Tonight was arguably the best night of conference basketball we’ve seen this year and we can’t wait to talk about it, so let’s jump right in.
Seattle Pacific 81 @ Northwest Nazarene 71
Was it as bad as it could have been? Absolutely not. Was it good for the Falcons? Not at all. And with that we can’t even say it was good for the Crusaders because that’s just disrespectful. Congrats and good on the Crusaders for continuing to press on.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt finally bounced back on his shooting and had 13 points, seven boards, and six assists; Gilles Dierickx had seven boards; Mitch Penner continued on his tear and had 27 points and seven boards. Off the bench Coleman Wooten had 11 points and three boards on perfect shooting; Gabe Colosimo had five points; and Joe Rasmussen had six boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna had 15 points; Detwon Rogers had 25 points and seven boards. Pretty much it.
Simon Fraser 90 @ CU-Portland 70
So SFU finally clicked. We knew it would happen at some point. Concordia had been looking better, but… apparently not.
Clan highlights: Andrew Williamson had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 17 points; Michael Harper had 11 boards. Off the bench Oshea Gairey had 22 points and six assists; and Hidde Vos had 15 points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had six boards and four blocks along with a full house; Latrell Wilson had 17 points; James Phillips had 12 points; Riley Hawken had 14 points and eight boards. Off the bench John Erickson had seven points; and Dennis Ahana had 12 points.
Basically not too much bad shooting on behalf of the Cavs, but questionable rebounding and a zillion turnovers will do you in every time. Congrats to the Clan on their first D2 win of the year.
Western Washington 85 @ Western Oregon 90
It happened pretty much as expected. Western Washington proved thoroughly they could hang and then started playing selfishly while Western Oregon continued to play team basketball and Western Oregon got a much deserved victory.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 35 points and five rebounds; Kyle Impero had 12 points and nine boards; Trey Drechsel had 21 points and nine boards. No bench play what-so-ever. Three guys can win if everyone else is playing team basketball; the Vikings don’t.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 points; Julian Nichols had a double-double with 17 points and 10 assists, while going 9/10 from the line; Tanner Omlid had 11 points and eight boards; ANDY AVGI had a MASSIVE 34 points and 14 boards. Off the bench Alex Roth had five points.
Really ridiculously proud of the Wolves. They got a major test as number one and overcame it. Good job and enjoy slaughtering SFU.
Saint Martin’s 84, Central Washington 77 in OT
This is a big win, don’t care who you are nor what your record is, because winning at Central is hard, they have a huge home court advantage. That being said: This game was close almost the entire time. There was a bit there when SMU was up by quite a lot, but we didn’t buy it for a second. Not because of SMU; simply because no team in our conference can seemingly hold onto a lead and so of course SMU was no exception, but they still went on to get the job done in overtime. Wow.
Saint highlights: Jordan Kitchen had three steals; Rhett Baerlocher had eight boards, four steals, and rounded it out with a full house; Tyler Copp had five boards, five assists, and 21 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 18 points, four boards, and three assists; and Brandon Kenilvort had 14 points and four boards.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had seven boards; Joe Stroud had 11 boards and 23 points for the double-double; Devin Matthews had seven boards, 10 assists, and 10 points for the near triple-double; and off the bench Naim Ladd hit his stride, scoring 24 points.
The Saints were without Fred Jorg, which oddly enough we thought made a lot of sense in terms of why they won. Not sure if the Widlcats got to game plan for it, but that would explain why Joe had great stats and no onelse really did; game planning gone to waste.
Alaska-Fairbanks 71 @ Alaska-Anchorage 76
Close to the point of insanity the whole game. It was amazing. Both teams are really good. Sort of not surprised Anchorage won because their den is hard to penetrate.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had 18 points, six rebounds, and five assists; Travante Williams had seven boards and shot 100% on six free throws; Brandon Davis had 17 points; Almir had 12 points. No real bench play.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards; Corey Hammell had 15 boards; Drew Petersen had 14 points; Brian McGill had 28 points and five assists while going 9/10 from the line; and Christian Leckband had five points off the bench.
Great jobs to the Seawolves for containing Almir -huge, huge, huge. Great rivalry game, definite blessing to get to follow along with. We’re so jealous of the geographic rival thing. So much more fun than anything else because you also actually like each other opposed to just the pure hatred rivalries.
Aaaah, there are only five regular season conference game days left. It’s odd because now we’re alumni and so it’s like “well duh we’re coming back” and yet at the same time… The idea of eight months of no GNAC basketball still makes us really sad, especially because tonight was so amazing. Game previews’ll be up tomorrow at 11am.
This post is going up on time even if we have to tie ourselves to our chair with an IV drip of glucose to keep us awake.
Seattle Pacific 74 @ Alaska-Anchorage 71
We keep inverting that score because we still can’t believe the Falcons won. They were at Anchorage, incredibly young team, terrible free throw shooting, atrocious rebounding, they lost to UAA at home… The reasons go on. They got it done.
Falcon highlights: Brendan Carroll had 14 points; Gilles Dierickx had 13 points and eight boards; and Mitch Penner had 24 points and six boards. Coming off the bench once again, Coleman Wooten had 12 points.
Seawolf highlights: Spencer Svejcar had a huge game with 23 points; Corey Hammell had eight boards; Brian McGill was back in the starting line-up and finished with 14 points and six assists. Off the bench Christian Leckband had five points; and Damien Fulp had seven points.
Down by 16 at one point, the Seawolves fought until the very end and almost had it. We sense that revenge may be coming in the conference tournament if that match-up happens because this was a weird one (although typical for SPU) where the Falcons got a lead and then gave up and then almost lost but not quite. Youth. No real experienced leaders. Hmmm. Congrats to Anchorage on a game well played; great sportsmanship, made their free throws, did all the right things. Very good team. If you didn’t look at our Late Night Hoops post, we currently have them projected as the 7th seed in a very crowded and talented west region, so we know just how good they are.
