans that this wasn’t an unexpected loss -that team just can’t win in the Patty Center, and yet… that needs to stop. WWU had every opportunity and they didn’t take it and while there were a lot of things wrong with the performance… Free throw shooting seems to be the biggest culprit. Make your free throws. The Vikings went 10-22 from the line and that is never gonna work.
The good things that stood out for WWU? Mac Johnson went 5-7 and 2-3 on FTs with seven rebounds, five blocks, and 12 points; Anye Turner was 4/5 from the line and had seven boards, three assists, and scored eight points; Harris Javier scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting, and finally: Jaamon Echols had 20 points and six boards, but his shooting percentage was horrifying.
In regard to UAF: Isaac Ladines had seven boards; Ashton Edwards dropped 30, going 6/7 from the line; Eric Fongue added nine points and five boards; Kyle Tomlinson was mostly silent as was Ruben Silvas, but this is a good moment to point out: they weren’t hot shooters and so they stopped and tried to contribute in other ways.
Overall, this was an ugly, ugly game of basketball full of selfish play and poor FT shooting. The two teams had 18 assists combined, which while admittedly they didn’t have many turnovers… the incredibly low shooting percentages of their respective leading scorers… Ick. It’s an interesting question: If shots aren’t falling, should one person just keep shooting, or should they start deferring and getting everyone in the game? Honestly it seems like more guys should at least get shots, rather than having someone go 8/20 and 3/8 or 10/22.
Congrats to the Nanooks on the win, but as noted with CWU: This means nothing and in your case: you can’t go anywhere anyway.
SMU 66 @ MSUB 65
This blog is a pretty big fan of Momir Gataric and yet… he pretty much ran under a big tree during a lightening storm. In the final seconds of the game, MSUB was down 63-66 with a great chance to tie it -those cunning Saints left Momir a wide open path to a layup, which he took, and then the game ended.
Fear not: In the realm of other stupid decisions, the Saints have some big moments too -like Riley Carel going 6-16. But they pulled it out. The shooting percentages all around were just terrible; Tyler Copp scored 9 but was 3/8 and 2/6; Trey Ingram was 1-4; they had some nicely balanced rebounding numbers –Tyler Idowu, Cameron Chatwin, and Brent Counts all had five; no one had too many assists; Will Bond had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, and two fouls in twenty-five minutes, so that was good.
Even with Momir’s Minor Mistake Marvin moment, MSUB was incredibly balanced: Kendall Denham had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 13 along with seven boards; Jace Anderson had 13, Momir had 14 points along with a fantastic 13 rebounds and three assists. Austin Hudson is out for the season (and his career) due to academic difficulties, but they kept missing him during non-conference for various reasons, and so it’ll be interesting to see if the Yellowjackets can find an identity without him… there’s a distinct possibility that the consistency of not having him will benefit them far more.
As noted: Sloppy, sloppy game, but Saint Martin’s got it done.
SFU 86 @ UAA 108
SOMEONE FINALLY DID IT. It’s that raging moment of being torn because defensive, stifling basketball is awesome and yet it’s so great to see the Clan doing well and they do play fairly unselfish basketball. That’s one really interesting thing about the breakneck pace: You’d expect it to be sloppy and selfish, but it’s largely not. They distribute and rely on each other; at their breakneck pace, they look a lot more cohesive than other teams do playing slower.
Sango: So proud of Sango. He had an off night for shooting, but instead picked up nine assists; Roderick Evans-Taylor had seven rebounds and 10 points; Patrick Simon II went 6-8 from the line and had five boards along with 19 points; Adam Westfall had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 15. Some of the shooting percentages are incredibly alarming –Justin Cole was 1-9, Roderick was 2-9, but no one else was particularly bad.
