WE MADE IT!! The final regular season day of conference games. We actually got here! And now things start to get really exciting. Whoa. Here we go with the final post, of the year, about regular season games!
Saint Martin’s 67 @ Alaska Anchorage 101
The Saints stayed with the Seawolves for a good while and it looked like it was going to be a challenge, but UAA then proceeded to put them away. UAA is peaking at the right time and they should be a danger in the conference tournament, which will make things interesting.
SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had 12 points and four assists; Riley Carel almost had a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, three steals, and one block; Tyler Idowu had eight points. Off the bench: Isaac Bianchini had nine points and three assists; Will Bond had a whopping 16 points.
UAA highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and nine assists; Travis Thompson had 22 points and five assists; Derrick Fain, as noted, almost had a triple double with 16 points, nine boards, and eight assists; Brad Mears had seven points and five boards. Off the bench: Sjur Berg had five boards; Dom Hunter had 15 points and five boards; and KALIDOU had six boards and eight points.
Central Washington 104 @ MSU-Billings 99
Very interesting game, pretty horrifying in many senses. There’s this thing called defense. No, this game wasn’t that awful -people were just on and whether it was a matter of poor defense or Alterowitz being hot on the whole matters little. Still, Central… interesting team.
CWU highlights: Terry Dawn had 10 boards and four steals; Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points. Off the bench, Devin Matthews had six boards, nine assists, and 16 points.
MSUB highlights: Antoine Hosley had 50 points (yes, fifty), seven boards, and two assists; Emmanuel Johnson had 12 points and eight boards; Jordan Perry had seven points and seven boards; and Tyler Nelson had 10 points and nine boards.
Northwest Nazarene 49 @ Seattle Pacific 60
This was kind of a weird game -beforehand it was hard to predict because the potential of directions it could go in, and even in the middle of it the game itself struggled to decide. SPU was up by eight pretty consistently, but every time it seemed like the Falcons would break it up, the Crusaders reeled them back in a bit.
NNU highlights: Alex Birketoft had 14 points and six boards; Erik Kinney had a full house with 14 points, four boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and four fouls; Kevin Rima had fourteen points and five boards.
SPU highlights: Bryce Leavitt had five boards; Riley Stockton had 14 points and six rebounds; Matt Borton had 13 points and 13 boards; Mitch Penner had 18 points and seven boards; Cory Hutsen had nine points.
The Falcons’ll be an interesting team to watch during the conference tournament, because while we’ve pretty much figured out what CWU, WWU, and WOU are doing… the Falcons are still a conundrum.
Western Oregon 75 @ Alaska Fairbanks 60
Another game in which it was looking like the worse of the two was gonna stick around and take a stand and then didn’t. Congrats to the Nooks for trying?
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander 19 points; Julian Nichols 10 points and five assists; LEW THOMAS 12 points, fifteen boards, three assists, two steals, five blocks, and one foul for a full house; Andy Avgi had 17 points and seven boards. Off the bench: Adam Hastings had seven points.
UAF highlights: Alex Duncan had seven points and five boards; Ashton Edwards went on another spree with 27 points and five boards; Almir had 10 points and six boards.
Player-of-the-week’ll be up later today, promise.
WHOA. There were so many blowouts and then a couple of really, really amazing games in Alaska. There was also a lot of great play -this is yet another day when we’ll probably do a “nightlights” from last night tonight, because last night was too nuts for us to be able to get one up.
Northwest Nazarene 91 @ MSU-Billings 67
NNU did precisely what they needed to and looked night and day from the last time these two teams played -last time the Crusaders just snuck out a win at home, but then again: they have Alex now. MSUB has likely thrown in the towel, so CWU should dodge that bullet, but… MSUB has been decimated; then again: so have a few other teams.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft had 12 points; Erik Kinney had 19 points; Mike Wright had four assists; Kevin Rima had 16 points and six boards. Off the bench: Bouna had 12 points and seven boards; Matyas Herring had five points and five assists; David Shedrick had seven points. Good to see the bench play from the Crusaders.
