WOU lost to UAF and UCSD lost to San Marcos, but none of it surprises us any more because that is life in the D2West right now. Before we get into how it affects bids and things like that, we’re going to go over some NIGHTLIGHTS!!!!!! Yay. GNAC Men’s Basketball players are AWESOME. Not sarcastic, promise.
CWU @ WWU
Really sloppy game by both teams, but:
- KYLE IMPERO (WWU) HAD 15 REBOUNDS.
- JOE STROUD (CWU) HAD 11 BOARDS!!!!!!!
- Both favored the defensive side of things, interestingly enough.
MSUB @ SMU
The Saints fought valiantly after being down by a lot but ultimately couldn’t complete the come back.
- PRESTON BEVERLY HAD 13 BOARDS!!!!!!
- EMMANUEL JOHNSON HAD 22 POINTS!!!!!!! On roughly 80% shooting.
- Mr. Sneeze (aka Sven) shot 100%.
- TYLER COPP WAS 8/8 FROM THE LINE!!!!!!! If the Saints had pulled it off, he’d be our MVP.
It’s interesting Preston (we swear we didn’t forget you in frosh of the year stuff, only that you’re a freshman) responded huge to a completely unintentional overlook (you follow us on twitter, that gets you uuuuber bonus points with us, duh) and yet Rhett Baerlocher had a terrible game. We didn’t watch, but we’ll credit Preston with the defensive shut down of Rhett, just ’cause congruence.
CU-P @ UAA
- COREY HAMMELL HAD 13 BOARDS. Aka played typically for Corey. We heart that kid soooo much.
- BRIAN MCGILL HAD NINE ASSISTS. And is benefitting because we can’t find his listed turnovers, so that may or may not deserve to be highlighted, but oh well.
CU-PORTLAND DIDN’T SEND SUKI TO THE LINE 20 MILLION TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!! They limited him to four free throws, which is a miracle and amazing and congrats Cavaliers, ridiculously proud of you.
WOU @ UAF
- TRAVANTE HAD 11 BOARDS AND 25 POINTS!!!!! While going 10/12 from the line.
- EVERY SINGLE PLAYER IN THE GAME HAD A REBOUND. That’s huge.
- THE NOOKS COLLECTIVELY HARASSED ANDY AVGI INTO BEING 2/11 FROM THE FIELD. Worst performance of the year. By far.
- DEVON ALEXANDER HAD A FULL HOUSE AND PLAYED REALLY SMART BASKETBALL.
West Region Stuff to Know
On Monday Cal Baptist beat Concordia-Irvine by 10, but we wonder if CU-Irvine is just tanking at this point to try and make sure the Pac-West gets more than merely their conference tournament auto-bid.
San Marcos upset UC San Diego, but San Marcos is ineligible for a bid to the tournament because they’re also in a transition year. They’re currently fifth in the CCAA so wouldn’t be looking at an at-large bid anyway. We don’t think it affects UCSD in any meaningful way because everyone has weird losses and San Marcos is a good team.
WOU lost to Alaska-Fairbanks. That means both the Falcons and the Wolves have losses to UAF and CWU. We’re still fully in the camp that WOU is pretty much hosting no matter what, because SPU just lost to CWU and SMU. Had the Falcons won, we’d still say that we’re all trooping down to Monmouth, but it would be much more of a discussion.
UAA beat CU-Portland, the Seawolves are still in contention for at-large bid, but who knows.
We honestly won’t have any real idea of non SPU/WOU/USCD/Chico bids until after the conference championship games have been played. It’s actually kind of a good year for whoever’s on the selection committee because it’ll be really hard to truly screw up our region. There are so many solid arguments for about 10 different teams, so… Provided those four are in, from where we stand now we’re prepared to not complain about any of the seeding nor any of the teams that get the nod/don’t get the nod.
See y’all tomorrow morning for a bigger run down of the GNAC games.
First things first: Sonoma State killed San Marcos.
Now onto GNAC stuff.
Alaska-Fairbanks 66 @ MSU-Billings 61
Good game, lots of back and forth, lots of clutch shots by MSUB to keep them in it, but ultimately they couldn’t overcome a Nanook team that just got beat by those pesky Seawolves.
Nanook highlights: Travante Williams had 26 points and seven boards; Almir had 10 boards; and off the bench Isaac Ladines had six boards. Lots of little contributions from a number of guys as well as some bad shooting numbers.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had eight boards; Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson went 9/10 from the line and finished with 21 points and seven boards. Off the bench Jordan Perry had six points and six boards.
Hard defensively fought game, pretty good to see. Less than desirable shooting numbers, but nothing horrible so that’s good. Good game played by both teams.
Saint Martin’s 98 @ Northwest Nazarene 68
A full on blowout? Yup. We credit it with the high that the Saints had to be on after winning at CWU. Not too much to say, so we’ll get right into the numbers.
Saint highlights: Victor Ieronymides had 17 points; Cole Preston had six boards and nine assists -shots weren’t falling so he said “whatever” and got the rock to his teammates, awesome; Jordan Kitchen had 15 points; Rhett Baerlocher had 14 points and four assists. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Isaac Bianchini had six points; Rojhai Colbert had eight points; Michael Painter had nine points; and Brandon Kenilvort had six points. Huge performance from the bench.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 18 points and six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 points and six boards; and coming off the bench Joel Devastey had 21 points on dynamite shooting.
This game epitomized the idea that basketball is a team game. We’ve like the Saints all year and are happy to finally see them clicking. Fred has been out; we’re not sure why, we don’t particularly care why, we’re just thrilled that their line-ups are finally working.
Western Washington 76 @ Concordia-Portland 80
Um, well, we said the Vikings were a mess. Case in point. But Concordia is getting better and losing by 20 to a no-win team had to be some nice motivation to at least try harder than WWU. They tried, they succeeded, and they looked good. It was a good game.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 13 points and four assists; Kyle Impero had 17 points; Trey Drechsel had eight boards, four assists, and three steals; Blake Bowen had four assists; and Jeffrey Parker had eight boards and 25 points. No real bench play.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 15 points and 10 boards for the double-double, looking like the real deal; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Riley Hawken had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Davis Nuaimi had eight points.
Good game, very good game, lots of back and forth. The Cavs play basketball in the right way and should be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
Simon Fraser 67 @ Western Oregon 77
Actually a really good game. The Clan is waking up and while they didn’t get the win, this is still super good progress.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had 18 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Graham Smith had nine points and six boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 17 points; and Hidde Vos had seven points.
