We didn’t preview the game, mostly because we didn’t have any idea what would happen and figure it gets old for you guys to read that over and over again, but then we felt guilty because of any team in the GNAC, NNU is by far the most neglected. You’d think it would be CU-Portland or Simon Fraser, but those campuses are really easy for us to get to; not the case with NNU. So at the very last minute (like 5:45pm last minute) we trekked out to Ellensburg.
Unfortunately we think our presence jinxed the Crusaders. They were doing fine and playing strong and then they fell apart. Maybe it wasn’t us; we should give credit where credit is due and that is to those Wascally Wildcats and the brick wall that is their center position.
Fuquan Niles is straight-up majestic. He is 100% incredible to watch play. We haven’t had a center like him in the GNAC in ages -usually it tends to be a power forward that serves as the defensive force in the middle. Joe Stroud (also of CWU) was the last great shot blocker we had, but he was a power forward.
All that being said:
NNU 80 @ CWU 94
Good back and forth game before Naim Ladd, Marc Rodgers, and as noted Fuquan Niles stepped in to put it away. There were a number of key threes hit that really put the game out of reach, although NNU fought valiantly and didn’t seem to let CWU get in their heads too much.
Crusader highlights: Pol Olivier had 20 points; Kaileb Rodrieguz had seven boards; Maurice Jones responded well to Fuquan, having 15 points, 14 boards, and four blocks of his own; and off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 10 points on perfect shooting.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had 22 points, among other good field stats; Dom Hunter had 27 points and five assists; Terry Dawn had five boards; Jawan Stepney had six boards; and Fuquan had 10 points and nine boards on textbook shooting. Off the bench Marc Rodgers had eight points.
Overall not a game that involved tons of defense, but enough, and honestly: It was really fun to watch. Very dynamic, the guys on the court were all visibly having a good time and playing with tons of drive and effor. It was a good game to be at. CWU definitely has our vote for best athletic staff in the GNAC.
A discussions post will be up later today and then previews’ll go up tomorrow per usual.
Happy New Year Blog Fam!!
The last day of 2016 was an interesting day of basketball, very fun, and shockingly we were relatively correct. We told you: this season is nuts, these games are ridiculous; take your victories where you can get them.
NNU 64 @ WOU 59
Talk about a heck of a come back. At the end of the first NNU was down 20. Dead on the court. But whatever their halftime consisted of it worked, and they came back to beat the Wolves. We’re guessing forcing turnovers had a considerable amount to do with it -WOU had 14, which is ridiculously uncharacteristic. Constant vigilance.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye played a full forty minutes, had a full house, including eight boards and 30 points; Maurice Jones also played 40 full minutes, and had a full house with 16 points and 10 boards among other stats. The rest of the team played as a team, acknowledged that it was better with the ball in their hands, no one tried to play hero ball, and they got the team win. Congrats to the teamwork of all the Crusaders.
Wolf highlights: Tanner Omlid had a double double with 23 points and 11 boards; Buster Souza had eight boards. Off the bench Akil Reese had a full house; and Demetrius Trammell had 11 points.
Huge game for NNU, not super concerning for WOU, although they’re rapidly approaching needing the auto bid. Not sure what was with the collapse, but it is what it is. This season it’s hard to be freaked out by any one game because the majority are a coin flip.
MSUB 100 @ WWU 93
Can we get a what? what? Honestly the WWU numbers weren’t bad in the slightest, Billings just beat them. No one played any defense, and these were two very evenly matched teams. Not super surprising because WWU is essentially a brand new team, whereas the core of MSUB has been together for three years. That’s the type of recipe that leads to an upset and it happened.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had a full house including six boards and 15 points; Marc Matthews also had a full house with eight boards, five assists, and 28 points; and Jace Anderson had 18 points. Off the bench Kendall Denham had 10 points; Zach Lessinger had eight points; and Cinco Duro had six points.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had four boards, four steals, and 27 points; Logan Schilder had seven boards; Daulton Hommes had a full house including a double double with 20 points and 10 boards; and Jeffrey Parker had 12 points and five boards. Off the bench Deandre Dickson continues to impress with 18 points and six boards; and Trevor Janisky had five boards.