Central Washington 68 @ Western Oregon 85
We get the feeling that we care about that score more than most CWU fans. It was close for a while and then WOU opened it up through amazing rebounding and slice and dice shooting and it was all over.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had five boards and 17 points; Devin Matthews had six boards and 13 points. Off the bench Naim Ladd had four boards and Desmond Ross had six points.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had 17 points; Julian Nichols had six boards and eight assists; Tanner Omlid had nine points; Jordan Wiley had 10 points and six boards; and the Always Amazing Andy (that’s not sarcastic, we promise!) had seven boards, four assists, four steals, and 27 points. Wow. “Off the bench” Alex Roth had 10 points. He’s not a bench player, he’s a 6th starter, although not sixth man because sixth man is defined and Alex and Tanner keep switching. They’re both starters.
Fun game if you’re a Wolves fan, not so fun if you’re a Wildcat but if you have to lose to someone -WOU is the team that it’s not as painful because they are really, really good. We officially feel like we can call them the #1 team in the region at this point, which is very exciting. Chaos has reigned but since the loss at CWU the Wolves have been consistent in getting it done.
Northwest Nazarene 70 @ CU-Portland 72
Mike Wright took the final shot, and it was the right decision because the Cavs defended Bouna so well. The Cavs targeted Bouna, almost to their own detriment, but ultimately it was the right decision and they got the close fought victory.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had seven boards; Bouna had five boards; Detwon Rogers had nine boards and a whopping 25 points on good shooting; Mike Wright served as the defensive rock but ultimately ended up with five boards, four steals, and 13 points. Off the bench Kyle Bailey had five points.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had nine points and five boards; Latrell Wilson had 10 points; RILEY HAWKEN HAD 12 BOARDS AND 17 POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He also had a full house, just throwing it out there. Off the bench Jace Cates had nine points; Davis Nuaimi had 10 points; and Brandon McGurkin had seven points.
Fun game to watch, terrifying regardless as to who you were rooting for. We get to root for both teams, so… We just got to watch a really fun basketball game, which is awesome, so thank-you to both teams for that.
MSU-Billings 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
We keep waiting for SFU to upset someone and they almost did with this one. They even had the lead for a bit (16+ minutes because half time, HA), which was good, except MSUB was without two of their best players so… Guess SFU could argue this was the first game they had Max Barkeley in a super long time so they should have won easily. Or something. Maybe that makes it worse.
Yellowjacket highlights: Preston Beverly had a double double with 12 boards and 22 points; Marc Matthews bounced back with five assists and 20 points; Kamal Tall started and wound up with 10 points. Off the bench Sven Jeuschede had five points; and Cade Alcorn had seven points and six rebounds.
Neither Emmanuel played and with Emmanuel Olufemi we wonder about passport issues; back when SPU had Modou, he couldn’t cross the border, so… Who knows. We’ll be honest: We’re not intimately familiar with the politics between Canada and various African nations and what the requirements are for temporary travel between them, so it could be a coincidence.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had nine points and five boards; Michael Harper had nine points and six boards; Gibran Sewani had 14 points; and JJ Pankratz dodged out on some friendly fire to finish with 17 points and nine boards. Off the bench Max Barkeley had 13 points -good to see him back in the game; we’d heard concussion rumors, so very relieving to see him playing again.
Saint Martin’s 77 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 85
Don’t let the score fool you -this game was close through the entirety. Just when we were ready to throw in the towel and think the Saints weren’t coming back, they’d get it to within three or four before Mariner’ing it up again. Yes: we just made the Mariners, and their propensity for letting their supporters down, into a verb. It’s like Couging It but maybe a little bit less heartbreaking because you accept it ploddingly; there’s not nearly so much hope involved.
Saint highlights: Cole Preston had 11 points and eight assists; Rhett Baerlocher had five boards; Fred Jorg managed to eek out a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards, plus/including a full house. Off the bench TREY INGRAM had 14 points, largely thanks to going 100% from the line. We say it all the time: Make your free throws. He did it and we’re glad to see him back in the boxscore. Brandon Kenilvort also added five boards.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly Kaba had five boards; Travante Williams had a monster game with 22 points and nine boards; Brandon Davis had 12 points; and Almir epitomized what a center should do and had 22 points on 9/11 shooting -he also broke the stereotype, going above and beyond, grabbing two assists and THREE steals. Off the bench Alex Duncan had eight points; and Zach Pedersen had seven points.
Very Rubato game. Kind of an uneasy feeling in a sense, maybe in a good way, because you never knew who was going to win and it was up for grabs for so much of the time, but you ultimately really expected UAF to start walking away and just as they would, SMU would get back in, before UAF finally put it away in the last 30 seconds shooting fouls. But you wanted to think they were putting it away in the last two minutes, but SMU made shots down the stretch. Great, hard fought win for the Nooks.
Interesting and fun day of basketball.
If you were with us on Twitter, you inevitably saw as we watched chaos go down in the Pac-West. You also likely made note of by far the most unsettling game of the night with CCAA heavyweights UCSD and Cal Poly Pomona finishing in that order with a score of 41-35. Seriously. That happened. It was revolting and incredible, although we’re yet to watch it because there were actual good close games going on. Both teams shot right around 25% from the field. We’re not sure yet if it was never ending bad decisions or legitimately really good defense on behalf of both teams. Maybe both. We can’t decide if we like it better or worse than regulation games that have both teams finish with over 90 points a piece. To be discussed on Wednesday.
POW nominations will be up at 10am tomorrow, with the winner announced at 11.
Some interesting games last night… Let’s discuss.
WWU 87 @ CWU 84
We know that’s not the official score, but CWU deserves the credit that comes from not fouling. We’ve been really good about not discussing reffing this year and just saying “Good teams overcome bad/inconsistent refs, it’s just part of the game,” but… We’re going to talk about it for this game. We were there. We were sitting by the family of a CWU player, although never bothered to find out who they were related to, and it was very agreed that the reffing was just plain weird. In the first half the game was stopped for a good three minutes only for the refs to assess a foul on one player on each team. Oookay then. Just let the guys play. The second half there was a point where CWU started heading toward center court and it looked like the refs were actually going to do a second tip off with like 17 minutes left in the second half (what???). At the end with like two seconds left, CWU shoots a three to try and tie, it misses, the Vikings get the board, it didn’t appear that CWU fouled, the clock runs out, the refs call time and everyone is stuck in the twilight zone. They determine that there’s 1.4 seconds left on the clock and a Viking player goes to the line, shoots two free throws, makes them, the Wildcats get the ball back for the halfcourt lob and of course miss what wouldn’t have even tied the game anyway. There was no point to those fouls and the CWU players were aware, hence not really appearing to do anything. Beyond strange.
