After last weekend’s grossness, we feel like so far… We’ve turned a corner. At least for a day.
Central Washington 100, Hawaii-Hilo 87
Um: Wildcats got it done. And it wasn’t looking good there for a while, but they finished with some really solid numbers. There really isn’t anything bad to say about this game, which is awesome. Yeah, there was some less than ideal shooting but nothing horrifyingly unpalatable.
Highlights: Joey Roppo had 18 points; Terry Dawn wasn’t shooting well but switched to rebounding and picked up seven boards in just 13 minutes; Gary Jacobs went 8/11 and 4/4 on free throws to finish with 23 points along with six boards; Joe Stroud had a FULL HOUSE grabbing six boards, two assists, one steal, four blocks, two fouls, and finished with 18 points; Devin Matthews grabbed SEVEN boards and SIX assists along with 15 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd was guilty of bad shooting but went 5/5 on free throws and grabbed five boards, so… Still not a bad day.
Alaska Fairbanks 81, CSU Dominguez Hills 73
We don’t consider this off-the-tundra and so it’s a little concerning but they pulled out the win, and a win is a win. Pretty good shooting with the exception of Ashton Edwards and Joe Slocum -they should feel ashamed of making what was a great performance by the rest of their team slightly off color. They peed in the perfectly pristine snow and now Olaf is sad.
Highlights: Bangaly Kaba had a double double with 10 boards and 18 points, along with picking up five assists and three fouls; Travante Williams had a FULL HOUSE with 15 boards, one assist, two steals, one block, two turnovers, three fouls, and sixteen points. Everyone else wasn’t great but wasn’t horrible either and it was enough. Less than ideal to rely on essentially two players, but… We continue to wait for Almir and Joe to show up.
Seattle Pacific 84, BYU-Hawaii 60
Um, Falcons say what?!? And this was without starters Brendan Carroll and Mitch Penner playing at all. Joe Slocum may not have shown up for UAF, but Joe Rasmussen showed up in a big way for Seattle Pacific. Joe’s performance is what a center should be: he missed two threes and then realized that the paint is his life’s will and made every single shot. It’s not that complicated. Other GNAC centers, please take note. We never thought we’d say that about Joe Rasmussen (okay, we did like three years ago when he committed to SPU, but not since then) and yet, here we are.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five assists, 12 points, and three fouls; Will Parker had seven assists and just two turnovers; and Gilles Dierickx went 6/6 and grabbed seven boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen picked up five boards while scoring 20 points; Nathan Streufert went 4-4 on FTs and grabbed five boards.
Western Washington 92, Flagler 53
Nothing bad about this game except the competition, ha! But seriously: The competition was bad and the Vikings got let out for a much needed run. Wednesday night was brutal. Good to see them bounce back, but really hard to know what it means. Flagler was 10-16 last year, so… The Vikings did what they needed to do, but it won’t feel right until they do it against a school that actually matters and they may not play one until January 7th. We’re sure everyone’s eyeing the SPU game on December 5th, but… We don’t necessarily agree. It’s at WWU, the Vikings should win because they have tons of experience and the Falcons have none. WWU rarely has a good time against UAF in Fairbanks and so from our perspective… That’ll be the bar.
Highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had five assists; Kyle Impero had 13 points; Colby Mitchell grabbed 11 boards and four fouls; Jeff Parker had seven boards and 20 points; Mac Johnson is slowly getting back to where he was with eight boards, 13 points, and two blocks, but… Really? Against Flagler? It still should have been more. Off the bench Brett Kingma had 13 points; and Harris Javier had five assists, three steals, and five points.
Colorado Christian 89, Simon Fraser 82
Not a bad night besides the shooting of Max Barkeley, the turnovers of Michael Harper, and the shooting of Oshea Gairey. No seriously, it was a good night. The Clan had every chance to win it and couldn’t get it done, but huge for growth. If you’re getting to the point of playing the fouling game with a very quality RMAC team, you’re making progress. They play the Cougars again today and hopefully will get the ‘W.’
