Hey look, a post is going up on time! So exciting.
CU-Portland 92 @ MSU-Billings 82
Lots of back and forth before CU-PDX finally pulled away. We’re not sure whether we were right in our prediction or not because we didn’t really predict anything -we just said we didn’t know. The teams were fairly evenly matched, although we give CU-PDX the edge (obviously) now in particular because winning on the road is much harder (theoretically) than winning at home. We’re honestly confused about MSUB -they have a ton of experience and yet…? Who knows. Technically we still haven’t seen enough just yet.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had a double-double with 19 points and 11 boards; Christopher Edward continues to impress with 18 points and eight boards; and Jarrett Gray had 11 points and seven boards. The Cavs saw some nice bench play with Bryan Michaels having 13 points and seven boards; and Latrell Wilson having 15 points.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had 14 points and six boards; Marc Matthews had nine boards; and Kamal Tall had nine points. The Yellowjackets also had fairly good bench play with Cinco Durr having 13 points; and Christian Evans dropping 18.
Congrats on a battle well-fought to both teams.
Alaska-Anchorage 67 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
So good, we almost regret not going except there were a lot of other really good games we got to watch too. What the heck is up with you Anchorage? We know Coach Oz (and most of your teammates) have used the choice words we’d rather be using, so… Imagine. Saltier than a ship’s hull after seven years at sea.
Seawolf highlights: Diante Mitchell had 22 points while going 7-8 from the line; Spencer Svjecar added 11 points; Corey Hammell was cold, so instead had a monstrous night grabbing boards ending up with 15; and Connor Devine also grabbed nine boards. Very minimal bench play. Suki was off, and although we’re sad… We’re so happy we got to see a performance like Thursday night’s in person. We’re still enthralled with it. It was incredible.
Crusader highlights: Carlos Garcia had five boards; Bouna N’Diaye had 13 points and six boards; Pol Olivier had 13 points; and Kalieb Rodriguez had 12 points and seven boards. Off the bench Marko Lepovic had seven boards; and Jayden Bezzant had 12 points.
Very hard fought game on both sides. Super proud of the Crusaders for not sending Suki to the line -that’ll get you in trouble, fast. We’re guessing the Seawolves will look forward to some revenge when the teams meet up there in their hella nice lair.
Simon Fraser 72 @ Saint Martin’s 86
The Clan were in it for a super long time and then part way through the second half, the Saints walked away and never looked back. Honestly, we’re pleased with both teams. The fact that SFU hung around for so long says they’re making progress -we think SMU is a legitimately good team this year. This isn’t a bad loss or an expected win in the slightest. The result was what it was and the Clan will be in a great position to return the favor when the Saints go visit them in Burnaby.
Clan highlights: Michael Provenzano had 21 points and five assists; JJ Pankratz had a full house with 19 points and nine boards among other numbers; and off the bench Graham Miller had seven boards.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had a whopping 11 assists; Jordan Kitchen had nine points, five boards, and five blocks in a full house; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards; Tyler Copp had a massive 29 points on 11-13 shooting from the line, and also grabbed six boards; and Fred Jorg had 12 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 12 points; and Brandon Kenilvort had a great game with 11 points and nine boards.
Fun game to watch. Congrats on the progress to the Saints and we’re seeing visible progress with the Clan, which is an improvement.
Alaska-Fairbanks 76 @ Central Washington 79
Close game all the way through. Completely evenly matched. Very fun to watch. Credit to the Wildcats’ home court advantage for this one -they get in your head. We’re Switzerland regarding the CWU games this week and yet they got in our head.
Nanook highlights: Nahjee Matlock had 17 points and eight assists; Bangaly Kaba had 21 points and eight boards on great shooting; and Zach Pederson had 11 rebounds. Off the bench Spencer Clark had five points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Naim Ladd had five boards; Dom Hunter had 33 points; Jawan Stepney had 13 points; and Fuquan Niles had six rebounds and eight blocks -um, center say whaaaat? We love it. Off the bench Chris-Michael Garret had nine points.
Again: Awesome game. Both teams are good. Congrats to the Wildcats on getting the win, thank your fans and prepare to do it without them when you’re up in Fairbanks, eh?