Wolf highlights: Janvier Alaby had 12 points; Julian Nichols had seven rebounds; Tanner Omlid had 17 points and nine boards, rounded out with a full house; Jordan Wiley had 10 points while going 5/6 from the line; and Andy Avgi was held to eight points and nine boards. Best we’ve seen a team get to him this year. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points; Kadeem Strickland had seven points; and Nick Nestell had five points.
Congrats to the Wolves on getting it done, but definitely a hearty congrats to the Clan for keeping the Wolves honest. We rarely see Andy pick up four fouls and he did last night, so that’s huge.
Seattle Pacific 68 @ Central Washington 71
CWU is a hard place to play. We say it regularly. Definitely top three in terms of homecourt advantage if you count the Alaskas as one (which you should) and that was on display tonight. Two years in a row the Falcons have gone into Nicholson and walked away with an ‘L.’
Falcon highlights: N/A, author’s discretion.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had nine points; Gary Jacobs had 10 points; Joe Stroud had 20 points and five boards; and Devin Matthews had five boards, nine assists; and eight points. Off the bench Drake Rademacher had nine points; and Chris-Michael Garret had 10 points.
Hard fought game, proud of the Wildcats for getting it done -great win CWU. Bubble burster for SPU? Maybe. To be discussed on Wednesday.
Sorry about the lack of nightlights. Blame the Falcons; we sunk into a deep, dark depression -although were very satisfied with how the night went overall. POW noms up at 10am tomorrow.
We’ve already had two other discussions post,
so this one is going to be relatively brief just kidding: UAA @ MSUB. Did UAA just burst their own at-large bubble? Could MSUB mathematically make the conference tourney? Rankings. Brian McGill converts.
UAA 71 @ MSUB 90
Yes. That happened. As noted last night: We only ended up watching the final two minutes and we were wholly stunned. From UAA’s twitter we discovered that MSU-B led the entire time. At halftime they were up by roughly 25. They came out on fire, they stayed on fire, they played defense, and then put an exclamation point on it by not falling into a false sense of security. The last point is huge because it seems like an ongoing issue in our conference: One team goes up big, gets complacent, the other team comes back, and the team that originally led either loses or gets out by the skin of their teeth. Constant vigilance.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 27 points and seven rebounds; Corey Hammell had six boards and 13 points; Brian McGill had five assists and continues his FT streak, going 4/4. Off the bench Christian Leckband had seven points, five rebounds, and four fouls.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 25 points, 13 rebounds, and four assists -absolutely nuts; Kendall Denham had a great game with 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists while shooting 90% including going 4/4 from the line; Marc Matthews had 12 points, six boards, and five assists; Emmanuel Johnson scored 19 points; and Emmanuel Olufemi had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Jordan Perry scored eight points. Hella complete and balanced performance by the Jackets.
What’s maybe most interesting about the final score is the Seawolves shot 40%. MSUB was just playing such stifling defense that it appears they couldn’t get many shots off, and then the Yellowjackets took advantage of it at the other end of the court. Syncopated is what the score makes us think, although again: We didn’t watch so we’re not sure.
Did UAA just ruin their chance for an at-large bid?
We’re honestly not sure. Potentially, which sucks. But not entirely. What this is coming back to is strength of schedule. Because there’s been so much parity across all three conferences during conference play, we’ve got about 10 teams with really similar resumes, UAA being among them. The good news for the Seawolves is that no one has particularly good SOS and the early season wins/losses teams have against Cal Baptist are going to be negated by question marks because of the fact that the Lancers are collapsing down the stretch.
It’s hard to truly say where Anchorage falls because there are still six games left to play and you can look at the records of any given team and any given opponent, but this year is chaos and so it really doesn’t matter. We raised the argument super early in the season that we wanted to see the Seawolves win off the tundra, and now it seems like all of the wins off the tundra that they have include asterisks. They won at SPU over winter break. They won in double OT at WWU partly because their coach wasn’t given a technical that he 110% deserved; he made it to center court and three players were having to restrain him. That deserves an ejection + probably missing the next game. And if he misses that next game, do the Seawolves pull it out against SFU? Maybe, maybe not. They let SFU hang around a really, really long time. And now you have their most recent loss to MSUB. It wasn’t close. And you could go “Oh well they’ve been on the road for a week,” yes, welcome to the dog days of the season. This’ll come as a shock, but during the NCAA tournament you’re on the road for a week. Crazy stuff.
Win the conference tournament and the bubble doesn’t matter. If the bubble does matter? Not sure. There are approximately 13 teams that deserve consideration for at-large berths, and we think three of them are relatively safe: WOU (best record, benefit of the doubt fully earned), UCSD (great record, good non-conference), and SPU (good record, great non-con).
Can MSUB still make it into the conference tourney/what would have to happen?
In short, yes they can. And that should worry the Vikings. The Yellowjackets are 2.5 games back of WWU, with their remaining schedule looking as follows:
The good news is they have three home games. The bad news is two of them are against really good teams. The good news is they just beat a really good team. The bad news the remaining teams either match them well or come in as a huge favorite. CU-Portland and SMU should be competitive. WOU, UAF, and SPU are going to be hard, although it should be noted that MSUB doesn’t usually have any type of issue with the SPU gym, so a win there is definitely a possibility.
WWU’s schedule looks like this:
Very similar schedules, but MSUB plays mostly at home whereas WWU has a lot of road games. The Vikings are likely going to have a rough ride. Partly because of all the parity, partly because four away games, and partly because it’s hard to win six straight, and MSUB only needs to win one game they “shouldn’t,” to make it really dicey. The only games we see as a guarantee for the Vikings are @CU-Portland & vs. NNU. That’s it. And we could be wrong about those. WOU is going to be incredibly difficult. CWU is going to be unpleasant. SPU is likely to be challenging. SMU could go either way.
Alright, rankings, holy guacamole, they are a doozy. They’re fine; we see the arguments people are making, but they’re still whoa.
1. Western Oregon -we agree with the ranking, even if it makes us nervous. Stay humble Wolves.
6. UCSD -love it. It’s mostly because other teams lost, but we still love it.
9. Chico State -love Chico, still think Cal Poly Pomona is better; Friday night against UCSD will be interesting.
11. MSU Moorhead
14. Cal Poly Pomona -we get it, they have four losses, but we swear that Dominguez Hills is quality this year and while they slept on CSULA, they beat Chico by 13; that ain’t no foulin’ score.