Yellowjacket highlights: Antoine Hosley had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 20 points and five boards; Jordan Perry had 13 points and five boards. Off the bench: Kendall Denham had eight points; Marc Matthews had five points, four boards, and three assists. The Jackets definitely had some turnover issues, but really just straight up got beat.
The Crusaders are going to have their hands full at SPU on Saturday, but getting that win and sending the conference into a royal standings mess seems completely possible.
Central Washington 47 @ Seattle Pacific 69
Yes, it’s a rivalry game and anything can happen, so CWU has that going for them, but… in the last one, they had won by six -this time, SPU won by… a lot. 22 to be exact. CWU will carry the chip for the conference tournament, so at least they have that going for them; they also get to play MSUB next whereas the Falcons face off with NNU.
Wildcat highlights: Joe Stroud had a full house with 15 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, two blocks, and four fouls; Dom Williams had seven points, three boards, and four assists. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had eight points.
Falcon highlights: Bryce Leavitt had seven boards, three assists, and four steals; Riley Stockton had a full house with 12 points, seven boards, four assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls; Matt Borton was amazing with 17 boards and 15 points; Mitch Penner came back strong with 10 boards and seven points; Cory Hutsen had 17 points. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had eight boards and 11 points.
The Wildcats are going to be out for blood if these two teams meet up in the conference tourney, so… at least we have that to look forward to. Before that, SPU’s going to have their hands full with NNU.
Simon Fraser 77 @ Western Washington 110
WE’RE NOT MODIFYING THESE STATS!!!!!!!!!! Why? Because WWU didn’t suffer an insane number of turnovers. That’s the key tipping point and huge focal of the SFU offense; while plenty of guys had 3 and the turnover numbers are high, generally it’ll be at least one guy picking up five that triggers us to modify the stats. Plus… they had 33 assists. That is a good A/TO ratio.
Clan highlights: Sango had 20 points; Justin Cole had five boards; Patrick Simon II had 10 points. Off the bench: Daniel Deflorimonte had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 12. Decent team rebounding effort.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 14 points, six assists, and three steals; Anye Turner with the full house on 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals, three blocks, and just one foul -all in 21 minutes of play: WHOA!; Javier Harris had eight assists; Jeff Parker was a monster with a full house of 31 points, nine boards, two assists, one steal, two blocks, and one foul; Mac Johnson had a more quiet game but still picked up seven boards. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 13 points, five boards, and four assists; Joey Schreiber had 22 points, eight boards, and three assists in just 18 minutes; finally: Mark Hopkins had nine points.
Crazy amazing game for the Vikings, exactly what we need them to look like, our pick for winning the conference tournament, congrats on a fantastic senior night!
Saint Martin’s 78 @ Alaska Fairbanks 82 in OT
Meaningless game but a good one all the same. Some pretty good play from both teams; stats say Saint Martin’s should have won but they just couldn’t get it done. Congrats to UAF on doing so, despite poor free throw shooting and too many turnovers.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 27 points and six steals; Victor Ieronymides had nine boards and six points; Tyler Idowu had 11 points and five boards. Off the bench, Isaac Bianchini had 15 points.
Nanook highlights: Anthony Reese had 10 points and 13 boards; Alex Duncan had 14 points, five boards, and five assists; Ashton Edwards had 11 points; Kyle Tomlinson had 16 points; Almir had 20 points, nine boards; two assists, one steal, one block, and two fouls for the full house. Off the bench: Eric Fongue had eight points.
Again, this game doesn’t matter, but WOU should be happy; the Nooks are gonna be exhausted.
Western Oregon 78 @ Alaska Anchorage 80
Incredibly shocked this game didn’t go to OT. Much thanks to the Seawolves social media for keeping us updated -we were unable to watch the game due to outside circumstances, but it was incredible following along with. Speaking of Seawolves: They finally have a “signature” win and it could be just in time -always good to go into the conference tourney strong.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander had a full house with 20 points, two rebounds, two assists, three steals, one block, and one foul; Julian Nichols had a full house with 14 points, two boards, four assists, three steals, one block, and three fouls; Jordan Wiley had eight points; Andy Avgi had 19 points and eight boards. Off the bench Nick Nestell had nine points; Marwan Sarhan had three boards.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had six points and eight assists; Travis T. had 11 points. Off the bench: Christian Leckbend had 16 points, five boards, and three assists; Sjur Berg had six boards; Dom Hunter had 14 points, three boards, and three assists. The team made 100% of their rebounds and that was the difference.