Western Washington 96 @ Seattle Pacific 91
………………………………….. We don’t know what to say. We love the WWU team this year because they return a bunch of guys that play in the way that we love. WWU has looked really good throughout non-con. SPU has looked iffy. Moral victory for SPU to take a good team like this to OT? Especially playing as they have been. The big difference between WWU and SPU is the fact that the WWU players all actually care, while the SPU ones largely don’t.
Viking highlights: Taylor Stafford had 28 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had seven boards; Logan Schilder had seven boards and 11 points; Daulton Hommes had seven boards and 24 points; and off the bench Travor Janisky had 10 points and seven boards.
Falcon highlights: Coleman Wooten had five fouls; Will Parker had a double-double with 13 points, 10 boards, and six assists; Tony Miller had eight boards; Joe Rasmussen had a full house with six boards amongst other numbers; Olivier-Paul Betu had 26 points and seven assists on great shooting. Off the bench Sharif Khan had five fouls; and Gavin Long had six points.
WWU out-rebounded SPU 49-37. We’re shocked they didn’t win by more/SPU got it to overtime. Hear that GNAC? SPU doesn’t rebound this year. You can do whatever you want in the paint and they’ll let you. They don’t care. Alright. Good.
Interesting and fun night of basketball. POW stuff’ll be up tomorrow morning with the usual “nominations” and “winner” posts an hour apart. On the horizon for this week include a Discussions post -including catching up with the first weekend of conference play in the other two conferences.
The GNAC conference standings chart will go up on Monday after WOU plays MSUB.
Have a blessed Sunday and Go Hawks!
First and foremost: We do not count transfers before they hatch. See the ‘Jake Ehlers’ Rule under our Table of Contents.
That being said: Are you ready? Hold onto your shorts ’cause it’s about to look ridiculous, but we promise with what we currently have to go on -it’s not. We like our justifications, which says something because often times we don’t.
1. Alaska-Anchorage. It’s not close. They’ve proven so much more with the guys they return than any other team in the conference that we’re already anticipating booking our tickets to Anchorage for the NCAA tournament. They are deep. And well-tested. Other teams return a lot, but most of them were really bad. The Seawolves basically return everyone they need. It’s fantastic. Go UAA.
Key Returners: Suki Wiggs, Corey Hammell, Sjur Berg, Spencer Svejcar, Diante Mitchell, + more.
2. Western Oregon. Again it’s not close. They return a lot. They lose a lot, but they return a lot. It’s reminiscent of SPU two years ago; yeah, they lost a few major guys but they have guys that have been in waiting that we think aren’t going to miss a beat. With their success, we anticipate them getting the right transfers. They should also procure a trip back to the Regional without much issue.
Key Returners: Tanner Omlid, Alex Roth, Janvier Alaby.
3. Saint Martin’s. This is where it gets to be a complete mess. We ultimately picked SMU because they have a for sure proven center -you gotta have someone that can bang down low. They return plenty of other stuff too and then also proved that this team, keyword team, can dig in and win when it matters down the stretch.
Key Returners: Fred Jorg, Tyler Copp, Trey Ingram, Rhett Baerlocher, and Jordan Kitchen, + more.
4. Western Washington. They return just about everybody needed on a team that was a major disappointment. We think this team is addition by subtraction. They return a core of guys that all try really freaking hard every single second they’re in the game. Do they lose height? Yes. Does it matter? Not necessarily. You can play short as long as every single guy is committed to playing hard 110% of the time.
Key Returners: Trey Drechsel, Jeffrey Parker, Brad Wallace, Isom Brown, Evan Scholten, Brett Kingma.
5. MSU-Billings. Another team that returns a ton but did very little last year. We think that’s going to change because all of the guys have a year in the system and with MSUB it seems to be feast or famine; either they’re playing cohesively and are a good team, or they are a flaming pile of …. fill in the blank. We think this year is going to be an up year.
Key Returners: Kendall Denham, Marc Matthews, Jace Anderson, Emmanuel Olufemi, Preston Beverly.
6. Alaska-Fairbanks. The Nanooks owe this spot purely to Bangaly. Never underestimate a good power forward. The Nooks also have a good home [tundra] advantage. They don’t return much, but Bangaly was able to create like Elsa (from ‘Frozen’) last year and brought tons of energy. They were surprisingly good and we think he’s going to give them a lot to work with once again.