22. Seattle Pacific -fell three spots after losing to the now-#1 WOU in OT. We have no opinion on this one.
Others receiving votes: Azusa Pacific (2), Alaska-Anchorage (1).
Azusa… We don’t know. We really don’t know. We’ve been watching Joey Schreiber play since high school; now he plays for Azusa, therefore Azusa is now ours and therefore we have no opinion because rankings are what they are.
we think deserves more than one vote. Do we think they’d beat Chico State? Maybe. We honestly really don’t know much at all about Chico State other than that their play-by-play guy is amazing and their biggest statements have been losses to Cal Poly Pomona and Seattle Pacific, but part of that is because the two other good teams they’ve played (Sonoma and Humboldt) are rivals, which… Maybe means we should give them more credit because anything can and will happen in a rivalry game? We still think their non-conference schedule was pathetic, which sadly is still relevant because of the chaos that’s gone on in the regular season. As noted a few days ago: The Chico Wildcat schedule enters its in-conference gauntlet now, so we’ll see how they respond. The Pac-West looks like such a mess that it doesn’t seem like a stretch that both the GNAC and the CCAA would get three bids, but whether or not UAA is one of them will really depend on who wins the GNAC tournament; if it’s SPU or WOU the odds of UAA getting an at-large seem high, whereas we’re starting to lean that Chico will be in no matter what simply because no one else played anyone either.
Not listed there, but Augustana received one #1 vote, while Wheeling received four, and WOU received 11. The Augustana thing is interesting because we contemplated making an argument about leaving Augustana as number one even with two losses because there’s so much parity, the number one spot is basically switching between “who lost most recently” but the top are all only really losing to good teams and the outsider there isn’t playing good teams, so… It’s an interesting idea. Glad to see we weren’t the only ones that thought Wheeling looked really good.
The Consensus is: Brian McGill is awesome.
We know he just won player of the week, but probably one of the best parts of a great weekend was how much we got asked about Brian and how excited people were to talk about him. Western Washington fans know basketball, particularly the ones we sit with, and going into the game we were like ‘Brian McGill is super super good and he makes the people around him better,’ and maybe being a little fan-girly, but by the end of the game everyone around us was like “OH MY GOD, HE’S AMAZING.” He’s not flashy, he gets the job done, he does the little things, and is a very humble player even though he’s arguably the #2 guy in the conference. It was fun to listen to our friends go “Okay, I’m not thrilled with what he’s doing to us, but he’s a really good basketball player -if we have to lose and get torched by someone, he’s fine.”
Game respects game. It also helps that when opponents would go down, Brian was always reaching a out a hand to help them up. Sportsmanship rocks; between his game and his attitude, it wasn’t surprising but it was still awesome how much praise we heard. Even after a 2OT loss, we got tons of questions and gushing about him in the middle of the UAF blowout two days later.
So once again, congrats Brian -more people than you know think you’re fantastic.
We were going to talk about Cal Baptist, but this is long enough. We’ll deal with the Lancers either later this week or next Wednesday.
Hooooly guacmole, last night was FUN. Lots of GNAC nights are fun, but… What’s that? More chaos? Sure, why not.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 62
The Crusaders were in this almost the whole time. The Wolves built up a lead as they are wont to do, the Crusaders came back in and stayed back in. There were moments where just as you thought WOU would pull away for good the Crusaders took it back. Ultimately the win was not to be theirs, but valiant effort all the same. We’re impressed.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had a good game with eight boards and two assists; Bouna had seven boards, five assists, and 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had five boards and 16 points. Off the bench Gonzo Santana had five points; and Marko Lepovic had seven points and six boards.
Wolf highlights: Julian Nichols had five boards and three assists, while going 10/12 from the line; Tanner Omlid had a fantastic game as a starting forward, finishing with 13 boards, three assists, three steals, five blocks, two fouls, and seven points for the full house; Jordan Wiley had 12 points and five boards; and the always amazing Andy had eight boards and 18 points, rounded out with a full house. No real bench play, although Alex Roth provided four fouls.
Central Washington 102 @ CU-Portland 75
CWU was on a mission after the close loss against WWU and knowing they have to play WOU this weekend. Concordia didn’t truly stand a chance.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 29 points, five boards, and went 7-7 from the line; Terry Dawn had six boards and fourteen points, along with four fouls; Joe Stroud had an amazing game with a full house including seven boards, four blocks, and 17 points; Devin Matthews had seven boards, six assists, and 10 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had seven boards and 12 points on improved shooting; Drake Rademacher had 12 points; and Chris-Michael Garret had four assists and four fouls.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 22 points; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Riley Hawken had nine boards. Off the bench Jace Cates had 13 points and four boards; Davis Nuaimi had seven points; and James Phillips had five points.
CWU had a largely perfect game, except for their defense but… Best defense is a good offense, eh? While Riley Hawken of CU-Portland didn’t have a great game, the biggest thing to note is how many mistakes and traps he refused to fall into -that’s huge, huge, HUGE, so very proud of him for that. Keep building Riley, you’re already good and you’re going to be great.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Western Washington 79
WWU IS FINALLY ACTING LIKE WWU!!!!!! In the last few weeks the Vikings have clicked and clicked big and it’s so fun to watch. We’ve said all year that we like the line-up they have and the guys in the program but it hadn’t been cohesive, and… They’re starting to heat up at exactly the right time.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had five boards, four assists, three steals, and 12 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 25 points; and off the bench Preston Beverley had a crazy amazing 11 boards, four assists, and 14 points for the double-double.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 4 assists and 12 points; Kyle Impero had 17 points, 10 boards (dat double-double), five assists, and four steals; Trey Drechsel had seven boards and three steals; and Jeffrey Parker had five boards. Off the bench Evan Scholten had six boards and nine points; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points.
Blake Bowen went back to normal and how did Brett Kingma end up with five fouls? Like seriously. So confusing.
Saint Martin’s 73 @ Alaska-Anchorage 70
This game was terrifying and amazing and WHAAAAT!??! Part of us is like “oh lord, the Falcons are going to die on Saturday” but the other part of us is like “WHO CARES, THIS GAME WAS INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!” Ridiculously proud of SMU for finally pulling a game like this out -we knew they could do it, always did, we’ve always believed in this team. Still -Anchorage put up a very good fight so congrats to the Seawolves.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had six boards and seven assists; Jordan Kitchen had two blocks and 13 points; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards and nine points; Fred Jorg had five assists and 16 points. Off the bench TREY INGRAM had four assists and five points -welcome back Trey!! He hasn’t been gone, but his numbers have been. Hopefully this does it and means the sophomore slump is over!