Thanks to both teams for allowing us to witness such a fun game. Y’all played your hearts out and it was great; the epitome of what a rivalry game should be.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 31 points; Kyle Impero had 12 points and five boards; Trey Drechsel had 12 points and eight boards; Jeffrey Parker had nine boards and went 7/7 from the line. Off the bench Evan Scholten had six points.
Wildcat highlights: Gary Jacobs had 24 points and 10 boards; Joe Stroud had 34 points and seven boards -still not himself, but much more of what we remember; and off the bench Drake Rademacher had six boards.
Really fun game overall. The Wildcats were up by 10, the Vikings got back in it and walked away, being up by something of 17 points. Just at the point of what would be no return, the Vikings collapsed and the Wildcats took advantage, coming all the way back to take the lead, before the Vikings decided that it was not to be and made their shots down the stretch. Congrats to the Wildcats on a game well played.
SFU 77 @ NNU 82
At least the Clan is consistent, holding teams to 82 points per game. Relatively interesting game, and we’ll say that the Crusaders played down to their competition because it would be odd to say that the Clan played up when the Crusaders are really only a hair above them. Strangeness.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had 13 points, seven boards, and four assists; JJ Pankratz had a double double with 13 points and 10 boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had 13 points and five boards; and Gibran Sewani had 11 points and five boards.
Crusader highlights: Bouna N’Diaye went 16/18 from the line; Nikola Prvulj had nine points; Detwon Rogers had a double double with 10 points and 10 boards; Leoor Konenkov made his debut in the starting line-up and finished with nine points; and Mike Wright had 20 points, six boards, and zero turnovers. Off the bench Joel Devastey had five boards and five points; and Pol Olivier had six points.
It was every bit of the mess anticipated, but a sincere congrats to Mike Wright and his zero turnovers. We’re proud of you.
SMU 77 @ MSUB 60
Uhhhh, we’re not gonna lie: We didn’t see this coming. And what’s really intriguing is that it was a bunch of players having above average games; not anyone having a great game. With MSUB it was a bunch of players having bad games, except we’re kind of mad because… They chose to have bad games. You can always distribute and work together and they didn’t. Fatigue. Overlook factor “We just went toe to toe with SPU, SMU isn’t going to be a big deal.” Uh, yes, they were. We’ve liked the Saints all season, part of the reason we’re so easily disappointed with them. We know how good they are better than just about anybody.
Saints highlights: Each starter besides Fred (Tyler, Rhett, Jordan, and Cole) had seven points; Fred Jorg had 27 points and eight boards. Off the bench Michael Painter had five points; and Brandon Kenilvort and Trey Ingram chipped in seven points a piece. Yes. Six players had seven points. Darn you Michael, one more field goal make and there would have been seven players with seven points. We’re not sure if we’ve ever seen a bigger display of balance and seven is a magical number after all.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had 10 points; Marc Matthews had 13 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 10 boards; Jordan Perry had six boards; Emmanuel Olufemi had five boards; and off the bench Preston Beverley had 10 points.
Scratching our heads at the Yellowjackets but really happy with the Saints. Keep it rolling boys!
UAF 64 @ WOU 69
What is it with the Wolves letting teams creep back in? At least they seemingly learned their lesson from the SPU game and while the creep comes in they hold them off enough. Good job Wolves.
Nook highlights: Bangaly had seven boards; Travante went 7/7 from the line and had five boards; Brandon Davis had five boards and 15 points; and Almir had 10 points and six boards. Off the bench Isaac Ladines had six boards.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had five assists; Julian Nichols had 13 points, six boards, and four assists; Jordan Wiley had eight boards and 17 points; and Andy Avgi had 24 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks. No real bench play, although Alex Roth added 20 minutes of leg relief.
Very, very tense game. The Wolves went up, the Nooks fought back, the Wolves held on but it was terrifying if you’re part of the Wolfpack.
UAA 90 @ CU-PDX 71
That score looks exactly as we predicted, but oh gee oh my it was not. The Cavs were in it and managed to keep Suki out of it for a very, very long time. We were excited to look at the sheet because with how silent he was, we assumed he was in foul trouble. Nope. We keep waiting for someone to do that, but it’s yet to be done. Good effort on the Cavs for staying in it; need more legs. Legs, legs, legs. The last five minutes were a disaster.
Seawolf highlights: Suki had 24 points and seven boards; Tayler Thompson had 11 points and six boards; COREY HAMMELL HAD 19 POINTS AND 17 BOARDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shhh, we’re building a statue of him, don’t interrupt our focus! Christian Leckband had five points off the bench; and Brian McGill had a whopping 17 points off the bench.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had five boards and 21 points; John Erickson had six assists against his old team; Latrell Wilson had 23 points; Riley Hawken had seven boards. No real bench play.
Fun game. We have so much hope for the Cavaliers -we see the progress they’re making, we really do, but we also know how good the Seawolves are. We discussed it a little bit on Thursday night, but somehow we think we’ll end up talking about them once again on Wednesday, so… That’ll be good.
Great night of basketball.
The standings page has been updated. Not sure what we’re doing to honor the ‘half way’ mark this year. If this week ends up actually calm, mid-season superlatives and all-conference teams and whatnot should go up -but no promises. Maybe some extra discussions? Get in the comments or shoutout on twitter if there’s something you want us to talk about.
POW stuff will be up in the AM.
Yet another week where there are more spots than there were guys who earned them. Still, while there was some bad play -there was also some really, really good play; notably Joe Stroud’s SIX blocks, which we felt like didn’t get enough hype during the regular post.
UAF: Donated to Suki Wiggs -pick up boards, make your free throws; Suki is the epitome of consistency in those two crucial areas.
UAA: Spencer Svejcar -Came up huge both nights, in particular the OT win at rival UAF.
SFU: Michael Harper -seems like he finally found his groove, great game against CU-Portland.
WWU: Trey Dreschel -started coming off the bench again, dominated thoroughly.