Key Returners: Bangaly Kaba, Zach Pederson, Brandon Davis.
7. Central Washington. They don’t return much, but they do have a good home court advantage. We also really do believe in Terry Dawn.
Key Returners: Terry Dawn, Naim Ladd, Drake Rademacher.
8. Northwest Nazarene. Prime example of a bad team that returns a lot, so they have to be a little better, right?
Key Returners: Nikola Prvulj, Bouna N’Diaye, Pol Olivier, Marko Lepovic.
9. CU-Portland. This is mostly our faith in their coaching staff. They won a lot on the NAIA level so at some point it will start transferring to the D2 level, we hope. They don’t return much, but maybe?
Key Returners: Drew Martin, Tyler Gutierrez, Davis Nuaimi.
10. Simon Fraser. We were going to put them last per usual and then we realized if you made us pick between facing Hidde Vos and JJ Pankratz or Joe Rasmussen and Will Parker, we’d pick the latter two; thus, SFU gets the nod. Their culture desperately needs a re-haul, and honestly we’re starting to kind of feel bad for them. We know they wouldn’t eliminate men’s football and basketball, but seriously: they have so many other sports that are actually good, that we feel like those two sports are just a big money sink.
Key Returners: JJ Pankratz, Hidde Vos.
11. Seattle Pacific. Someone asked us about our projected starters and we intentionally left out Will Parker because we refuse to accept that he has any business still playing for SPU, much less starting for the Falcons. Joe Rasmussen is in that same boat, but 6’8 guys are far less expendable than 5’10 ones. This is going to be a mess and only partly because of the coaching change.
Key Returners: [former assistant, now Head Coach] Grant Leep.
If anyone wants to talk us off the ledge, commiserate, or jump for joy with us (we are genuinely excited for the Seawolves and very curious about the land Wolves), leave a comment!
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.
Should there have been a post yesterday? Maybe. Probably. But a minor concussion got in the way of it, so… That was exciting and terrifying; if our posts this week seem a little off, that’s why.
On the agenda for today: The first Cenazar game, the MSUB/Carroll game, neutralizing Suki, rankings, and power rankings.
Central Washington 98 @ Northwest Nazarene 72
We’d say this was expected, but at this point no result is expected. While we knew the Wildcats were more than capable of doing it, at the same time we knew that NNU is totally capable of keeping it close, if not winning, so what on the surface feels like an obvious result actually isn’t.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had nine points; Gary Jacobs had 18 points and five boards; Joe Stroud had 16 points, six boards, and a full house; Devin Matthews had 13 points and five assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 15 points in fourteen minutes; Drake Rademacher had eight points; Jerome Bryant had seven points and five boards; and Desmond Ross had five points.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had 17 points and eight boards; Bouna had 14 points and nine boards. Off the bench Nikola Prvulj had 12 points; Leoor Konenkov had six points; and Marko Lepovic had five points.
Overall a pretty typical story; it went back and forth for a while and then CWU put it away and won convincingly.
We’ll be brief: Billings lost to Carroll by 13 playing their usual guys their usual minutes. Carroll is a really good NAIA team that only has one loss to a fellow NAIA school and is currently undefeated in three conference games.
That being said: WHAT THE HECK, BILLINGS. DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU JUST DID TO ANY CREDIBILITY WE WERE HOPING TO HAVE?! Granted Carroll is contemplating a move to D2 and so we kind of assume that’s how they’re recruiting -we haven’t heard the latest in that regard- but we’d love to have them in our conference. The deadline to submit an NCAA application for the year is February 1st, so… If they are, we’ll hear something soon.
We got to see Suki game planned for, for the first time in-conference. We’ll get more chances in the coming weeks -we’re really excited to see what Jamie Stevens, Jim Shaw does, and what Tony Dominguez does. There are a lot of great coaches in our conference, but those guys have the player personnel to actually accomplish what they want, theoretically, so we look it as a mark on them as for what their teams do against him. It sounds kind of ridiculous to discuss game planning for a player -ideally you play your game and they play theirs- but Suki is so much the focus of that offense that it would be stupid not to contemplate the dos and don’ts in regard to Anchorage.