There’s a lot to discuss in regard to the conference standings and there’s just not time right now, but there should be a post later tonight about them because the situation is incredibly intriguing.
Tomorrow morning in the Game Day Previews we’ll be sure to clarify who else you should be rooting for, depending on your team situation.
Our player of the week nominees. They tend to be different. We have an algorithm -it’s replicated each and every week. It’s been tested against all sorts of competition, and so while our results may be different from what most people think, the computer doesn’t play favorites. Aside from what went into deciding the formula, but again: the same, every single week.
The formula does require a player to play two games, so in this week… SPU/MSUB have the potential for a nod of nomination but are ineligible to win.
UAF: No one had a consistent week; Alex Birketoft of NNU gets the nomination “donated” instead.
UAA: No one had a consistent week; Ricardo Maxwell of WWU gets the nomination “donated” instead.
SFU: Michael Harper -did he hear us? Great to see him bounce back!
WWU: Jeff Parker -two consistent games, nicely done Jeff!
SPU: Matt Borton -he must’ve heard too.
MSUB: No one had a great game (poor shooting percentages); Mac Johnson of WWU gets the nom instead.
CWU: Dom Williams -had a couple of great games and proved why he’s the MVP of the CWU team.
NNU: Erik Kinney -Two good games, great to see, happy to have him for another year.
SMU: Tyler Idowu -also apparently heard us.
WOU: Julian Nichols -did the most of the least (as in, no one played great) against WWU, but had a fantastic game against SFU.
Things are getting rough. WWU’s getting hot. Honestly, the pickings were kind of slim -there weren’t too many amazing numbers; guys that missed it in the past would’ve won this week. Thems are the breaks. Then again… the player that won has missed out with better numbers in other weeks, so that really is just the way the cookie crumbles.
The announcement of said winner’ll be up at 7pm PST.
For a Sunday Funday post, it seems appropriate to talk about some of the favorites in our conference and basically just have some good old fashioned praise. The season is getting more and more intense and difficult and you kind of just need those moments to sit back and go “Hey, these guys are awesome. It’s such a blessing to watch them, even when they’re making poor on-court decisions.”
It’s been well documented that “pets” definitely exist, so… We’ll just go with the usual order.
UAF: Almir. This isn’t really basketball related; he’s a decent player heading toward good, but the fact that he’s from the Balkans is amazing and as much as they’re not happy with each other, the FYR on the whole are awesome and have such a great culture and it’s great that we get to have a piece of it in our conference. Also love the fact that we have Ruben -he is Native American, which is so cool and yet another blessing. He’s out right now due to academics, but we look forward to getting him back next year; temporarily gone but definitely not forgotten and if he finds this: We still believe in you!
UAA: Brian McGill does so much for his team. Love his game, love his facial expressions as he’s running down the court, his mindset seems fantastic. He does everything in his power to procure a win and that means playing unselfishly. He’s awesome on the whole. Travis Thompson isn’t having the year that he wanted to have, but he’s still so valuable and after going through the mid-season all conference teams and looking at and comparing his stats this year and last and beginning to understand all of that… So proud of the kid. Derrick Fain should be mentioned because we give him crap all the time, but he’s starting to deserve less and less of it and we couldn’t be happier.
SFU: Sango -impossible not to love Sango. Does so much for his team, plays so unselfishly even though he’s got relatively little to work with. He’s in it. He’s another guy that we went back and compared his stuff from last year to this year to see where he’s at and they have made him even more useful and again: Just a good guy that’s easy to root for. Rod Evans-Taylor is becoming a pet with his awesome play and effort, but that’s as of late. Still love Michael Harper although he hasn’t been doing as much lately; same with Patrick Simon II -that kid has so much room for growth and can’t wait to see it over the coming few years.