Anchorage: Really, really proud of the Seawolves. The Clan started to get into transition and push the tempo and I’ll be honest: I was screaming at my computer screen for them to commit and they did it and clamped down and got it done and still got to score a whopping 108 points. Fantastic. Brian McGill had an amazing game with 28 points, five fouls, six rebounds, and four assists, going 7-9 from the line; Travis Thompson went 7-8 from the line and finished with 15 points; KALIDOU had 19 points on 9-11 shooting, grabbing a whopping 15 boards; Christian Leckband grabbed eight boards and scored nine points; Sjur Berg also had eight boards; Derrick Fain added 11 points; and then Boomer Blossom chipped in five assists. Bad moments for the Seawolves include Travis’s 3-10 shooting and Kevin Bowman’s 3-9 shooting, but… when your scoring is as balanced as the Seawolves, we’ll give it a pass.
Overall the game was a blowout, still very proud of the Clan because it should teach them a lot and then with the Seawolves… It’s good to see them back to being themselves. Unfortunately: this game doesn’t mean anything for either team because it doesn’t continue a trend of any kind, so it’s hard to say if SFU is bad or UAA is bouncing back and actually good.
WOU 76 @ SPU 84
This game was closer than anticipated, so that was good. It was a fun game to watch, really interesting.
In regard to the Wolves… shooting percentages, oh dear. Devon Alexander was 4-13, Lew Thomas was 2-8. In better news: Andy Avgi was fantastic, picking up six boards and 19 points; Julian Nichols was also great, going 4-6 from three, picking up five boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and five fouls for a FULL HOUSE and 18 points; Adam Hastings added nine points. Overall not a bad game; the Wolves had many chances to procure the win and simply didn’t. It happens.
Seattle Pacific: Riley Stockton was solid, 5-6 from the field, three boards, four assists; Brendan Carroll went 2-3 from three and scored 12 points; Mitch Penner had some nasty shooting percentages but grabbed nine boards and four assists; Cory Hutsen went 5-7 and scored 13 points; off the bench, Shawn Reid added 14 but his shooting percentage wasn’t great. Now let’s talk about Matt; he went 10-10 from the line, had eight boards, three assists, three steals and almost had a block; he had four turnovers which is a big no-no, but… he plays such an unselfish form of basketball, that the turnovers generally are easily excusable.
Game previews/predictions’ll be up tomorrow morning.
Laxatives may be needed for this one, because bricks are on the horizon for defecation.
The Davids went 4/5 on the day and the home teams win out; Goliath who? There were so many great games to watch –UAA/WOU was interesting for the first half, SMU/UAF was interesting until the buzzer sounded -as was MSUB/NNU & WWU/SFU, and then SPU/CWU was probably the weirdest game all day.
Alaska-Anchorage 68 @ Western Oregon 87
At first it was really close and then WOU put it away convincingly, which wasn’t really surprising considering they were playing at home and the Seawolves were without Travis Thompson.
Collectively the concerns for UAA include rebounding, playing cohesively, cold players not accepting that they’re cold, their awful three point shooting, and the lack of teamwork in general. Just because Travis is gone doesn’t mean the teamwork should stop. While the assist number isn’t horrible, it’s largely thanks to Brian McGill -they weren’t distributed well at all, and that’s likely what did them in so nastily.
The good numbers: Brian McGill had 14 points along with six assists and four rebounds; Kalidou Diouf went 7-7, finishing with 16 points and five boards; Sjur Berg went 5-5 for 11 points; Derrick Fain contributed 12 points.
The bad numbers: Brian had 6 turnovers, Christian Leckband went 2-7, Derrick went 3-12, and the bench play overall was not spectacular.
Western Oregon had so many good things, it’s hard to pick a place to start; how about the fact that they shot nearly 50% from three and had 19 assists?
Player highlights: Devon Alexander had 10 points and six assists; Julian Nichols had 21 points and 9 assists; Andy Avgi had 12 points and five rebounds; Adam Hastings had 16 points in just 20 minutes played.
The main place of concern is the fact that Jordan Wiley went 1-6 on field goals and three pointers, but also that Lew Thomas was mostly silent. The bench wasn’t particularly strong, but they won by 20 and did a great job of exploiting the areas presented to them. It was a good and quality win, but will remain with an asterisk due to the absence of Travis Thompson.