SPU: Bryce Leavitt -not a good week for Bryce, but saved himself by distributing rather than shooting.
SMU: Jordan Kitchen -went 0-6 from the line but was so productive in regard to rebounding and assorted other ‘helper’ statistics that it managed to negate.
MSUB: N/A —> Donated to Oshea Gairey of SFU.
CWU: N/A —> eligible for donation, no numbers.
NNU: N/A —> eligible for donation, no numbers.
CU-P: Tyler Gutierrez -did what needed to be done against SFU.
WOU: Andy Avgi -because Andy gonna Andy, although WWU did a better job than expected at defending him.
Congrats to all at a good week of basketball played, winner’ll be up in an hour.
Alright, here we go, up as close to noon as could be managed while watching this mess of a Seahawks game.
Northwest Nazarene 52 @ Seattle Pacific 69
The game was never truly in doubt for the Falcons and yet it never seemed as though they really pulled away either. There were points that had them up by 20, but aside from those few, 13 seemed to be the average spread. It was what it was.
Crusader highlights: Detwon Rogers had 13 points; Mike Wright had six boards. Off the bench Pol Olivier had five points.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had another “quiet” game with nine boards, six assists, three steals, and five points; Gilles Dierickx had a monster game with 17 boards and 20 points. Lots of really bad shooting from everyone else, so congrats to the Crusaders on achieving that.
The winner of the bake sale that inevitably occurs when Brendan Carroll and Mike Wright get together ultimately is Brendan –he picked up a mere one, while Mike had three. We consider Mike only having three turnovers to be a miracle, so he’s at least got that going for him. Brendan having a mere one, we don’t know what to say; Brendan usually only chokes out turnovers during big games, so it is what it is.
Western Oregon 78 @ Western Washington 58
The good news is this is exactly what we wanted to see from WOU –it was close the entire time, which was good from a WWU perspective- but WOU walked it up and put it away. WWU did an okay job containing Andy; not great, not horrible, but passable, and WOU was far better at containing Kyle Impero than the Vikings were at containing Avgi, so… There’s your answer. Brett Kingma… He’s not technically our problem, but he is still becoming a thorn in our side.
Wolf highlights: Julian Nichols had five boards, seven assists, and fifteen points; Tanner Omlid entered into the starting line-up in place of Alex Roth and had a full house including seven boards and nine points; Jordan Wiley had seven boards; and Andy Avgi had 19 points and six boards in some of the most minutes we’ve seen him play. Off the bench Alex Roth had a huge 18 points on good shooting, along with five boards. The rest of the bench didn’t do too much, even in regard to spelling the starters –they played a collective 11 minutes.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 17 points; Kyle Impero had five assists; Trey Drechsel had eight boards and 16 points; Evan Scholten had six points. We’ve been debating whether or not to start pushing for Trey to start and we’re starting to lean toward it just because Mac is such a mess. Mix it up. Trey isn’t that big, but you don’t technically need a center and really what you want to do is get your best guys on the floor, regardless of size, particularly when your season is looking like WWU’s.
Maybe the most interesting thing is that despite the eventual lead WOU never rotated players. Makes complete and total sense –the Vikings are always going to be a threat- but still, with them having such an off year maybe we expected a little rotation by Jim Shaw? Still, shows you how much respect the Wolves have for the Vikings.
CU-Portland 76 @ Simon Fraser 72
CU-PDX won the battle, that’s all we can really say. Did they do it by the skin of their teeth? Absolutely. Did it get done? Yup. And that’s what ultimately matters, so good on the Cavaliers.
Cavalier highlights: Drew Martin had 12 boards; Riley Hawken had six boards and 11 points; Tyler Gutierrez stepped up big with six boards and 16 points; Latrell Wilson made 9/10 free throws. No bench play now that Riley’s starting.
Clan highlights: Michael Harper had six boards, five assists, and 15 points; Gibran Sewani had 13 points and nine boards; JJ Pankratz had 10 boards. Off the bench Tyrell Lewin had eight points.
Was it ugly? Yes. But it happened, and again: The Cavaliers scraped up a ‘W,’ so regardless as to what it looked like: It was in fact a victory.
Central Washington 75 @ Saint Martin’s 71
The Saints are like the Mariners; they love finding new ways to let their fans down. We’d be moderately sick to our stomach, except we’ve come to expect this out of them. Maybe they’ll find their consistency against SPU on Tuesday? Hmmm. CWU got it done, good on the Wildcats.
Wildcat highlights: Joey Roppo had 12 points; Gary Jacobs had ten boards; JOE STROUD was back in the groove finishing with 20 points and eight boards; Devin Matthews had six assists. Off the bench Naim Ladd had 12 points and four boards; and Drake Rademacher had seven points.
Saints highlights: Cole Preston had nine points; Rhett Baerlocher had 15 points; Fred Jorg had 21 points and seven boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards.
Congrats to the Wildcats on procuring a hard fought victory.
Alaska-Anchorage 100 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 91 in OT
THIS IS WHAT RIVALRIES ARE ALL ABOUT!!!!!!! Hooooly rancid whale blubber, we are so proud of both of these teams we cannot even begin to get into it. We always say anything can and will happen in a rivalry game, although this time these teams were so closely matched that this feels like a legitimately solid victory for the Seawolves; we’re really proud of it, we really and truly are and the Nooks should take pride in that –serving as a wholly legitimate victory. Pretty cool stuff.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 11 boards; Spencer Svejcar had 22 points; Corey Hammell had 11 points and nine boards –not one of his better games, but isn’t cool we can say that? Such a good basketball player. Off the bench Christian Leckband had nine points; and Brian McGill served as the MVP going 16/16 from the line to finish with 25 points, six boards, and three assists.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 14 points and nine boards; Joe Slocum had six assists; Travante Williams had 10 boards and four assists; and Brandon Davis had 21 points on bordering on great shooting. Off the bench Neal Chavez had eight points; and Zach Pederson had eight points and four boards.
Really exciting game with some truly awful shooting and very little defense, but… Oh well. Fun is fun, right?