WWU: ANYE. Anye is probably the biggest pet in the conference at this point, although Alex of NNU is starting to make a run for it. Anye graduates this year and it’s happy but sad. He’ll be moving onto better things and it’ll be good to keep an eye on him in Europe. His mindset is great, he smiles all the time, he works for his teammates, he gets the boards, he picks up fouls, and when knocks a guy down he picks them right back up. Such a blessing to watch. Love Mac, really excited for another year of him. He’s improving by the game and it’s great. He’s a massively different player than he was earlier this year and that’s awesome. Kyle Impero and Joey Schreiber are young and promising and are another couple of great guys to watch their development in. Been watching Joey for years now, even when he was at EC, and it’s exciting. It’s cool to see the development and he landed with such a great program in terms of top-notch D2.
SPU: Riley Stockton. It’s been amazing to watch him make the switch to point guard this year and watch him near the triple doubles and his fundamental understanding of the game is great. Matt Borton -another great forward, has aggression issues (meant in the best way possible), he does what it takes for his team, and between him and Anye… that is how basketball is supposed to be played. Mitch Penner. Psycho P. It’s been a growing process this year, but we have full faith that he’ll break out next year. Cory Hutsen, he’s right up with Austin Hudson and Mac Johnson in terms of favorite centers, and his play has finally been getting better lately, can’t wait for it to go further.
MSUB: Austin. Austin will not be forgotten. He was SO great and still a valuable part of our conference. MSUB is starting to be another program that has a zillion blog pets so-to-speak. Jace Anderson is improving, Antoine Hosley has his moments, MOMIR GATARIC; his game is getting better and better and he’s another FYR player! Those guys are bad to the bone.
CWU: Caleb is great. Will be interested to see what he does with his body; it needs major, major work on his part and not so much in the gym as in the kitchen, but the gym could be of some help too. Full faith that he’ll be one of our conference’s top centers by the time he’s done. Joe Stroud is great and getting better by the game and love his rebounding and his blocked shots are awesome and again -this is another guy that smiles while he does it, very approachable, just fun. Gary Jacobs is another guy that’s gonna be interesting to watch develop -he already does so much and will undoubtedly get better and better. Dom Williams is finally starting to be liked around here -it’s taken a lot, but very proud of Dom and his improving shot selection.
NNU: The entire team? It’s not even a matter of if they do anything during post season, just love their camaraderie. Alex is so great, even in his widdle frosh status, and it’s such a blessing that we’ll get to watch him for another few years, hopefully. Kevin -great attitude, team first mentality, gets the boards, smiles while he does it. He epitomizes the idea that you can be both aggressive and happy simultaneously; accidentally knocks you down, immediately reaches to pick you back up too. He plays a hard game of basketball, but jolly giant. Erik Kinney -needs some help and improvement, but another guy that’s awesome and we’re excited to see for another year. Bouna is one of those “there’s not necessarily any reason for this in terms of his game, he’s just great” and he’s a favorite. He’s smiley. NNU has lots of smiley people.
SMU: Trey Adams. He’s going through some growing pains, but can’t wait to see what he does next year. Tyler Idowu -sucker for smiley people and Tyler is that and does some good board work. Riley Carel, of course, bad decision maker in chief, but much as we give him crap all the time he’s a good baller. Tyler Copp -no clue where he’s disappeared to, but he’s been another favorite all year. Rising stars. Honestly, SMU is like NNU; that whole team is just fantastic. If only they could put it together. Ryan Rogers, Cameron Chatwin, Victor Ieronymides, Brent Counts, all are great.