Alaska-Fairbanks 64 @ Saint Martin’s 67
The game was interesting, unfortunately it wasn’t actually good -it was incredibly sloppy for both teams. The collective average shooting percentage was 42, which is the answer of “what is a poor FG %?”
Luckily, the guys save the day in terms of being okay because okay is a relative term. Ruben Silvas had 12 points and nine rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 13 points; Adam Griffin had 11 points. Oh shoot -that was worse than previously thought, especially because those are the concerns: Ashton went 5-14 and 3-8 and yet there wasn’t someone else that he could defer to; Kyle Tomlinson went 1-5 and 1-5 –zoinks. There just was not a lot of good and with the numbers, it’s amazing the Nooks kept it as close as they did.
Saint Martin’s… their social media department was too enthusiastic about Riley Carel’s role in this victory. This blog is plenty fond of Riley and yet… the guy went 3-10 for a mere 11 points, yeesh; Trey Ingram had 11 points, five rebounds, and two assists; Tyler Copp had nine points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven rebounds and five points; Cameron Chatwin had 10 points and seven rebounds; off the bench Brent Counts went 3-3 for 6 points; and Isaac Bianchini added nine points and four assists.
The Saints’ collective number of assists was great and with the exception of Riley the shot selection was good. They were missing Ryan Rogers and yet got an incredibly necessary win, so we’ll see what they do from here.
MSU-Billings 57 @ Northwest Nazarene 59
Another interesting game that in reality is horrible. That’s starting to come up quite a bit -people mistake the parity for our conference being good. It’s not the conference being good, it’s the conference being terrible. The parity is just a nice distraction so we forget how terrible we actually are compared to the rest of the country.
Momir Gataric scored 10 points, Austin Hudson had 15 and nine rebounds for almost a double-double, Antoine Hosley had 12 points. Those were the highs. The lows include the fact that the team only had 11 assists, Marc Matthews went 1-6 and 1-4, respectively. MSUB was like a platypus -they didn’t do a lot.
Northwest Nazarene… Erik Kinney had 10 points and 10 rebounds for a nice double-double; Kevin Rima had 16 points and eight boards; Mike Wright had eight points and four boards; Todd Helgeson had seven points and five rebounds. The bad news: Aubrey was 1-6 and 1-3; the team collectively only had 8 assists; much like MSUB, they ddin’t do a a heck of a lot.
Seattle Pacific 67 @ Central Washington 73
The game looks closer than it actually was -the Falcons didn’t lead at any significant point and the number got up that high through fouling. SPU is the only team I’ve ever seen use the fouling thing and have it work even slightly in their favor. That’s probably not a good thing.
What is a good thing is that Matt Borton had a great game scoring 18 points, picking up 14 rebounds, and ultimately getting a full house with four assists, one steal, one block, and amassing four fouls amongst just ONE turnover; Cory Hutsen had 21 points and eight boards; Shawn Reid (aka Token) had 13 points and three rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll had nine points off the bench.
Besides that, the bench was largely a bad thing; the Falcons got hardly anything from it. Starter Riley Stockton had a poor game, Cory Hutsen went 7-16, which shouldn’t happen when the farthest shot you take is from two feet out. It’s not that the Falcons don’t have talent, it’s that they can’t/don’t/won’t utilize it.
Central, on the other hand, has so much talent that can be utilized it’s a grab bag of who’s going to show up on any given night. Gary Jacobs had 14 points; Dom Williams had 19 points and five assists; Jordan Russell had 13 points off the bench; Joe Stroud went 5-5 and had 10 points and six rebounds off the bench.
The Wildcats earned the win through their low number of turnovers and scrappy play. Still not sure what to make of this Central team, but so far so good.
Western Washington 118 @ Simon Fraser 122
HOLY BOLOGNA. The Clan beat the Vikings for the first time ever and it was the shootout anticipated. There were a lot of gaudy numbers which have been adjusted for, but ultimately as much pride exists for the Clan, there is more disappointment in the Vikings.