This past week we got to see what Ryan Looney did and his strategy of letting Suki do what he wanted and then have his guys avoid fouling him at all costs was brilliant. Suki goes to the line WAY too much and he takes so many shots but usually only shoots like 35%. The Falcons are known for being a team that’s incredibly good defensively. If the Falcons hadn’t choked in regard to rebounding (among other things) it would have been fine. We liked the strategy, but because it’s what we probably would have done, we’re really interested to see what the other coaches come up with.
7. Cal Poly Pomona -lost to UCSD. Dropped two spots. Seems fair.
10. Cal Baptist -Didn’t play, but moved up due to the losses of other teams.
14. Western Oregon -Lost to CWU. Dropped 11 spots. Sadly they likely fell this far because of the conference chaos that happened; it would be one thing to drop a game and have SPU beat the Alaska schools convincingly; it’s entirely different to have them get swept. SOS matters and WOU didn’t have too much of it as it was, and now their opponent that does have some form of it got beat twice.
17. UC San Diego -Beat CPP, lost to Humboldt State; dropped four spots. The four spots feels right, but at the same time… CPP is still ranked so highly. It’s likely on some level reverberating because WOU lost to CWU and SPU lost to the Alaska schools. It’s all SOS. It’s all connected, particularly in regard to the west region.
20. Chico State -WHY IS CHICO STATE STILL RANKED?!?!?! Their schedule doesn’t have ANYTHING on it, except a loss to Seattle Pacific. Put Humboldt in this spot, if nothing else.
24. Seattle Pacific -Lost to UAA & UAF. We’re honestly really shocked they’re still ranked.
Others receiving votes: Azusa Pacific (8), Humboldt State (5), Alaska-Fairbanks (3), Alaska-Anchorage (2). Humboldt should be ranked; Chico State should merely be receiving votes; Azusa Pacific 50/50; We’re not sure why CU-Irvine isn’t getting any votes at all; and then the Alaska schools are benefitting from the Falcon Effect.
This week we feel the need to do a power ranking.
1. Alaska Anchorage. Beat Seattle Pacific, somewhat convincing win at SMU.
2. Alaska Fairbanks. Again, beat Seattle Pacific, survived SMU.
3. Central Washington. Beat Western Oregon, avoided the upset against Concordia-Portland. Their near loss is why they’re so low.
4. MSU-Billings. Good wins over SFU & WWU; succeeded in playing their own game. This doesn’t take the Carroll game into account.
5. CU-Portland. Got their first conference win against NNU, almost got a win at CWU, good place to be. Lots of hope.
6. Western Oregon. Picked up a loss at CWU, but killed NNU. Upsets were going to happen, we knew that, it’s not the biggest deal. They don’t have something to be really excited about from this last weekend, but spiraling isn’t a concern because it was just one game. Totally fine.
7. Simon Fraser. Mainly because it’s hard for this fanbase to spiral downward because there really are no expectations what-so-ever. Kinda neutral.
8. Saint Martin’s. The way they lost these games is wholly unacceptable for any program. The lack of fundamentals and effort was disturbing. Why are these guys playing college basketball at all? The fact that they don’t want to was clearly on display particularly against Anchorage. They had every chance to win that game and they didn’t.
9. Northwest Nazarene. How many expectations can you really have and yet… They’ve shown flashes of brilliance and they stay with teams for a full half before getting blown out, so if they know they can do that, how do they let themselves get blown out?
10. Western Washington. This is Tony Dominguez’s third year with his own guys and he’s still not contending for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament. The play of the guys was uninspired and we just don’t know what to do with this team.
11. Seattle Pacific. They know what we think. They know what we know. It is what it is. This is where they belong.
Game previews’ll be up tomorrow morning at the usual time.
It’s a day late, but… We were planning and plotting things *strokes beard.* First though, let’s talk about the disaster that was the latest Northwest Nazarene game.
Northwest Nazarene 50 @ San Francisco State 81
And yes: It was that bad. It was that bad throughout the whole game. The number of sarcastic jokes we made was higher than the number of shots NNU made, not that it took much. A disaster to the Nth degree. See, this is what happens when you do things like not lose to Dominican -we start actually critiquing your play and treating you like you should be playing somewhat adequately. And yes: The win against Dominican has been down-graded to simply a non-loss, rather than a win, because the Crusaders didn’t win: the Penguins beat themselves because why would they wake up to play a team like NN-who?