Highlights: Hidde Vos had six assists and seventeen points; Max Barkley had six assists; Michael Harper had 13 points; JJ Pankratz had 12 points, nine boards, one assist, three steals, five blocks, three fouls, and ZERO turnovers for a gold star full house (that is: a full house without filling in the T/O column); finally, Tyrell Lewin had 10 points. Off the bench Gibran Sweani had 12 points on 6-7 shooting.
Western Oregon 79, CSU Monterey Bay 67
ANDY’S FIRST GAME BACK!!!!! And he came off the bench. Very exciting stuff. The team finally clicked, 100% what we expected, and we’re so glad to see the Wolves do exactly what we know they’re capable of. Still, let’s be real: This was CSU-Monterey Bay. It’s good to see them click, but there’s miles to go before they sleep.
Highlights: Devon Alexander had seven assists, three steals, and 10 points; Julian Nichols had a full house with two boards, two assists, three steals, one block, two fouls, and 20 points; Jordan Wiley also had a full house with four boards, one assist, one steal, one block, two fouls, and eight points. Off the bench Tanner Omlid had eight points and four boards; ANDY AVGI, the man himself, had three boards, two assists, one steal, and 20 points.
Definitely a good night for the GNAC. Not really concerned with a loss to the RMAC just because the RMAC is projected as good and SFU is seen as a cupcake, so if the Clan can get the win today that would be really good, but it shouldn’t affect SOS too much -if anything it’ll affect Colorado Christian’s, so… Do it Clan!
What else? Travante Williams. Joe Rasmussen. JJ Pankratz. An Andy sighting. Definitely the most exciting parts of the evening. Ridiculously proud of all four of them. Intrigued by what’s on the horizon for today.
Alright GNAC: Onward!
Game previews for this weekend in regard to D2 action:
- BYU-H vs. CWU & SPU = good match-ups, if not rough. As covered: BYU-H just beat WWU, with a final score of 93-80.
- Hawaii Hilo vs. CWU & SPU = a winnable game for both GNAC teams; Hawaii Hilo tends to sit mid-pack in the Pac-West, so challenging but not breaking. Definitely not a cupcake, but there should be a win for both teams provided they take what’s being offered.
- Simon Fraser vs. Colorado Christian x2; Colorado Christian plays in the always strong RMAC and finished with an 11-11 conference record last year, so not a great team but definitely a good team and should be a good challenge for the Clan.
- WOU & SMU vs. CSU-Monterey Bay. Monterey Bay is perennially in the bottom quarter of the CCAA so WOU should take care of them without issue, and SMU should have the opportunity to win.
- UAA & UAF vs. CSU Dominguez Hills. Dominguez Hills is the SFU of the CCAA. We want to see Suki take fewer shots and for the Seawolves to really focus on distributing and taking good shots rather than just pseudo-available ones. In regard to UAF, we want to see Joe Slocum finally re-acclimate and do what we know he’s capable of.
- MSUB vs. Black Hills State; annual battle of the Yellowjackets. MSUB just “beat” NAIA Rocky Mountain two nights ago, but… Honestly, they didn’t win; Rocky Mountain simply lost. Games like that no one actually wins. And we say this whilst attending an NAIA school.
- WWU vs. Flagler; Flagler is a D2 school in the Peach Belt Conference (home of UNC Pembroke & University of South Carolina Aiken, notably). The Saints of Flagler finished 10-16 last year and have no one on their current roster from the pacific northwest, so… Apparently they just need their fix of rain, wind, and cold but without snow.
Pretty ho-hum weekend of basketball overall with the exception of the BYU-H games. Colorado Christian we’re curious about. GNAC teams have felt just off this year, we feel like we really haven’t started watching GNAC basketball yet because the fundamentals that we’re used to seeing (with the exception of UAF) haven’t been on display, so hopefully this weekend is the one that it clicks.