WOU: JULIAN NICHOLS!! Favorite point guard, love his game, love his attitude, he’s come into our conference by storm, made WOU even better than expected and really elevated them -it’s been phenomenal. Lew Thomas -this is a weird one; he just is a favorite. He’s not that good, takes a lot of poor shots, turns the ball over more than any forward should, but he’s still a favorite, no clue why. Andy Avgi, he’s oddly enough not really a favorite, but maybe just because he’s so good that he’s hard to appreciate because you feel like you don’t have to; he’s just Andy, he does what he does, and he always does it. And that’s why even though he’s not a favorite we really should realize he is a favorite because just because someone’s consistent and does what they want, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be appreciated for it. Andy is awesome. Not sure what his speed and strength metrics are, but before heading for Europe, he might consider working out for a few NFL teams -at 6’6/260 you can’t teach size and he’s so good at shoving his way through -TE or DE may hold promise.
At times this blog is tough on guys and teams, but there’s no vindictiveness behind any of what gets written. All of these guys are such a blessing to get to watch so closely and that’s why it was important to cover the whole conference. It’s just not something that really happens on a D2 level; we mostly see school publications giving the highlights, and so when critiques get thrown out it can feel like a major affront when it’s not; it just happens rarely because writing a blog is a big commitment and we don’t really see that fan/community commitment on a D2 level.
Just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be there. These guys are great; they absolutely get down night in and night out; they deserve attention; they deserve praise; and they deserve that fan and community commitment on a level to match D1. Engage the culture, change the world; a blog isn’t much, but it definitely is a way to engage the culture, and hopefully on some minute level change the world of at least someone. There’s the whole thing that “I Chose Division II” and yet for many it’s not that easy. There’s a feeling of failure that you ended up D2 and [potentially] unable to succeed on a D1 level; maybe if more people cared, some of that burden could be relieved.
Have a fantastic week, a NightLights post that should’ve gone up last night will go up tonight at about 11pm, usual POW stuff tomorrow.
What a night! First and foremost congrats to Simon Fraser on an awesome win! Gotta get it done, no excuses.
Simon Fraser 84 @ Seattle Pacific 83
Interestingly enough the half time score was SFU 35, SPU 34, thus both teams scored 49 points in the second half. The other interesting thing is it looks like SPU managed to control the tempo decently well, but the cake is a lie: the shooting in this game was abominable. All the same: we will be modifying the stats per usual, thus every number is multiplied by .66, rounding up as applicable.
SFU highlights: Sango -18 points; Rod Evans-Taylor had 12 points, five boards, one assist, two steals, two blocks, and five fouls for a full house. Overall a decent example of teamwork -the team collectively had eight boards, which is always good to see. Besides Sango, no one really did too much but the group came together well.
SPU highlights: Mitch Penner had 12 points; Cory Hutsen had 18 points and 6 boards. Not too much to write home about, but the Falcons almost got it done, but not quite. It was pointed out last night that WOU had a brutal stretch -SPU had one almost as bad and that may be what happened here; WOU to WWU to SFU. While WWU really shouldn’t count as brutal this year, rivalry games always are. Unfortunately, this was supposed to be the “resting” game and they lost it, barely.
Could not be more proud of the Clan. It’s hard to go into SPU and win, and while it’s honest to say the Clan got lucky -if Cory Hutsen had made even half of his free throws, it wouldn’t have been a problem- there’s strategy in fouling Cory. He’s shooting something like 50% for his career, so it was theoretically a calculated move and a good one at that.
WWU 75 @ MSUB 65
Good game for the Yellowjackets -they were in it pretty much the whole time. There some places where they were up and places where they were down, but they at times were definitely giving the Vikings a scare. Practices makes progress.
Viking highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 10 points; Anye Turner had a full house AND a double-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds, two assists, one steal, four blocks, ZERO turnovers, and two fouls; Mac Johnson also had a full house with 12 points, five boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, and two fouls. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 12 points and four boards; Joey Schreiber had 10 points and three boards. Solid full team outing from the Vikings.
Yellowjacket highlights: Kendall Denham had six boards; Marc Matthews had 11 points; Jace Anderson had a whopping 18 points, although needs to stop shooting from three; Jordan Perry had 10 boards and eight points -so close to a double-double.
Another good team effort, this time from MSUB.