Seawolf highlights: Suki had seven boards and went 6/7 from the line, along with a full house; Corey Hammell had 16 poitns, six boards, and three assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five boards and 11 points; and the always ballin’ Brian McGill had seven assists, two steals, and 16 points.
Really exciting game, close pretty much the whole time, lots of pins and needles involved. Congrats once again to the Saints -we knew you could do it.
Seattle Pacific 79 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
Whoaaa, SPU went up by 22 and UAF battled it back but ultimately couldn’t do it. Still, a very valiant effort by the Nooks -we totally thought you were going to win, especially in the last five minutes. UAF is very difficult to play at and we’re still stunned that the Falcons got the win, to the point that we almost feel like apologizing to the Nooks. Go figure.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had six boards; Brendan Carroll had 15 points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a huge 29 points and five assists; and Coleman Wooten started for the first time and finished with SEVEN boards. Off the bench Gabe Colosimo had 13 points and three steals; Garrett Swanson had seven points; and Joe Rasmussen grabbed five boards and committed five fouls in nine minutes.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had five boards; Travante Williams had 19 points and seven boards; Joe Slocum had four steals; Almir had his way with the Falcons, picking up 18 points and six boards. Very little bench play.
The Falcons were up by a lot and almost choked then managed not to. Fairbanks is an incredibly difficult place to play, so good on them for battening down the hatches and surviving the blizzard. Almir completely had his way with Gilles, which is both hilarious and completely expected. FYR all day.
Ultimately a great night of basketball and one that provided plenty of ammunition for Saturday. Cannot wait to watch those games -it’s going to be a great day of basketball with lots of close match-ups, so… We’ll see. Game previews’ll be up at 11am PST.
MSUB 61 @ UAA 81
Pretty par for the course. We’re disappointed in Jamie Stevens for not trying something to contain Suki, but oh well. Guess that’s him doubting his own player personnel, which is sad because we actually kinda sorta believe in these guys; they definitely have their moments. UAA is a good team though, so… Wouldn’t be surprised to see them ranked in the future here if they continue doing what they’ve been doing.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had 12 points, Jordan Perry had 13 points, six boards, and five assists; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards; and Emmanuel Johnson had five boards and three assists off the bench.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 21 points, eight boards, six assists, and two steals (whoaaa, hello well-rounded); Diante Mitchell had nine points; Spencer Svejcar had five boards and 19 points; and Corey Hammell had 10 boards. Off the bench Christian Leckband had 16 points; and Brian McGill had seven points.
Anchorage got it done. 95% expected and we’re proud of them as such. Keep grinding.
Why do we always designate the city for Concordia-Portland? Because we sort of, kind of, deal with schools across the country and there are 15 Concordia schools. Our graduate team just played the NAIA Concordia from Nebraska and so between them, CU-Irvine, the D3 Concordia that seems to get referenced fairly frequently, and our own Concordia, it has the potential to get really confusing. Better just keep it blog official by doing the Concordia-Portland/CU-Portland/CU-PDX designation.
Does OT affect the POW nominees? It can. Usually it doesn’t. Sometimes it can be bad; if you miss a bunch of shots or turn the ball over a ton, it definitely doesn’t help you. While it adds how many minutes guys play and can up the free throw number, because we do it by school and not by best numbers, it generally doesn’t bump anyone out of nomination that otherwise would have been. In regard to the winner, we’ve never seen it push someone into winning that otherwise wouldn’t have because generally speaking guys aren’t playing two OT games in a row and even if they are, if they’re playing two 45+ minute games in a row and still have the stamina shoot well and play good D and all of that… It’s wholly earned.
Burnt out already? Getting there and getting there fast. You’d think adding one more team into the mix wouldn’t really be that intense and yet… It’s seeming to be the straw. We love the project, we love all of you guys for reading it, but on a scale of one to burnt out, we’re getting there, even though we know that in two short months we’ll be wishing we had blogging to do. So if it’s seeming to get a little cryptic and/or more snarky than usual: We’re doing our best. It’s January in the pacific northwest; we need to up our Vitamin D intake.
Why didn’t we do a preview for yesterday’s game? Because we didn’t. Because we figured Anchorage would blow MSUB out and it’s better to ask forgiveness. There was just nothing really to say about it. When we started the blog we were committed to not making predictions or anything like that, then we fell into a rut of doing it, and now we’re not as into it any more, so… That’s where we’re at. Inevitably a part of it is that it used to be easier to predict GNAC games and now it’s not, so why do it when a lot of them are truly pick ’ems.
5. Cal Poly Pomona -Good win at Stanislaus and very convincing win against Chico State.
8. Cal Baptist -did what they needed to do against FPU and Chaminade.
10. MSU Moorhead
11. Western Oregon -win your games and go down; that’s what happens when your key strength of schedule drops games like they’re hot. Looking at you SPU; this is your fault.
14. UC San Diego -Sounds good to us. Their website was down at the time this post was being written, so we’ll talk about them next week.
25. Chico State -Yes, they beat Humboldt, that’s a rivalry game; they lost by a lot to Cal Poly Pomona, so… The Wildcats should. not. be. ranked.
Seattle Pacific (5) -??????????????? We’ve been saying for a few weeks that we don’t want them ranked, but how bad they actually are we’re still yet to figure out. The Western Oregon game was odd, to put it lightly.
Humboldt (4) -lost in a rivalry game to Chico, votes are fine but whether or not they should actually be ranked is still up for debate, so we’re good with this.
Alaska Anchorage (3) -We’re veering on the side that we’d like to see them in the spot at 25th over Chico, if a West Region team has to be there.
Azusa Pacific (1) -close wins against Dixie State and Chaminade
Central Washington (1) -Guessing this is coming from
Pretty much where we’re at. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 10am.
Hoooooooly goodness, that Hawks game. While you continue to recover from your heart attack, why not read about some GNAC men’s hoops?
WWU 84 @ UAA 87
Both teams fought hard. It was a close game almost the whole time. There were a few points that UAA would walk up, but WWU didn’t let them get away with it for long. Both teams were great on free throws -shooting above 85%, which is awesome. Really good game, although we were kind of sad that Tony Dominguez’s strategy was also to let Suki shoot until the moose came home. It worked just fine, but again: We want to see a team get Suki in foul trouble, because letting him shoot all day long will only go so far.