Good night of basketball, we feel like we’ve found our love of it again, so thank you guys for bearing with us through the last few weeks of slog. Some fairly decent games on the horizon with the last games of the first round robin finishing up –the Alaska schools are facing Western Oregon, CWU is taking on WWU, and SPU gets to meet up their old travel partner in MSUB. Should be good times. The standings page has been updated; POW nominees will be up tomorrow at 10am pacific, per usual.
Somewhat interesting night of conference play?
MSU-Billings 58 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 69
MSUB was actually leading for a good long while before UAF put the Jackets away, so that was kind of exciting. Good to see the Nooks pull it off.
Yellowjacket highlights: Marc Matthews had six boards; Emmanuel Johnson had 22 points and five boards; Preston Beverley had 9 points off the bench; and Cade Alcorn had four boards off the bench. Yikes. Didn’t realize just how few players were involved in this until now and how badly the Jackets shot. The fact that they were in it at all is kind of a miracle. Going to say it’s a testament to the Nooks realizing they need to play defense rather than MSUB shooting until the polar bears came home (which they did) because MSUB usually doesn’t have a trend of shooting the moon.
Nanook highlights: Bangaly had 11 points; Joe Slocum had five boards; Travante Williams had seven boards and a full house; Almir had 15 points. Off the bench Alex Duncan had six points and four boards; and Isaac Ladines and John Renfro both also added four boards. Also a night of iffy shooting, which shows why the Jackets were in it for so long, but… Distribute. Distribute, distribute, distribute. Not worried nor ready to complain at Travante because it’s only the second game. Still, he really does need to be aware that he should be distributing if shots aren’t falling.
Kind of an ugly game, but maybe it’s just in the air. Here we were feeling all guilty about feeling all BLAHHH, but apparently it’s just an epidemic. At work that happens too; if one of us is late, all of us are late; if one of us wakes up unhappy, all of us wake up unhappy. No clue why, but it does reduce the guilt and is really fun when people wake up happy. A coworker has termed it the collective consciousness of working there. Seriously good times.
CU-Portland 99 @ Western Washington 119
Concordia was in this game for an uncomfortably long time if you’re a Vikings fan. If you’re a CU fan, you think that you’re showing promise and you sort of are, but sort of are not. WWU is not normal WWU this year and in that the Cavs could have won -they just needed to commit to defense, because clearly WWU wasn’t.
Cav highlights: Drew Martin had 29 points, four boards, and six assists; Latrell Wilson had 11 points; Jarrett Gray had five boards; RILEY HAWKEN STARTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and had EIGHT ASSIST AND EIGHTEEN POINTS; and Tyler Gutierrez had 13 points and four boards. Bench play was pretty non-existent. Maybe it should have been more so; the bench had a fairly decent number of turnovers, so up that cardio and go hard starters. So glad that Riley is starting!!!!! He reminds us of the other Riley, former conference player of the year Riley, and that is a very good thing.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 25 points and six assists; Kyle Impero had five boards, six assists, and 19 points; Jeffrey Parker had 17 points. Off the bench Trey Drechsel had 27 points and nine boards; and Colby Mitchell had 10 points. We hate to say it, but Mac shouldn’t be starting. Who to start instead? Up for debate. But Mac needs to come off the bench at least for a bit.
Exciting game if not lacking defense. Couldn’t be more proud of Riley, really happy for Trey -he was out all Fall and has made an immediate impact as we’ve entered the new year.
Northwest Nazarene 79 @ Saint Martin’s 72
Can we say that the Saints are officially in free fall? It feels that way, call us Chicken Little. Not that NNU doesn’t have their moments, but… This wasn’t really one of them and the Saints still managed to lose. Yikes. Oh well, good for the Crusaders for getting it done on the road.
Crusader highlights: BOUNA HAD 22 POINTS; Nikola Prvulj had 13 points; Detwon Rogers had five boards; Mike Wright had 19 points. Off the bench Pol Olivier had seven points. What can we really say? The Crusaders got it done and Mike didn’t suffer from a case of excessive turnovers; it was officially a good night.
Saints highlights: Jordan Kitchen had 14 points and 10 boards for the double-double; Rhett Baerlocher had 10 points; Tyler Copp had 13 points; Fred Jorg had ten boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had four boards; and Michael Painter had five points.
…………. It was a game. It was played. Jordan Kitchen, Bouna, and Mike Wright all had good nights. Congrats to the Crusaders on the win.
Western Oregon 90 @ Simon Fraser 67
The Clan stayed in this for a longggg time. It’s kind of funny with WOU; ‘lesser’ teams they let hang around for an excessively long time before putting them away, whereas with SPU they put them away immediately but let the Falcons come back to tie the game. Interesting if nothing else.
Wolf highlights: Alex Roth had eighteen points and six boards; Julian Nichols had five boards; Jordan Wiley had five boards and 10 points; and Andy Avgi had 20 points and nine boards. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland and Janvier Alaby both added eight points; and Tanner Omlid added six points and six boards.
Feel like the Wolves overlooked the Clan slightly, but ultimately they got it done and that’s what counts.
Clan highlights: Oshea Gairey had eight boards and five assists; Andrew Williamson had 15 points; Michael Harper had 17 points; and JJ Pankratz had six boards. Off the bench Hidde Vos had nine points and four boards.
In the initial posting the Clan got skipped -sorry; we’d accidentally put your name first, so it had been mentally flagged as having been written about, but then we realized you guys weren’t. You played very well against a great WOU team, so our highest congrats on that.
Central Washington 62 @ Seattle Pacific 75
Interesting-ish game. The Falcons were up, then it was tied, then they put it away although there were times when the Wildcats started to reel them back in. Not a bad night for either team, although we’re sure CWU fans would beg to differ because, okay: maybe it was kind of a bad night for the Wildcats. Some of that shooting… woof. But they should take solace in the fact that they nearly matched SPU on rebounding, which is huge.
Wildcat highlights: Terry Dawn had eight boards; Joe Stroud had 10 points and five boards; Devin Matthews had 17 points; and off the bench Naim Ladd made his free throws to add nine points and four boards.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had a quiet night with eight points and a full house; Brendan Carroll had fourteen points and five boards; Mitch Penner had 22 points and eight boards. Off the bench Joe Rasmussen had 16 points and five boards -interesting that the dude is finally functioning, although he should know that there’s an asterisk because rivalry game. Weird things happen during rivalry games.