WOU 66 @ NNU 62
This game was sloppy and that’s ultimately what killed NNU -for having 21 turnovers, they sure kept it close. It was good, it was a good watch. They were in it until the end and then Alex jumped the gun and… we’ve told him this was his one freshman learning experience for this matter. DO NOT JUMP THE GUN. But he does so much for that team, it’s easy to forgive him; frosh moment.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander like whoa with 19 points and six steals; Julian Nichols, back in strong, grabbing 14 points and five boards; Andy Avgi gettin’ it done with a full house consisting of 15 points, eight boards, two assists, three steals, two blocks, and two player fouls. Not much from the bench, but they did do a good job relieving the starters. As noted: the WOU starters have to be dead at this point -three tough games, including one that went to 2OT, all in seven days. Wow.
Enjoy your lack of a Thursday game, WOU.
Crusader highlights: Alex Birketoft with 15 points; Erik Kinney with a full house including 13 points, eight boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and two fouls; Mike Wright had 10 points and almost created a double-double of doom with eight turnovers; Kevin Rima had 10 points, six boards, and three assists. Off the bench Bouna N’Diaye had eight points and four boards.
As noted: Turnovers killed the Crusaders, but another great learning experience for Alex. You’ll get ’em next time. Maybe. Reality rules.
SMU 79 @ CWU 88
To be honest: this game was completely written off, but SMU stayed in it far more than given credit. Granted, we started the season off totally believing in SMU and then they just stopped caring and so the lack of faith is totally fair. All the same: good for CWU to get a win when a team is firing as best they can, and they themselves are largely firing on all cylinders.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram with 18 points; Riley Carel with 19 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals, two blocks, and two fouls for the full house -first game he’s actually beaten the other Riley; Tyler Idowu grabbed six boards. Off the bench Victor Ieronymides had 12 points and five boards and Isaac Bianchini had 14 points.
Wildcat highlights: Marc Rodgers had six boards and four assists; Terry Dawn had 14 points, six boards, two assists, one steal, one block, and one foul for a full house; Joe Stroud had 11 points, seven boards, one assist, one steal, SIX blocks, and four fouls for a full house; Dom Williams had 23 points, three boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and a foul for a full house. Off the bench: Gary Jacobs had a fantastic 23 points, two boards, one assist, two steals, one block, and a foul also for a full house. Whoa those last two look similar. Really great team performance from the Wildcats -good to see them put it all together, and oddly enough in this game they needed pretty much every ounce of it.
Great game to watch, shockingly. Still disappointed in the Saints, because seriously that’s how you can play if you actually function? Great. Again -so proud of the Wildcats, really, really good performance.
UAF 72 @ UAA 74
Great nightcap of a game. Was exciting the whole time. Just when you thought Anchorage was going to put it away for good, the Nanooks came storming back. Really close, really sloppy overall -the shooting was less than ideal, and the rebounding was messy, but it was exciting basketball so there is that. Kind of odd how much it echoed the SFU/SPU disaster.
Nook highlights: Eric Fongue had 12 points; Almir had 16 points and eight boards; Anthony Reese had 11 points and eight boards; Alex Duncan had five assists; Ashton had 18 points and five assists. Didn’t get much from their bench, but they were in it the whole time.
Seawolf highlights: Travis Parrish had 6 boards; Travis Thompson had 23 points and seven assists; Derrick Fain had 14 points and four assists. Off the bench: Dom Hunter had 13 points. Again, not too many highlights but it was enough -even with Brian McGill having a bad game, which is notable.
Good night of basketball. It’s mid-season, all of this is brutal, good luck to everyone recovering in the next few days. POW nominees plus the winner will be up in the AM at some point.
Sorry this is going up so late.
SMU 70 @ NNU 83
This was a super fun game. Initially NNU was killing SMU, then finally SMU started coming back in, and it got within three or five? Something like that. And then NNU finally put them away and there was some fouling and this score feels about right. But SMU was in there.