Highlights: Bouna played -40- minutes!! And had 10 points. Off the bench Joel Devastey had 11 points; and Marko Lepovic had nine points. The rest of the guys made too many stupid mistakes (turnovers and terrible shooting percentages) to count.
Basically what this game taught is if you feel the need to quadruple team Bouna, you’ll be just fine because no one else can do anything anyway. You broke our hearts NNU, how dare you.
In better news… An unexpected Blog Blitz is coming!! Because this non-conference was such a complete wash, here are some of the in-depth discussions we have planned for Christmas week:
- The West vs. the West
- The West vs. the Rest
- Discussing the Top 25, post non-conference. Theoretically a new one will come out this week.
- The Transitive Property of D2 Basketball.
- Christmas Shenanigans!
- GNAC K-W-L, non-conference edition.
- Non-Conference POW acknowledgements -who we’re excited about, what we want to see more of, etc.
And then we’ll be back to the normal schedule of discussions, game previews, etc.
Finally: We will be acknowledging Christmas. Christmas is an American holiday. Christians co-opted the trees from pagans, Christ from the Ancient Egyptians, and Santa Claus from the Turks. There is nothing sacred about Christmas unless you think of it as a melting pot holiday and a reminder that the USA has been and should continue to be made strong and great because of diversity, not in spite of it.
And the GNAC sweeps the day!
As noted: We really like(d) the team the Penguins (that is Dominican) had been putting forth and then… The Crusaders go and procure some strength of schedule!! Being wrong has never been so right. Actually, it was last year when we were wrong then about NNU too, so… We’re comfortable with being wrong in situations like this.
Dominican 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 88 in OT
Really, really good game. Tons of back and forth. Both teams ended up with 44 rebounds a piece, with DU holding just a slight edge in terms of turnovers; the Crusaders had 11 vs. the Penguins 9. Still, NNU pulled it out and we could not be more proud of them.
Highlights: Joel Devastey had five boards and 15 points; BOUNA had NINE BOARDS, THREE ASSISTS, one steal, SIX BLOCKS, three fouls, and 17 points for the full house; Nikola Pruvulj had five boards and 14 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright played 44 out of 45 minutes (ouch), had five boards, six assists, and a whopping 26 points on not bad shooting. Off the bench: Marko Lepovic had four points and four boards.
Honestly, we didn’t get to watch this game -we simply followed along with the stats, but from what we gather NNU played some of their best defense. There was a good bit of questionable shooting on behalf of Dominican. While it’s a great victory to get and it definitely starts pushing the Crusaders into the conversation of 5-7 in the GNAC, the fact is we lean toward it saying more about Dominican than it does about NNU. It’s good to see that the Crusaders learned from their Alaskan expedition, but now let’s see them pummel CSULA.
Azusa Pacific 54 @ Seattle Pacific 71
SPU led by 14 or so throughout most of it. They started off with a 9-0 run, which was cool. They got more bench rotation than anyone anticipated, but it was such a highly anticipated game that they still didn’t want to rotate too much. Maybe the biggest parts of this game is to take a look at the Falcons’ defense and the Cougars’ ability to rebound. The Falcons missed a lot of them, which in a sense makes sense. If it had been closer, we feel like SPU would have been a bit more tenacious at the boards but because they led by 10+ for the vast majority maybe it didn’t seem as pressing. So that tells you that APU put forth a great effort, but SPU keeps chugging along.
Highlights: Bryce Leavitt had seven boards and 11 points; Gilles Dierickx had eight boards, four blocks, and 19 points; Mitch Penner had five boards and 16 points; Garrett Swanson had eight points. Off the bench Nathan Streufert had six points on 3/3 shooting; and Joe Rasmussen threw his weight around picking up four fouls in 12 minutes.
Overall a great day of basketball for the GNAC. Congrats to both the Falcons and Crusaders on a couple of well-earned victories over quality Pac-West foes.
Game day previews will be up tomorrow for NNU/CSULA and WOU/UCSD, and then we’ll go ahead and probably do POW on Wednesday because SFU, WWU, SPU, MSUB, and WOU all play a mere one D2 opponent this week and so it seems fair enough. With NNU, we’ll figure something out; whether it’s averages or just the best game is yet to be decided.