The urge is to simply pick on Western for their lack of defense and for playing the game SFU wanted them to play rather than playing their own game. That shows a lack of discipline. What the coaching staff was thinking… who knows. It’s like Oregon’s horrible uniforms: sure, all of the guys like them and they’re pretty (or something) but it’s not classy and they’re doing nothing for you in reality. WWU should’ve committed to defense and they didn’t, which is quite frankly pathetic and basically tells us that WWU is definitively not the team they’ve been in years past.
All numbers adjusted by x • .65
Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points and three rebounds; Jaamon Echols had 19 points, five rebounds, and four assists; Anye Turner did all he could in the waning minutes, ultimately ending up with a whopping 18 points and 13 rebounds on 10-12 shooting; Jeff Parker finished with 11 points. The Vikings showed rebounding prowess, but got almost nothing from their bench.
In regard to Simon Fraser: they coerced WWU into playing at their tempo, which isn’t as impressive as it could be considering it’s fun to play offense and not so much fun to play defense. Sango Niang finished with 19 points and five rebounds; Justin Cole had 13 points; Roderick Evans-Taylor ended with 12 points and four rebounds.
Once again: the bench play was minimal, which speaks to the overall lack of depth for our conference. This game didn’t necessarily make our conference look great one way or another -it didn’t make us look awful,
This weekend likely perpetuated the idea that the GNAC is having yet another down year, as well as putting us further in the basement. The situation compares well to our D1 counterpart Pac-12; when UCLA and Arizona are down, everyone is down; when they’re up, everyone is up. With SPU and WWU losing we’re in for a harsh reality check that we’re lucky we get an auto bid and for most teams it’ll be lucky that it’s the tournament winner rather than the regular season champion.
Any given night.
In terms of what the week holds: Player-of-the-week nominations will go up tomorrow, there’ll be more reflections on this past weekend, we’ll finally get to talk about the the Pac-West, and hopefully the magic for a shenanigans post will arise at some point too.
Good morning GNAC!
IT FINALLY HAPPENED! We all actually got together and played some conference games last night. Did we learn a lot? Arguably yes. Because we can finally stop making excuses.
Going into the first two games of conference play, the standings were:
Seattle Pacific 5-2
Western Oregon 5-2
Western Washington 5-2
Simon Fraser 4-3
Central Washington 3-2
Saint Martin’s 2-5
Northwest Nazarene 1-7
Teams in italics won their games last night. The records are essentially what we expected with the exception of Anchorage doing poorly and SFU doing well.
The good news about conference play starting is that the guys in our conference are SO great. The bad news about conference play starting is the guys in our conference can be SO grimace inducing. It’s only fair -we have admitted GNAC bias, but it’s not that bad.
This is the final warning to SPU, WWU, Anchorage, and WOU: Being picked as the top of the conference was not something in your favor -you will be nit piqued like a second grade girl and her five best friends. That being said: CWU, NNU, UAF, SFU, NNU, and MSUB; no one is safe. Put up or shut-up, whether you’re first or last.
Alaska Anchorage 75 @ Saint Martin’s 68 in OT
It would be nice to excuse Anchorage, but at this point there is no excuse. They got a necessary win tonight, but it took OT. Road warriors, but… really? For all the hype the Seawolves received, they get the Goliath treatment and thus tonight was not impressive what-so-ever.
Luckily, they really only had a couple of collective areas of concern: their number of assists -as a team, they had nine, which isn’t going to cut it; they also shot a mere 15% from three. Nope.
The good news is Christian Lackband had eight points and five rebounds; Brian McGill had another great game with four rebounds, four assists, two steals, and 22 points while picking up just two fouls; Kalidou Diouf had eight rebounds and 16 points; Derrick Fain, Travis Parrish, and Kevin Bowman all had five rebounds a piece off the bench.