Very little defense by either team. Good free throw shooting by both teams.
CWU 80 @ CU-PDX 73
The Cavaliers had a lead and then kept it close for the most part but just couldn’t do it. Still a good game for them, especially with Davis Nuaimi being so off. Next time?
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five assists; Dom Hunter had a double double with 18 points and 10 boards; Jawan Stepney had 12 points and five assists; Sage Woodruff started and had 14 points and nine boards; Fuquan Niles had 11 points and seven boards; and off the bench Marc Rodgers had seven points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards; Christopher Edward had 14 points and 10 boards; Jarrett Gray had nine points and five boards. Off the bench Bryan Michaels had six boards; and Tre’ Vance had 12 points and seven boards.
Not the shiniest game, but definitely fun to watch, great effort across both teams, acceptable shooting numbers in regard to not being devoid of defense and yet taking smart shots for the most part. We continue to be impressed by the play of Naim Ladd -partly because he’s small, but largely just because he’s scrappy as all heck.
SPU 79 @ UAF 77
For a while there it looked like we were going to be really wrong, then it looked like we would be really wrong in the opposite direction, and then we mostly ended up right. Not that any of it matters, but it is funny. We feel so clueless than any bone the universe throws us, we’ll take.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double double with 11 boards and 22 points; Tony Miller also had a double-double with 32 points and 10 boards; and off the bench Sharif Khan had nine points and six boards.
Nook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had five boards, four assists, and three steals; Bangaly had 11 points; Zach Pederson had 17 points; and Brandon Davis had 12 points. Off the bench Michael Kluting had five boards.
Solid numbers on both sides, for the most part. The Nooks violated the Falcons in terms of shooting within the paint, but it is what it is. SPU just doesn’t have size to match with anyone because they refuse to play the two guys that have size and aren’t terrified of physical play against opponents.
SMU 49 @ UAA 55
Saints and anyone else that wants any success against UAA: DO NOT SEND SUKI WIGGS TO THE LINE. HE WILL MAKE ALMOST EVERY SINGLE ONE. DO NOT DO IT. P.S. Good job Suki!
Saint highlights: Trey Ingram had 10 points; Cole Preston had 16 points; and Jordan Kitchen had six points while going 3/4. Maybe the most alarming thing was the number of turnovers, but honestly it wasn’t a horrible game; it was just hard. Good shots, okay shooting percentages, just going against a very good team with a great home court advantage.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had five boards and was 12/14 from the line; Diante Mitchell had seven boards, four assists, and 13 points; and Corey Hammell had seven boards.
Impressive feat by the Saints. They need to pull games like this out from now on. They managed to shut down Corey Hammell AND Connor Devine, AND Spencer Svejcar, which is seriously impressive. The bad games of those guys are the good games of just about anyone else, so seriously awesome.
Great day of basketball. Numbers were good all the way around. Parity fully on display. It’s been forever since we’ve done player of the week, but that’ll be up tomorrow -very exciting stuff.
Housekeeping: The non-conference chart’ll be updated this weekend, the conference play chart will be started and updated. 55 hour work weeks -welcome to the real world; we love it.
Alaska-Fairbanks 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
NNU put up a really good fight and it was close for a long time, but UAF ultimately pulled it out on the road because when the going gets tough, the tough get going.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had 23 points and a flawless (no turnovers) full house; Zach Pederson had 15 points and 5 boards; Brandon Davis had a monster game with 18 points, four assists, and four boards; and off the bench LaDonavan Wilder had quite the interesting line with five points, four fouls, and two steals in just five minutes of play. Impressive.