This game finally went the way a game should for the Falcons, which is good and particularly excellent against a rival where there’s bad blood. None of the Washington schools like CWU, although we’re not aware if there’s explicitly bad blood between SMU and the Wildcats; we also hear that UAA really doesn’t like them, can assume that MSUB is in that camp, but we’re not aware with the other five teams. CWU is a weird team to dislike because they sit mid-pac and have for a while, but they’re arguably worse than BYU in how dirty they play and BYU is the cream of the crop in terms of dirty D1 teams.
Overall a pretty good night of basketball. There’s some stuff we want to nitpick with a few teams, but… The exhaustion hit early this year and judging by tonight it’s conference wide, so just not even going to go there. Congrats to all of the teams that won. Game previews’ll be up at 11am tomorrow morning.
…………. 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.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, we have no life, but it’s good we lack one because we got to witness an AMAZING DAY of GNAC men’s basketball and yes: It was in fact almost a full day.
Before anything else: BRIAN MCGILL IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Brian is bae.
Relax all of you jealous types. We could (and do) say that about approximately 175 guys; all of the GNAC, plus our beloved graduate program.
Oh god, NAIA basketball. All of the guys are for the most part between 6’0 and 6’5, and so at one point yesterday, our coach was pacing the bench (while we were down 30) going ‘DOES ANYONE WANT TO ACTUALLY PLAY THE FOUR OR THE FIVE?!? I DON’T CARE WHO, I DON’T CARE HOW TALL YOU ARE, JUST [EXPLETIVE] GO AND DO IT. GO! *points*
Good times. Not really. But in better times: We can’t even be mad on nights like this; frankly we’ve learned to love being wrong because if you’re writing a basketball blog and can’t embrace that -you’re gonna have a bad time.
We promise all of these exclamation points are 100% sincere, because these are the Nightlights: Where we just get to indulge in all of the great things that guys in our conference do and not worry about the implications of other stuff until NEXT YEAR.
Game #1: UAF @ SMU.
- The University of Alaska Fairbanks NANOOKS went a whopping 95% from the free throw line. Things got dicey, SMU was fightin’, the Saints shot 78%, but… MAKE YOUR FREE THROWS. The Nooks did and they got their first ‘W’ off the Tundra!
- Those same Nooks grabbed a massive -46- boards. Forty-six. Sit there. Let it sink in. Appreciate it.
- Bangaly grabbed 11 boards.
- JOE SLOCUM, WHERE HAS HE BEEN?? GRABBED 10 REBOUNDS.
- Also of note: Fred Jorg of SMU grabbed 11 boards as well, so that’s good too.
Game #2: SFU @ MSUB
- Michael Harper (SFU) MADE 100% OF HIS TEN FREE THROWS.
- Preston Beverley (MSUB) grabbed NINE boards off the bench.
Game #3: UAA @ SPU
- *rumble* *rumble* *rumble* *rumble* Wait, what’s that we hear? SPU IS TUMBLING DOWN THE RANKINGS LIKE A GIRAFFE ON AN ESCALATOR. UAA got the win and we’re RIDICULOUSLY proud of them. Seriously.
- SUKI WIGGS HAD 10 REBOUNDS. Sadly this really isn’t out of the norm for Suki so we rarely highlight it, but seriously: he does genuinely involve his teammates.
- BRIAN MCGILL IS BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He came off the bench and had 11 points in 30 minutes.
- SPU IS A COMPLETE MESS!!!!!!!!!!!! We know all of the rest of you consider that a highlight and it’s honestly amusing the heck out of us (we’re learning to like this whole David thing) so we’ll humor you guys.
Game #4: WOU @ CWU
- JULIAN NICHOLS ACTED LIKE JULIAN NICHOLS!!!!!!!!!!!! We’ve missed him so much. He finished with 29 points in 36 minutes.
- CWU GOT IT DONE!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously: We’re proud of you and while ya didn’t win pretty, you got it done against a very good WOU team and you deserve the highest of props.
Game #5 CU-PDX @ NNU, IN OVERTIME.
- DREW MARTIN (who?) of CU-PDX HAD 30 POINTS AND EIGHT BOARDS. We’ve never seen numbers like these from one of this year’s Concordia guys, so… Whoa.
- RILEY HAWKEN (also of CU-Portland) HAD 13 BOARDS OFF THE BENCH!!!!!!
- The Cavs got their FIRST WIN OF THE YEAR, which via the transitive property makes them better than Dominican, so CU-Irvine take note about whatever schedule implications that has? <— sarcasm, just a bit.
- JOEL DEVASTEY (NNU) had 10 boards.
- Detwon Rogers (also of NNU) had 22 points!!!!!
- The Crusaders fought really hard and played smart at the end. Bouna tried to hit the shot, it didn’t go in, but the decision to put the rock in his hands was right.
So much to be proud of but even more to work on. We’ll get into breaking down the good and the bad tomorrow morning, but for now… Enjoy these wins those who got them, and for those that came out on the losing side: Tomorrow is a new year.
Here’s a list of the Player-of-the-Week nominees we’ve had so far this year:
UAF: Bangaly Kaba, Travante Williams
UAA: Suki Wiggs, Diante Mitchell, Corey Hammell
SFU: JJ Pankratz
WWU: Kyle Impero
SPU: Bryce Leavitt, Mitch Penner, Gilles Dierickx
MSUB: Jordan Perry
CWU: Gary Jacobs
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Devon Alexander, Andy Avgi, Alex Roth
Last year we questioned that guys that were having really good games week in and week out weren’t getting nominated because their teammates are having better games. This year, that’s not a problem and it’s making us ask a different question: Are our standards too ridiculous? Do they not work for the GNAC? We’re leaning on the side of “no,” but will look into it as we go into conference play.
Our winners have put up really standard numbers in terms of what we saw last year, so… totally possible, it’s not too hard to achieve, it’s that no one’s getting it consistently with the exception of Andy and Bryce. Our formula actually does take defense into account, so it’s not simply a matter of scoring.