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had 24 points and nine boards; Ricardo Maxwell had nine assists; Jeffrey Harris had 21 points; Mac Johnson grabbed seven boards; and off the bench Colby Mitchell chipped in 10 points. Really no bench play from the Vikings, which ultimately likely did them in.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had six assists; Diante Mitchell had 16 points; Spencer Svejcar had a great game with 18 points and five assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband added eight points and six boards; and Brian McGill continues to adjust back in, adding 14 points, five boards, and five assists off the bench. Awesome.
It was good see Kyle Impero get back in his groove and we still keep crossing our fingers regarding Mac. While we miss Brian McGill starting, all in good time. Fun game from both teams.
MSUB 75 @ CWU 87
Solid game. MSUB stayed in it. We’re really beyond frustrated with the Yellowjackets right now, but that’s another matter. They get to head up to Alaska this week, so that’ll be “fun.” Playing in Alaska is brutal, 100% guaranteed.
Yellowjacket highlights: KENDALL IS STARTING AGAIN!!!!!!!! And he picked up 11 points and five assists. Other than that: Jordan Perry had 10 points; Sven Jeuschede (pronounced like a sneeze) had eight boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had six boards; and off the bench Emmanuel Johnson had 11 points.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 19 points; Gary Jacobs had 16 points and eight boards; Joe Stroud had 14 points and 10 boards; Drake Rademacher had 12 points; and Devin Matthews had 14 points and five boards. Minimal bench play.
The lack of benches is concerning, but we’ll let these two teams worry about it. It’s an odd switch considering last year CWU played essentially two full lines and we liked both of them with the exception of one person.
SPU 91 @ CU-PDX 63
The home teams would have gotten the sweep if not for this game. This game… 50/50 on whether or not to term it a mess. It sort of was considering the Falcons had 21 turnovers, but… Again: Teams do stupid things when they’re up by a lot and so we’re still not sure what side of the argument we fall on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had 11 points and five boards; Brendan Carroll had five assists; Gilles Dierickx had 16 points and six boards; Mitch Penner had a whopping 30 points, five boards, and four assists; and off the bench Coleman Wooten had 10 points on perfect shooting.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 24 points, five boards, and a full house; Tyler Gutierrez had 14 points. Off the bench Davis Nuami had five points; and Riley Hawken had 10 points.
CU-Portland has been looking better and SPU had been looking worse so it seemed like the game had potential, and… technically it did. While it was never really in doubt, the Falcons had 21 turnovers, so the fact that CU-PDX couldn’t make something happen when they were being given that to work with -next time, do it Cavs!
SFU 56 @ UAF 73
Yet another mess. If a guy scores a bunch of points and yet you don’t see his name, it’s because he had an abomination of a shooting percentage that negates all of the points he scored. Make. Smart. Choices. That goes for every player on every team, not just these two.
Clan highlights: Hidde Vos had 9 points and five boards; Gibran Sewani had 10 points; and Graham Smith had seven points off the bench.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 12 points; TRAVANTE WILLIAMS had 21 points, FIFTEEN boards, EIGHT assists, and rounded it out for a full house; ALMIR had 15 points, eight boards, and a full house. Off the bench Zach Pedersen had 10 points; John Renfro had five points; and Isaac Ladines didn’t have much of anything but he had something of everything with a full house.
Clan… Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. The Nooks got it done, and that’s what matters -right?
SMU 61 @ WOU 74
Match-up of the old travel partners. Saint Martin’s disappointed again. They were only down five at the half and then it ended up like this. We’re so sick of their lack of fundamentals -it’s a really, really ugly form of basketball to watch, especially when they have such great moments to contrast it with. It would be one thing if they just played terribly and that was that; it’s that they tease, they play well, they play well, they collapse and you bury your face in your hands because it’s just embarrassing to the GNAC itself. And this was on Root. Ugh. Whatever. No one has cable any more, right? No one was watching it.
Saints highlights: Rhett Baerlocher had 12 points; Cole Preston had six boards and five assists. Off the bench Jordan Kitchen had nine points; and Brandon Kenilvort had 13 points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had five boards; Alex Roth had 10 points; Jordan Wiley had 16 points and seven boards; Andy Avgi had 24 points. Off the bench: Kadeem Strickland had six points; and Tanner Omlid had four boards.
It was a woofer of a game, but again: The Wolves got it done. It would be easy to go “oh well they were exhausted from the SPU game on Thursday,” but if anything that should have had them mad. The Falcons never led during that game and yet still pushed it to over time. Aggravating.
An interesting if not irritating weekend of basketball. We’re still trying to make heads or tails of the WOU/SPU game. MSUB takes on Anchorage on Tuesday, so we’ll see about that.
Wow, what a night! Defense was a little on the low side and overtime was on the agenda. Four games finished within one possession OR went into overtime. One of the overtime games even finished by one possession; really great and yet ugly night of basketball.
MSU-Billings 96 @ Northwest Nazarene 98
For a while there NNU was moving up and it looked like Billings wasn’t coming back. Then the Yellowjackets did. It became a very close game. We’re completely fed up with the SID at that school, because who’s gonna trek out to Nampa (hint: it’s four mountain passes) and yet getting information out of there is like trying to get it from a blackhole -even while you’re actively watching the game. Go figure. Apparently they don’t want people to care about Crusader basketball. They’re wrong, but apparently that’s what they want.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverley had six boards and 17 points; Emmanuel Johnson had six boards and four assists. Off the bench KENDALL DENHAM (we’ve missed that name) had six assists and 25 points off the bench; and Jordan Perry had eight boards and 12 points.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 10 points; BOUNA had nine boards and 19 points; MIKE WRIGHT HAD 12 ASSISTS AND MERELY -2- TURNOVERS -how long have we been waiting for that?- and also had six boards and nine points. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 16 points; and DETWON ROGERS had eight boards and 27 points.
Simon Fraser 83 @ Alaska-Anchorage 96
Anchorage ran it up early and we were like “it’s over,” then SFU got back in it and we were like “whaaa?” and then Anchorage ran it back up. That seems to happen to teams that play Anchorage a lot. We’re not sure whether Anchorage needs to dig in more or the other teams need to stop letting go…
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had six boards and four assists; Hidde Vos had six assists. Off the bench Bowen Bakken had five boards; and Graham Smith had 14 points and eight boards.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had eight boards and 23 points; Diante Mitchell had five boards; Spencer Svejcar had 13 points; Corey Hammell had nine boards, four assists, and nine points. Off the bench Christian Leckband had 21 points and five boards; Drew Peterson had six points; Brian McGill had three boards, six assists, two steals, and 17 points.