Crusader highlights: Kalieb Rodriguez continues to impress with 13 points; Maurice Jones had a huge 21 points and 12 boards; and off the bench Jayden Bezzant had 16 points among other decent field stats.
Alaska-Anchorage 98 @ Central Washington 92
You may have seen our comment on twitter -UAA tried like heck to choke this game away but just couldn’t manage to do it. They were up by quite a bit and the gym was quiet and wasn’t in it, and then they didn’t stay locked down and while the Hogwarts motto is ‘Never tickle a sleeping dragon,’ the GNAC motto should probably be ‘Never tickle a sleeping Wildcat.’ If you’ve managed to keep those fans quiet, embrace it, lock down, keep going, because if you allow them to wake up your life is going to get very difficult very quickly. Life got very difficult for the Seawolves, but they managed to still get it done.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had a massive 46 points on elite shooting from the field (7-8 from three) and great shooting from the line; Diante Mitchell had 12 points; Spencer Svejcar had 21 points; Corey Hammell had a massive 16 boards; and Connor Devine had 12 points and a full house. There was very little bench play, although we noticed that Augustus was definitely a team leader off the bench -dude is firey as all heck.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had good field stats although a bad shooting night, including five boards; Dom Hunter had an amazing game against his former team, scoring 30 points and going 9/10 from the line; Marc Rodgers had 6 points off the bench; and Fuquan Niles had 14 points. Not many highlights largely because the Wildcats are so balanced and play with such good teamwork that the ball gets distributed and a lot of people score a few points, which is good. Teamwork makes the dream work.
Really fun game to be at -thanks to the Wildcats/CWU for the hospitality, and thanks to UAA for letting us scream at you. We had a blast.
Simon Fraser 66 @ Seattle Pacific 88
SFU outscored SPU. In the second half. By two points. Success kid? SPU just lost to their old coach after beating a couple of other impressive teams -don’t take it personally Clansmen, the war path was calling them.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 10 points and five boards; JJ Pankratz had 18 points and a full house; and off the bench Othniel Spence had nine points; while Graham Miller had six. Kedar Wright didn’t play, which is interesting. Not sure why, but with SFU we will say that it did probably affect the final score. When you’re coming back from the ashes, every little thing matters -trust us, we were at UW for the 0-12 season.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had a double-double with 25 points and 10 boards; Joe Rasmussen had 15 points and eight boards; off the bench Sharif Khan went 7-8 from the line; and Hunter Eisenhower had 13 points.
Conclusion: SPU is still a mess.
Western Washington 91 @ Saint Martin’s 78
Pretty much as expected. Western was up. Western got apathetic. SMU came back in the second half. Western clamped down and Western won fairly comfortably. It was what it was and we’re proud of both teams -the Vikings for recommitting and the Saints for taking advantage when they could.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had a huge game with 30 points, eight boards, and seven assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and five assists; Logan Schilder won the battle of the seven footers (that sounds a little species-est) with 12 points and five boards; Daulton Hommes continues to impress with 19 points, nine boards, and five assists; and Jeffrey Parker had 10 boards. Off the bench Brett Kingma had six points; and Trevor Janisky had seven. Very balanced -WWU appears to be missing a number of guys that would usually see a good number of minutes, so that’s interesting. Trey Drechsel needs to focus on playing within himself more -shooting doesn’t define basketball any more than throwing defines football. There’s a lot that goes on to make shooting/throwing possible, it’s okay to be elite at helping your teammates.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 6 assists; Jordan Kitchen had seven boards; Rhett Baerlocher had 11 points, eight boards, and five fouls; and Tyler Copp had 10 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points; and Rico Nuno had 11 points and five boards.
Really curious to see what the Saints do on Saturday against Simon Fraser/what Simon Fraser does against the Saints.
Overall a really fun night of basketball. We still are going to post POW stuff for last week at some point in the next day or so, so that’ll be fun. Game previews up tomorrow morning around 11am.
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.
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.