Why… It’s hard to say. Relatively few turnovers? SMU highlights: Trey Ingram had eight points and four rebounds; Ryan Rogers had 12 points and three rebounds; Tyler Idowu had 11 points and six boards. Off the bench Isaac Bianchini was on fire, scoring 14 points on 5-7 shooting.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: ALEX BIRKETOFT!!!!! The kid is quickly becoming a favorite player. This game it was more obvious why they list him as a G/F hybrid; 70% shooting, iffy free throws but forgiven, four boards, two assists, two steals, one block, NO turnovers, one foul, and 18 points -FULL HOUSE! Erik Kinney had a good game going 7-9 from the free throw line, picking up eight boards, and scoring 19 points; Mike Wright chipped in 9 points; BOUNA off the bench had 18 points, six boards, and two steals. Pretty much it. Solid game from NNU. Great to see.
SFU 78 @ MSUB 85
Back and forth, back and forth, and then MSUB got into control, only came close to giving it up at the very end, and then put it away. Good to see from the Yellowjackets. If any of their athletic department staff is reading this: Your audio was only working out of the left speaker, so… who knows? Oh and this game was kind of horrifying; talk about the least common denominator.
All stats modified for SFU’s tempo.
SFU highlights: Sango scored 17 and had three assists; Justin Cole added 8 points and three steals; Rod Evans-Taylor had 10 points; Patrick Simon II fouled out while only play 23 minutes -congrats? Hidde Vos had 8 points off the bench. Pretty much it.
MSUB highlights: Kendall Denham played major minutes and made every single free throw, finishing with five boards and 9 points; EMMANUEL JOHNSON -another great kid had six boards and 12 points; Jace Anderson finished with 13 points; Jordan Perry, eight points and six boards; Tyler Nelson had nine points and six boards. MSUB really didn’t go deep this game -the coaches are finding their rotation starting to dig in, and so far so good.
Again -ugly game all around. Massive amounts of turnovers. At first it looked like MSUB had managed to take SFU out of their tempo, and then you look at the TO numbers and you realize that no… it was just two teams playing at that tempo very poorly.
WOU 78 @ CWU 71
This game was AMAZING! As noted last night: Really interesting to look at WOU’s minute distribution against CWU opposed to SPU -their starters didn’t play nearly as many minutes proportionally. While WOU was down by a few points and as many as 10, it felt like they were biding their time -there was never this sense that they weren’t going to come back from it. It was always close.
WOU highlights: Devon Alexander had 15 points, three rebounds and three assists; Julian Nichols (prayers with Julian -nasty spill) had eight points, seven boards, and eight assists -dude is on his way to a triple double and we can’t wait!; Lew Thomas had five boards and six assists; Jordan Wiley had a full house with five boards, three assists, one steal, two blocks, one foul, and seven points; the always amazing Andy Avgi had eight boards, two steals, and 27 points on 11-15 shooting and being 3-4 from the line. Off the bench: Adam hastings added a full house with 10 points, four boards, one assist, one steal, one block, and two fouls.
CWU highlights: The man, JOE STROUD, with five boards, five blocks, and 16 points; Dom Williams had 30 points (dang), three boards, and three assists; Terry Dawn had five boards; Off the bench: Julian Vaughn had four boards; Gary Jacobs had four boards, two assists, one steal, and 13 points. They’ll have a chance to get back up against SMU, which should be good.
WWU 82 @ SPU 72
Western… hello there Vikings of yore. The score is way closer than it should’ve been. SPU wasn’t coming back from that. Shouldn’t laugh, but am, because… horrible. Western was in control and at one point was up by 20 and as of 11 minutes left… SPU could have, but wasn’t going to. They get this all the time: do or do not, there is no try. Basketball’s force was strong in the Vikings tonight.
Western Washington highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 16 points and three assists; ANYE TURNER had 7 points, nine boards, two assist, and five blocks -not one of his better nights, but he wasn’t really needed that badly either seeing as he still had two fouls left to give; Harris Javier added seven points; Jeff Parker added 16 on decent shooting; MAC JOHNSON had 15 points and nine boards, although has GOT to get better from the line. Off the bench: Kyle Impero had 15 points; Joey Schreiber added 7. Didn’t go too deep, but who knows what’s really up with WWU this year?