The bad news is Travis Thompson had another fairly silent game, picking up just nine points in 36 minutes; Derrick Fain went 1-9 and 0-5 on threes -there’s a fine line between continuing to shoot and knowing when to stop. Assists as a team were terrible; that would be an ideal time to start converting them.
Saint Martin’s apparently has actually done relatively well at home against UAA and they had a chance to make a huge statement and didn’t take it; incredibly frustrating.
While the team on the whole wasn’t impressive, guys had their moments:
Trey Ingram had 21 points while shooting 4-5 from three; Tyler Copp had 10; Ryan Rogers had 12 points and six rebounds; Tyler Idowu had seven points and six rebounds; Riley Carel had a fantastic seven assists in 16 minutes off the bench -that’s almost as many as the entire UAA team had in 45 minutes.
Concerning areas for the Saints: the fact that they couldn’t close the deal at home against a team that lacked cohesion; Ryan Rogers went 5-17, was 0-7 on threes, and shot a mere 2-7 from the charity stripe; the team shot a whopping 54% from the line; SMU itself had a mere 14 assists, as well as 16 turnovers.
Overall the game was a battle and while it was good for us on a conference level, it wasn’t good for our conference on a national level.
Alaska-Fairbanks 62 @ Western Oregon 67
The good news in terms of UAF is that there isn’t a lot of bad news; the bad news is, there isn’t a lot of particularly good news either. As a team, they shot 50% from the free throw line, but the sample size is too small to really matter -they also picked up few fouls; they had a mere 16 assists, but they also only had 12 turnovers; their shooting percentages aren’t great nor terrible. It was a productive outing in a difficult place to play. The Nooks should be proud, even with the loss.
And they should be proud of these guys in particular: Ruben Silvas had nine points and five rebounds; Ashton Edwards had 19 points; Kyle Tomlinson knew when to stop shooting and instead picked up five rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks; Almir Hadzisehovic had 14 points; Alex Duncan had 11 points off the bench.
As for Western Oregon, there was also nothing drastically concerning nor notable about their collective performance. They got it done against a team they were expected to get it done against, with the possibility for a challenge, and came back from a deficit. Always good.
Devon Alexander picked up nine rebounds; Lew Thomas had nine points, nine rebounds, and nine assists -nice PSYCH of a triple double; Jordan Wiley scored 17 points on 6-7 and 5-6 shooting from three, respectively; Andy Avgi scored 26 points and picked up six boards.
Concerns for particularly players… hooo boy. Lew Thomas STOP SHOOTING IF YOU’RE COLD -there is no universe in which 4-17 and 1-7 is acceptable and you likely would’ve had the triple double if you’d stopped looking so hard in the wrong area (remember: we love you Lew!); also of note: Julian Nichols contributed almost nothing, but this is kind of a victim of his own success -it’s notable when he’s quiet. Bench play is probably the one area of concern for the Wolves, because they got almost nothing from it.
Overall once again: this game was good for our conference, and actually wasn’t horrible on a national level either.
MSU-Billings 79 @ Central Washington 88
This was a really hard fought game that was chippy and intense, which is always awesome and as noted: seems to always happen at CWU, regardless as to the team CWU’s playing or what the Central team itself looks like. In terms of the Yellowjackets, the main area of collective concern is the fact that they had a mere 13 assists. The good news is they got some seriously strong bench play.
In terms of the starters: Marc Matthews continues to impress -he had 17 points and nine rebounds; Momir Gataric chipped in 10 points; Tyler Nelson added eight rebounds; Austin Hudson fouled out while contributing 15 points -he’s the only true banger the Yellowjackets have, which puts them all in a really difficult position. As noted, the bench was helpful: Antoine Hosley scored 16 points along with picking up four rebounds, three assists, and two steals; Emmanuel Johnson picked up six boards.
Biggest player concern area is that Gary Gordon was largely silent and Hosley shot 5-16 and 1-6 from three; had those numbers been different, the Jackets likely would’ve won.