Overall not a bad game. The Seawolves got a little turnover happy at the end, but when you’re up by a lot it becomes less of a concern and so guys start trying to be fancy rather than playing fundamental basketball until the end. We’re 50/50 on whether or not we’re okay with it.
Saint Martin’s 59 @ Concordia-Portland 62
We’d say it was the only defensively adequate game of the night, but the reality is it was just an absolute ton of missed shots. Ugly, ugly game. Glad the Cavs pulled it out, mildly disappointed in SMU.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had 16 points, six boards, fou rassists, and two steals; Fred Jorg had six boards. Woof.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin made 6/7 free throws; Latrell Wilson had 14 points; Jarrett Gray had 6 boards; Tyler Gutierrez bounced back with six boards and 20 points. Off the bench Taylor Harris had seven boards; and Riley Hawken had seven boards and 13 points.
We’re really interested to see what happens to these two teams tomorrow. We no longer trust anything. This game was ugly, but tomorrow has no promises.
Seattle Pacific 90 @ Western Oregon 96 in OT
We don’t even know what to say about this game. This was one we watched very intensely. The Falcons seemed perpetually down by 15 and then the end happened and it was like “whaaaat?” The score reflects what’d you’d expect out of these two teams and yet the game itself only kind of did? Weird, weird game.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had 10 boards, seven assists, and 18 points; Gilles Dierickx had 25 poitns and six boards; Garrett Swanson had seven boards and five fouls. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had six boards and six points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Aledxander had seven boards and 13 points; Julian Nichols had six assists and 23 points; Andy Avgi completely had his way with the Falcons, finishing with 34 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had five boards and 15 points on near perfect shooting both from the floor and the line.
Western Washington 100 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 99 in OT
THE VIKINGS WON IN THE FAIRBANKS GYM!!!! In Viking Land that constitutes a miracle. Another fairly ugly game, but oh well. Interesting to see these teams go back and forth. We felt going in that they matched-up pretty well and sure enough they did.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 9 boards; Kyle Impero had 13 boards and two assists; Trey Drechsel had 7 boards; Jeff Parker had 11 boards and 29 points; Mac Johnson continues to be invisible but grabbed five boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had five boards and 17 points.
Nanook highlights: Joe Slocum had eight assists and four boards; Travante Williams made 12-13 from the line, grabbed 12 boards, and had six steals; Brandon Davis scored 19 points; and Almir had 17 points, five boards, and ultimately finished a full house. No quality bench play except relieving the starters here and there.
Intense game. Ugly game. We’ll be interested to watch the flip when the Nooks come to the Vikings.
In other news; Azusa Pacific beat Dixie State by six and Chico beat Humboldt by 18. We’re still not sure how we feel about those last two teams because we’ve been questioning Humboldt’s schedule and now Chico makes them look like a cakewalk, so… Hmm. Food for thought.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
Our printer is all screwed up and we were too lazy to go to the library, so if there are missing numbers: Sorry. You’re important. Promise. We tried our best.
WWU 75 @ MSUB 77
MSUB, like what??? Heck yeah. They played their own game. They trusted themselves and that’s exactly what it took. They were leading by five or so for most of the game, but occasionally the Vikings would creep back and start leading and then you could SEE the Jackets recommitting to playing their own game and ultimately… That was the ticket. Nicely done men!
Viking highlights: Kyle Impero had six boards and fourteen points; Jeffrey Parker had nine points and a FULL HOUSE. Off the bench Trey Drechsel had seven boards and 10 points; and Colby Mitchell had 14 points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Emmanuel Johnson had eight boards and fourteen points; Jace Anderson had a hella good night with 18 points on great shooting; Jordan Perry had nine boards and a full house. Off the bench… Brace yourselves: PRESTON BEVERLEY HAD SEVEN BOARDS, 26 POINTS, AND A FULL HOUSE. Way to go Preston!!
Overall an interesting game, if not concerning. The Vikings are frustrating; they’re doing less with more.
WOU 75 @ NNU 53
That score does not tell the whole story. NNU hung with the Wolves a long time. We’re talking until the second half hung with them. So that was good. It was good on both accounts; great to see the Wolves get that separation, great to see NNU hang around.
Wolf highlights: JULIAN NICHOLS had eight assists and 13 points; Tanner Omlid now in a starting role had 12 points; Jordan Wiley had 12 points; and Andy Avgi had seven boards and 11 points.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had a full house, including six boards; Joel Devastey had 10 points; and Kyle Bailey had six boards off the bench.
Devon Alexander returned to the conference play Devon Alexander that we saw last year. Good victory for the Wolves to simply have gotten it done and then a good glimpse into what the Crusaders could potentially be capable of as they keep grinding.
UAF 79 @ SPU 75
What the heck the Falcons are doing is beyond us. They led for HUGE stretches of this game and then gave it up. Oookay then. The good news is: The Nooks took advantage of it and come away from the weekend with a nice sweep.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 15 points; Joe Slcoum had five boards and four assists; Travante Williams had 17 points and six boards; Brandon Davis had nine points and five boards; ALMIR SHOWED UP and had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Neil Chavez and Isaac Ladines both had six points each.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had seven boards and four assists; Gilles Dierickx had 12 points and five boards; Mitch Penner had 11 boards; Garrett Swanson had nine points and six boards. Off the bench Sam Simpson had six points; Brendan Carroll had 18 points; and Gabe Colosimo had seven points.
Pathetic. Pathetic, pathetic, pathetic; but a very deserved victory for the Nooks -our highest congrats to them.
UAA 91 @ SMU 74
Frustrating. This game was frustrating. The lack of fundamentals that SMU displays is mind boggling. Stupid foul after stupid foul. They’d creep back in on offense and then promptly stop playing defense. Yikes. UAA is a really good team, that is definitive, but at the same time… WHAT WERE THE SAINTS DOING?!?
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 32 points and eight boards on great free throw shooting; Diante Mitchell had 12 points and six boards; Spencer Svejcar had 13 points and six boards; COREY HAMMELL had 17 points and 15 boards; and off the bench Brian McGill had 12 points.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 13 points and six assists; Jordan Kitchen had 11 points; Fred Jorg had 11 points and seven boards; and off the bench Rhett Baerlocher had eight points and nine boards.
Overall a very good game for the Seawolves and a pathetic game for the Saints.