Player-of-the-Week Winners, thus far:
UAA: Corey Hammell
SPU: Bryce Leavitt
NNU: Bouna N’Diaye
WOU: Andy Avgi
We’ve given the award out five times; Bryce has won twice, while Cory, Bouna, and Andy have won once each. We like the numbers they’ve put up; the fact that Bouna did in fact play two games during the week he won makes it even better because he hit numbers that put him right in the thick of the other POW winners, so it’s a true win by all accounts.
While we’re proud of those guys, we feel like that list is lacking.
Almir Hadzisehovic (UAF) is still playing a lot, just not playing particularly well. We get that Bangaly Kaba and Travante Williams are good, but that doesn’t inherently make Almir bad, so hopefully he’ll step up more now that conference play is starting.
Brian McGill (UAA) is no longer playing as far as we know. He remains on their roster, but isn’t in their team picture, can’t find anything about injury status, nothing saying “he’s coming back soon,” he’s just gone. We assume if he was participating in an extra curricular program it would be advertised as a GNAC athlete being more than a basketball player. Fact is -he’s a 5th year senior, so as much as we like him: Sometimes you’ve gotta just get a life and ideally that’s what he’s done. We’re hoping that he’s not MIA to deal with his own illness or the illness of a sick family member -if he is, in that case we hope he comes back really soon and everything works out.
Michael Harper (SFU) has a bad case of the turnovers, but is still around.
Mac Johnson (WWU) we have no idea what’s wrong with -he still plays a lot, he’s still 6’8 and 240lbs, but we have no idea where the Mac of the end of last year went and we keep thinking the old him is going to resurface and then it doesn’t.
Mitch Penner (SPU) isn’t taking the step up that we kind of anticipated and yet he’s kinda screwed because every team is just like “Let’s go after Mitch!” because it’s hard to go after Gilles, no one needs to go after Will Parker (he’s the new Lew Thomas), Bryce Leavitt is a point guard -he’s good whether he’s assisting, defending, or scoring; and people just bounce right off of 5th starter Garrett, so what are you going to do? Answer: Go after the ginger.
Trey Ingram (SMU) was our favorite frosh last year and he’s gone into a sophomore slump, so hopefully he’ll bounce back. Not too concerned with this one -it happens, he’ll get through it.
Momir Gataric (MSUB) is redshirting due to injury, which sort of sucks, and sort of is just as well. We’ll be glad to get him back next year and wish him the best in his rehabbing efforts.
Joe Stroud (CWU) is still playing but apparently it’s much harder when you actually have to shoot the ball and are being relied upon -he’s responded poorly so far, granted he’s played somewhere between four and six D2 games, so still plenty of season left.
Mike Wright (NNU) lost all of the people that made him look somewhat decent and so now he just looks like a mess. Yes, he could have stepped up, this theoretically was his team because Bouna was generally the 6th man last year, but… Mike needs to do more. Much more. Maybe during conference play.
Tyler Gutierrez (CU-P) is basically the only returning piece for CU-P and we know we named him as a POW nominee, but he’s not on the list above because he wouldn’t have been nominated if he were on any other team -it was us trying to include the Cavs, and now we’re kind of done. With that: Be adequate.
Julian Nichols (WOU) we really, really don’t know and it’s kind of making us mad to be perfectly honest. Dude is still playing, he’s just not playing well. He was one of our picks for potential player of the year because he had an amazing junior season and not much has really changed and yet he’s not playing well.
With some of that… We feel like writing it off until conference play is kind of weak, considering our conference looked so weak during non-conference. There are good teams, but we feel downright uncomfortable with UAA, WWU, and CWU because non-conference was such a wash and we feel like they’re good teams but they didn’t prove it during non-con and so we’re not sure what it’ll mean during conference play if/when they do win? It seems like it’ll be easy to give them hype and yet what’s the real substance behind that hype?
UAF there’s not as much expectation because they’ve been off for a few years, they’ve got what’s essentially a brand new team, low-pressure; SMU same thing; MSUB and NNU we’re just hoping they don’t drown. CU-Portland and SFU, we hope things remain somewhat humane.
WOU and SPU there’s some concern about upsets and we’ve said this repeatedly: Upsets aren’t a good thing for ANYONE including the teams upsetting them. The better SPU and WOU look the better for our conference as a whole, because they barely proved themselves in non-conference. Our non-con collectively looks much better because of how SPU schedules, never forget that.
When we look at the individual play of guys on other teams… It may just be a more down year on the west coast. Admittedly we really loved last year’s GNAC (shout-outs in particular to non-returners Kevin Rima, Anye Turner, Riley Stockton, Matt Borton, and Alex & Kalidou [no one blames you two for leaving] for helping make our first year of blogging ridiculously fun) and we know that those guys are all super amazing, but… There are amazing guys this year too -Bouna was an irrational favorite last year that’s become legitimate this year; Kyle Impero turned it up at the end of last year and is dominating this year; Bryce Leavitt came out of nowhere and we’re beyond thrilled with his play; Bangaly and Travante are both super fun; Andy we should constantly be in awe of Andy, but still kind of hold a grudge against him because of the second game against SPU last year -we’ll just be honest- even though we know it was Brendan’s fault that the Falcons lost, so… Irrationalities, but we can admit it. We love you Andy, we really do, promise.
So there are plenty of good guys, but there may be far fewer great guys than normal, and that could be making some of the would-be great guys merely look good. We wondered that regularly about Riley Carel’s stats -if they were in fact lower because he’d pass the ball and then the guy he was passing to would turn it over, so he’d skip passing and try and force something and it didn’t work out very well because while they had promising underclassmen, there’s a big difference between promising underclassmen and seasoned upperclassmen. Then again, with Riley -that was his own fault; could have stayed at SPU and been the starting SG on a team with Riley S. and Matt and Mitch, and Cory’s hook shot (Cory and his hook shot we’ve determined to be separate entities) but he decided he wanted to be the star. And that decision proves even more juxtaposed this year with Alex and Kalidou both having transferred to CBU.
Riley got to score a lot of points and be the go-to guy, but never even made the conference tournament. Alex and Kalidou are now playing on a team favored to win the Pac-West and that’s 100% in control of their own destiny regarding an at-large berth in the regional tournament, much less conference tournament.
If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go as a group.
In an hour we’ll check in with some of our favorite GNAC alums/former players now playing on non-GNAC teams.