In regard to Central, still not sure what to make of this team. They’re going to be helped out by the fact that UAF isn’t eligible for post-season play. It’s hard to say that this game was a disappointment when it was noted as a toss-up; there is some thought that MSUB was in the habit of losing to NAIA schools and so if CWU was for real, they would’ve been able to blow the Yellowjackets out.
Player highlights include Marc Rodgers and his eight points, six assists, four rebounds, two steals, and mere one turnover; Terry Dawn had eight points and five rebounds; Gary Jacobs had fourteen points, five assists, and five rebounds; Dom Williams had a fantastic 31 points and five assists; Joseph Stroud added five rebounds, two blocks, and four fouls off the bench.
The main concerns include Jordan Russell going 1-7, Joseph Stroud having a quiet game, and the bench overall not doing as much as they could’ve done.
On the whole: the game was the toss-up anticipated and it makes sense that CWU won it considering they were at home. However, if the Wildcats really want to be talked about in the same breath as WWU/SPU/UAA/WOU, they needed to make a statement and they failed to do so tonight to the degree that was necessary.
Seattle Pacific 77 @ Northwest Nazarene 51
Where to begin with this game… SPU did exactly what they were expected to do. Considering conference wide no one’s been doing that, there exists some relief.
The great part about the SPU collective game is that they’re really balanced to the point that in terms of player-of-the-week considerations there’s not one option. That is the epitome of what basketball is about, which is super cool. If no one from the Falcons gets it by mid-January, we’ll probably go ahead and split the award because their teamwork is so notable.
Tonight Bryce Leavitt had 10 points; Riley Stockton had 11 points and a whopping seven assists; Matt Borton had 14 points and five rebounds; Cory Hutsen had 16 points and five rebounds; Mitch Penner had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench; Brendan Carroll picked up six boards off the bench.
Speaking of Brendan Carroll: He was 1-9 and 0-4, yikes; Cory Hutsen was 6-14 which would be fine if they weren’t all from two feet away from the basket; the lack of bench play from the Falcons with the exception of Mitch Penner isn’t sustainable in conference. Collectively they had just 12 assists -seems odd for a team notable for their teamwork, and one that was inevitably playing a game of “everyone needs to touch the basketball” for the last seven or so minutes of clock.
And you were led to believe the Falcons’ play was the end of the world. NNU? Hooo boy. It’s almost more that can be said about the SPU defense than the Crusaders’ offense.
Aubrey Ball scored 13 points; Mike Wright scored 13; Kevin Rima had nine points and seven rebounds.
That was it. Those were the highlights. Areas of concern: Aubrey Ball was 4-12 and 0-5; Erik Kinney was pretty much silent, as was Bouna N’Diaye; the team collectively had a mere five assists and sixteen rebounds; they shot 22.7% from three; they epitomized why they were picked last, even while playing at home. SPU is good, but they’ve shown plenty of ways that they’re weak and NNU failed to exploit them at all.
While this game was predictably boring, it was actually great for our conference so at least it has that going for it.
To anyone that actually read the entirety of that: You are being saluted.
But seriously: How much fun was that? Seems like the only way it could be more fun is if WWU and SFU got involved, which they will on Saturday!
Usually it can be said that it’s great to beat rivals but more useful to beat teammates… It’s great to beat teams from other conferences, but it’s better when the blood is shed from within! So much love when the family gets together -even if we’re all guaranteed to be sick of each other by February 1st.
Concordia-Portland, you shouldn’t be left out so here’s your obligated mention: we look forward to when you come and live with our insane family full time. Speaking of which -are you sure you want to? Like really sure? Like there’s been massive amounts of cannibalism as of late, far more than when you applied to join, so at least be aware of that.
The Cavaliers are sitting here going “Heck yeah, we’re going to feast from the top of the pile of that mother loving cannibalistic mess that the GNAC’s become.” You go Concordia, you go.
Never underestimate our propensity for shenanigans. Ever.
Player of last week nominations will be posted at some point today, promise.