CU-PDX 80 @ CWU 85
CU-Portland was in it the whole time, leading through some of it. It just speaks to how much parity is in our conference this year. They came close to beating a CWU team that convincingly beat Western Oregon, so… Things are getting even more interesting. Which way is up? Which way is down? Ask us in another four weeks.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had nine boards; Latrell Wilson had 34 points; Jace Cates had seven points off the bench; and the best sixth man in the conference (Brian doesn’t count) had 12 boards and seven points.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had 11 points, five boards, and a full house; Gary Jacobs had 22 points and eight boards; Joe Stroud had 26 points and six boards; and off the bench Jerome Bryant had eight points and six boards.
Overall a super good and super intense game. Proud of the Cavs for staying in it and proud of the Wildcats for holding the Cavs off.
Bonus Game: UCSD did in fact beat Cal Poly Pomona by the skin of their teeth, so that was a good, close game.
Interesting weekend of GNAC play. We’re excited for the week. There should be some good discussions. POW noms and the announcement will be tomorrow, per usual. That should be interesting.
…………. What a ride. Holy guacamole. With WOU and SPU losing, the instinct is to overreact to everything and question ourselves, but… We’re not quite ready to do that. We knew upsets would happen. Did we think it would be the first week? No. But the west coast as a whole is seemingly full of parity, so… Whether it’s the sky or merely confetti falling in your world today: Take a deep breath. It’s one game. There are miles to go before we sleep.
Simon Fraser 83 @ MSU-Billings 94
Proud of both teams. SFU was leading for a good long while before the Yellowjackets got serious and put the Clan away. Honestly, a fairly ugly game on behalf of Simon Fraser, but in that we’re ridiculously excited about Billings. Billings played their own game, kept their course, and pulled out a nice ‘W.’
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had nine boards; Max Barkeley had four boards, four assists, and five fouls; Michael Harper went 10/10 from the line, grabbed eight boards, and finished with 21 points; JJ Pankratz had 11 points and eight boards.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had 27 points and two steals; Emmanuel Johnson had six boards; Jace Anderson went 7-7 from the line, had six boards, six assists, two steals, and finished with 18 points. Off the bench Preston Beverley had nine boards and 13 points; and Kendall Denham had 12 points.
Alaska-Fairbanks 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Interesting game. Fairbanks was blowing the Saints out for a good long while before SMU got back in it and then ultimately the game ended in fouling. Really great job by the Nanooks for getting their first win off the tundra, but great effort by SMU.
Nook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 11 boards, four assists, and nine points; Joe Slocum went 6-6 from the line, had 10 boards, and finished with 18 points for the double-double; Brandon Davis went 7-7 from the line, grabbed six boards, and finished with 22 points. The Nooks had just 11 turnovers, and put up a monster rebounding performance grabbing 46, although admittedly it was a high rebounding game; the Saints grabbed 40 themselves.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had six assists and 12 points; Tyler Copp had 15 points; Fred Jorg had 11 boards and 10 points. The Saints as noted grabbed 40 boards overall, and then also had a remarkably low number of turnovers with a mere eight.
Really excited to watch both teams play more. All of the guys showed great promise. Joe Slocum finally started functioning again and then we want to see Fred Jorg progress. Right now Fred is a massive turnover liability, but he has the potential to do well on this level.
Alaska Anchorage 61, Seattle Pacific 59
We knew this game would be close. We thought the Falcons would pull it out, but are ultimately very pleased with the Seawolves for getting a win off the tundra and potentially making a statement.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs grabbed 10 boards; Corey Hammell grabbed seven. Off the bench BRIAN MCGILL finished wtih 11 points in thirty minutes of fantastic play. We’re so glad to have Brian back, can’t express that enough.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had nine boards, four assists, and eight points; Gilles Dierickx had 16 points; Mitch Penner had six boards; Garrett Swanson also had six boards. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had four boards off the bench. Honestly this was a really ugly game, to the point that we’re walking away from how the Falcons were playing because it was that bad.
Overall the Seawolves held the Falcons to 19% from three and 33% from the field, which is amazing. It was a defensive grind it out and we could not be more proud of UAA. They’re going to head into Saint Martin’s all fired up and we’d say we expect them to win by a lot, but this conference has already proven that the vast majority of games are going to be ‘pick’ems’ which is just as well. It makes for tons of fun basketball.
Western Oregon 77 @ Central Washington 81
Unexpected, but definitely not a bad thing. Team Chaos. We weren’t on it, and now we’re bandwagoners and have no shame. More chaos, more fun. The Wildcats made some very, very smart plays, gutted and gritted it out and ultimately got it done. Ridiculously proud of them.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had eight boards and four assists; Alex Roth had 12 points; JULIAN NICHOLS had 29 points; Andy Avgi had 16 points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had four steals. Much like the SPU game, this was ugly. We’re thrilled to see Julian Nichols playing like we know he can, but… This was vomit inducing.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 15 points; Terry Dawn had five boards; Gary Jacobs had five boards; Joe Stroud had seven boards, four assists, and 11 points; and Devin Matthews had five boards. Off the bench Naim Ladd had four boards and 17 points; Drake Rademacher had a good night picking up 15 points on good shooting; Desmond Ross grabbed four boards and picked up 10 points.
Thrilled with the Wildcat performance, it’s one game, it could propel them to more. They shouldn’t have any issues with CU-PDX, so that’ll be good. Great performances in particular from the guys off the bench. At one point we thought Naim was going to get trampled, but he lives, so that’s good.
Concordia-Portland 87 @ Northwest Nazarene 83 in OT
Really exciting game to watch, it was a great way to spend NYE. Great to see Concordia get their first conference win and see their guys actually step into their new roles as D2 basketball players.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had eight boards and 30 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards, five assists, and 13 points; Tyler Gutierrez had seven boards. Off the bench Taylor Harris had five boards and five points; Riley Hawken had 13 boards and 12 points for the double-double. The team as a whole picked up -50- count ’em fifty, boards.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 10 boards; Bouna N’Diaye had five boards; Detwon Rogers had seven boards and 22 points; Mike Wright made 9-10 free throws. Off the bench Pol Olivier had six assists and eight points; while Kyle Bailey had six points and five fouls -you do you, big guy.
Reality says it was an ugly game; both teams had a crazy number of turnovers, but it was progress on both ends -particularly for the Cavs. We’ve been really excited for them to join our conference for a while now -Fall of 2013 was when we learned that they were and we thought it would be great; we had fun being out in Branson, MO with them last year, and we’ll see what they do. This win obviously doesn’t mean a ton, but it’s progress and progress is good.