Tomorrow and Wednesday we’ll be taking a look at what we currently know vs. want to know about each team/group of guys in our conference currently.
Wow. So much bad shooting. It’s not even that there was a ton of really, really good defense. Just lots of bad shooting.
Central Washington 71 @ Alaska-Fairbanks 82
Seawolf uses blizzard. It’s super effective. The Wildcat is frozen and cannot move. Come back Seawolf, you’ve done your job. Polarbear uses ice storm. It’s a critical hit. The wildcat is frozen and cannot shoot. All humor aside: Gary Jacobs went 2-20. Terry Dawn went 6 for 16. Devin Matthews went 1-7. Naim Ladd went 2-9. WHAT THE HECK?!? Guys will shoot as long as coaches allow it, so we’ll lay the blame squarely on Greg Sparling for this one. Yikes.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 13 boards; Gary Jacobs had 7 boards; Drake Rademacher had nine boards; Devin Matthews had seven boards and five assists. Off the bench Joe Stroud had seven boards and seven points.
Nanook highlights: Alex Duncan had five boards; Bangaly Kaba bounced back and had seven boards, two assists, three streals, two blocks, ZERO turnovers, and two fouls, along with 17 points for a solid full house; Trevante Williams had seven boards, two assists, seven steals, four blocks, one foul, and nineteen points -another great outing, good to see him bounce back as well. Off the bench Neal Chavez had six boards; Zach Pedersen had 13 points; Brandon Davis had 10 points.
There were a whopping 109 rebounds grabbed in this game because the teams shot an average of 35% from the field. Yikes. We love rebounding, but not if it’s simply because no shots are following. Yeesh.
Northwest Nazarene 78 @ Alaska-Anchorage 90
This is why you play forty-full minutes. UAA was killing the Crusaders but with five minutes left the Crusaders turned it on, were within six or so, and then UAA decided to function again and the difference is as such. Still, huge effort and great advancement on the part of the Crusaders. We see it. We’re proud of you.
Crusader highlights: Joel Devastey had a full house with six boards, one assist, one steal, one block, ZERO turnovers, four fouls, and fifteen points; Bouna N’Diaye had 17 points and five fouls; Pol Olivier had 24 points and five boards. Off the bench Gonzo Santana and Nikola Prvulj grabbed four boards a piece, with Nikola also picking up four assists.
Seawolf highlights: Suki Wiggs had 10 boards, seven assists, two steals, and went 9-12 on free throws; Diante Mitchell went 9-12 from the field and walked away with four boards, four assists, and 24 points; Spencer Svejcar finished with 12 points; Tayler Thompson grabbed five baords; Corey Hammell had a great game with 17 boards, three assists, and 17 points -huge, way to go Corey. Off the bench Christian Leckbend added 10 points.
Really not a bad game for either team. One of the better shooting games of the night. No super bad numbers outside of NNU’s Nikola going 0-5. Really like what we’re seeing out of Christian Leckbend -remember Christian, it’s not who starts games, but who finishes them, congrats on being a heck of a 6th man.
Saint Martin’s 73 @ SFU 66
Let’s just say this: it was a total and complete mess. Right now we’re really loving SMU so we’re going to say it was a matter of playing down to their competition, but holy human waste, yikes. The biggest highlight was the free throw shooting; SMU shot 75% while SFU shot 95%. The rest of the shooting? Not so hot.
SMU highlights: Jordan Kitchen had nine boards; Fred Jorg had 11 boards and 13 points. Off the bench Trey Ingram had 11 points; Brandon Kenilvort had 15 points.
SFU highlights: Oshea Gairey had 12 points; Max Barkeley had 26 points; Michael Harper had 16 points and six boards; JJ Pankratz had eight boards and three assists. Pretty much it.
Disappointing game. We were thinking SMU was going to be excited to get a big win after a close loss to WWU, but that didn’t happen. While you may be tempted to say it’s because SFU had a good game… No. The shooting doesn’t signify a good game and the fact that both teams still reached in the realm of 70 says defense wasn’t the focal point. Still, a road win is a road win so keep doin’ work Saints.
MSU-Billings 69 @ Western Oregon 91
Not a close game. Not many highlights for MSUB. We were crossing our fingers for progress, but… turns out the light at the end of the tunnel that was demolishing CU-PDX in the first half, was simply the oncoming train that is WOU. Choo choo Wolves.
MSUB highlights: Jace Anderson had 15 points. Off the bench Preston Beverely had 13 boards and 19 points; Kendall Denham had 10 points. Yup. Welcome to playing WOU.
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander had 11 boards, two assists, three steals, and 19 points; Julian Nichols had seven boards, seven assists, three fouls, and nine points; Andy Avgi had 27 points, four boards, and one of everything else for the full house. Off the bench Kadeem Strickland had eight points; Tanner Omlid had six boards, three steals, two blocks, and 19 points.
MSUB used a really short line up; the wolves went deep. Everything happened as expected, if as not hoped for. Congrats Wolves.
Seattle Pacific 83 @ Western Washington 64
Some decent numbers. Nothing great, nothing really horrible. It’s hard to say this went as expected, but… Not too much color commentary can be done on this one because when these teams play each other you simply never know what’ll happen. We have no idea what to do with the Vikings. We’ve been trying to figure them out and we have one more game before we have to do our post non-conference reflecting to figure things out.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards, six assists, two steals, and 11 points; Gilles Dierickx had a double double with 10 boards and 14 points; Mitch Penner had five boards, five assists, and 17 points. Off the bench Brendan Carroll had 15 points on good shooting; Joe Rasmussen picked up four boards and 10 points in a mere eight minutes; Nathan Streufert had three blocks.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 18 points; Kyle Impero had five boards and 13 points; Colby Mitchell had eight boards; Jeff Parker had 13 points. Off the bench Brett Kingma had eight points. Pretty much it.
Both teams had very few turnovers, which is good. It’s hard to say what this game truly means. All of the major players from both teams use saw good minutes.
No games this week because of finals. Tomorrow the usual Player-of-the-Week stuff, then Tuesday will probably be a dead day, Wednesday discussions, Thursday maybe we’ll try to dig up some shenanigans, and Friday’ll be game previews for the next round of non-conference.
Happy 1st night of Hanukkah.