It feels like we already have stuff to discuss, but the fact is: It was one day of basketball. Instinct is to praise the Wildcats and Seawolves like crazy and the nice thing would be to tell the Wolves and Falcons that it was merely one game. The reality is that the Wildcats and Seawolves need to look at it like “it was one game” and know that they still have a lot to do. With the Falcons and Wolves, it’s gut check time. It just is. It was some really, really, really nasty basketball, to the point that we didn’t single anyone out not because the numbers weren’t there for us to do just that, but because it’s beyond that. Usually we’re yellers, but those two games cause silence; there’s literally nothing we have any desire to say.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11ish.
Happy New Year, blog! Thanks for bringing us so much joy throughout 2015 -we look forward to tons more during 2016.
Up super late, yes, yes, it sucks, but… Birthday shenanigans. Somehow, sometimes a life outside of basketball exists. Most of the time it doesn’t, but occasionally it does.
Seattle Pacific 89 @ Simon Fraser 55
Can’t spell slaughter without laughter? Sure. Not much to be said about this game, so on with the highlights.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a low-key game for himself grabbing eight boards, five assists, and 10 points in a quick 26 minutes; Will Parker had five assists; Gilles Dierickx had six boards and seven points; Mitch Penner had six boards, three assists, and 13 points; Garrett Swanson had four boards, two assists, two steals, and fifteen points. Off the bench Sam Simpson had five points; Brendan Carroll had eight points; Joe Rasmussen had a huge night (for him) with five boards and 18 points. Good to see the Falcons use the entirety of their bench.
SFU highlights: Oshea Gairey had four steals; Max Barkeley shot 80% on 10 free throws; Michael Harper had eight points. Really no highlights aside from the free throws because although there were points scored, all of the shooting was so bad (30% from the field, 18% from beyond the arc) that it was negated. Good job SPU defense.
Overall what really is there to be said? Congrats SPU.
MSUB 76 @ Concordia 59
Don’t let the score fool you -this game was close for a long time before MSUB pulled away in the second half. Lots of really good numbers, good win for MSUB to get, although something tells us their coaching staff would disagree. Still, really good defensive effort for the Yellowjackets. Good rebounding by both teams, but MSUB definitely got the best of it finishing with a huge 52 boards.
MSUB highlights: Emmanuel Johnson had a full house with nine boards, one assist, two steals, a block, two fouls, and six points; Jace Anderson had 13 points; Jordan Perry had nine boards and four steals. Off the bench: Kendall Denham had 13 points; and Cade Alcorn had a whopping 13 boards and 12 points.
CU-PDX highlights: Drew Martin had eight boards; Riley Hawken had a full house with six boards, two assists, a steal, a block, three fouls, and 14 points; Tyler Gutierrez had five boards, three assists, and nine points. Off the bench John Erickson had eight points; and Taylor Harris had four boards.
Not the best game for anyone involved but we’re super proud of MSUB for getting it done and look forward to seeing them make some progress against WOU tomorrow.
Saint Martin’s 68, Western Washington 71
This was a really, really, really good game. Maybe the biggest highlight was finally watching Fred Jorg play in person and he is 100% the real deal. That’ll be part of our discussions post on Wednesday. This game was back and forth 100%, SMU did put themselves in a position to win it at the end and just couldn’t get it done. WWU finally started rebounding, which was great because they weren’t shooting well -SMU was playing some amazing defense. This turned out to be the game of the night, so… Exciting stuff.
SMU highlights: Cole Preston had five boards, six points, and 12 points; Jordan Kitchen was a monster with six blocks; Tyler Copp had four assists and nine points; Fred Jorg had 12 points, six boards, and two assists. Off the bench Isaac Bianchini had nine points; and Michael Painer also chipped in nine points.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell played a full forty minutes and grabbed five boards, four assists, and 12 points; Kyle Impero played 38 minutes grabbing nine boards, three steals, and 16 points; Colby Mitchell had nine boards and nine points; Jeff Parker had eight boards, two assists, one steal, and fourteen points; Mac Johnson had 11 points. Off the bench Harris Javier chipped in six points, but the bench really didn’t do much besides relieve the starters.
So glad to see that rebounding number from WWU, ridiculously proud of them. SMU, there really isn’t anything bad to say. WWU shot really poorly, SMU shot really well, so… Good defense. SMU’s defense is impressive. WWU, keep grinding.
Northwest Nazarene 72 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 77
Grind it out close game. The Nooks should be worried. The Crusaders should be proud considering they’ve looked like a mess but went onto the tundra and almost got the win. Very, very back and forth game with some questionable free throw shooting. Make your free throws.
NNU highlights: Joel Devastey had nine boards; Bouna N’Diaye had six boards; Detwon Rogers had 11 boards and 25 points although a terrible six turnovers; Mike Wright had eight assists, four steals, a block, four fouls, and 16 points for the full house, BUT he had five turnovers. This entire team had more turnovers than a bake sale and had they not, then likely would have won. Even with all of those turnovers they almost did.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had three steals; Bangaly Kaba had six boards, four assists, and nine points; Joe Slocum had three steals; Travante Williams had 12 boards, two assists, four steals, and 21 points; Almir had nine boards and 17 points. Off the bench Isaac Ladines had 17 points.
Decent game for both teams. Proud of NNU for staying in it when we’d completely written them off. Practice makes progress, they’re heading into the ragingly hot UAA and it’s going to be a battle, but now we’ve seen they’ll at least show up.
Central Washington 65 @ Alaska-Anchorage 93
So much for game of the night. No, we’ve been questioning CWU all year because their non-conference did nothing to improve them. UAA, on the other hand had a good non-conference schedule even if it didn’t help the collective conference much.
CWU highlights: Joey Roppo had 12 points; Gary Jacobs had 10; Joe Stroud had nine boards, four steals, and 14 points; Devin Matthews had seven boards and nine points. CWU got nothing from their bench. UAA shut them down mercilessly.
UAA highlights: Suki Wiggs had five boards and 21 points; Diante Mitchell had six assists and 17 points; COREY HAMMELL had 13 boards and 19 points. Off the bench: Christian Leckband had five boards and 11 points; Damian Fulp had a full house; Tayler Thompson had a full house with six boards, 10 points, two assists, along with one block, one steal, and one foul.
Great performance by UAA. Did exactly what they needed to do. With a performance like that it’s hard to think NNU will come in and be able to do much, but the Seawolves need to commit and hopefully have a similar performance on Saturday.
Good night of basketball. The big highlight was definitely SMU -we’ve liked them all year and were worried about Fred, but that fear has been abated, so that’s great. Really super happy to see WWU find their rebounding chops. UAA was phenomenal. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.