Seattle Pacific highlights: Riley Stockton, major foul trouble (good job WWU), had 10 points, nine boards, and two assists; Brendan Carroll had 11 points, four boards, and three assists; Mitch Penner had 10 points, five boards, and two assists; Cory Hutsen had 14 points and two boards. Off the bench: Shawn Reid had 14 points and six boards; Joe Rasmussen had six points and three boards. Honestly… the Falcons stats looked like SMU’s usual stats. It was a little weird, not gonna lie. You come to expect different things from different teams, and theirs looked… abnormal. Congrats to the Vikings.
Again: Sorry these are up late, no excuses. Congrats to the Wolves, Vikings, Yellowjackets, and Crusaders. Usual game previews’ll will be up tomorrow in the actual morning.
Eff. That. Superbowl.
Alaska Anchorage 115 @ Simon Fraser 98
That score is misleading -Anchorage’s victory was never in doubt, far as we saw. Simon Fraser… nice victory over UAF, couldn’t keep it going. All numbers modified.
Seawolf highlights: Brian McGill had 19 points and six assists; Travis Thompson had 20 points and four assists; Derrick Fain had 15 points and six boards; Dom Hunter had 9 points off the bench. The team shot 60% overall and 62% from three -wow.
Clan highlights: Sango had 16 points, three rebounds, and three assists; Justin Cole had nine points; Roderick Evan’s Taylor had 10 points.
Alaska Fairbanks 57 @ Western Washington 80
The Nooks put up a valiant fight, but… trying to take on WWU out home without your best player is usually going to end badly and badly it did.
Nook highlights: Ashton scored 13 points and had three assists; Eric chipped in 11 along with a nice nine rebounds; Almir finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds; and then off the bench Isaac had nine points. Nothing too shabby. Shooting for the most part wasn’t atrocious.
WWU highlights: Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals; Anye Turner had a full house with eight boards, three assists, three steals, one block, four fouls, and two points; Jeff Parker had 26 points, along with three boards, two assists, and two steals; Mac Johnson had 12 points, seven boards, two assists, and four steals. The team went 8-8 from the line, which was great.
Seattle Pacific 84 @ Western Oregon 94 in 2OT
Andy Avgi had his way with the Falcons, Brendan Carroll was a turnover machine, the reffing was terrible on behalf of SPU, and Julian Nichols more than earned his nod as the conference’s best and one of the most consistent players thus far. This game’ll be in major focus during our Tuesday discussions.
Falcon highlights: Riley Stockton played a whopping 49 minutes and had 13 points, nine rebounds, three assists, and managed to not foul out; Brendan Carroll had six boards, two assists, six points, and a horrible six turnovers; Matt Borton had nine points, four boards, one assist, two steals, and fouled out; Mitch Penner had 19 points, seven boards, five assists, one steal, and fouled out; Cory Hutsen had 18 points, three boards, one assist, and fouled out. Off the bench: Joe Rasmussen had seven points and four boards; and Shawn Reid had seven points and three boards on terrible shooting.
Wolf highlights: Devon Alexander scored 20 points and had three assists, three rebounds, two steals; Julian Nichols scored 18 points and had six boards, six assists, and three steals; Lew Thomas had five boards, four assists, and three blocks; Jordan Wiley scored 10 points; Andy Avgi was amazing -finishing with 33 points, four rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks but no fouls.
Central Washington 64 @ Northwest Nazarene 66
This game was insane! And the Crusaders did it, learning from the Alaska trip; super great.
Central highlights: Marc Rodgers had 10 points and five assists; Joey Roppo had 13 points and three boards; Devin Matthews had five boards and 11 points off the bench.
Northwest Nazarene highlights: Alex Birketofte! He had 16 points, eight boards, two assists, two steals, FIVE blocks, and two fouls while shooting a whopping 90%; Erik Kinney made his free throws -had a bunch of nasty turnovers, but: make your free throws so he’s fine and ultimately finished with 11 points; Kevin Rima had a double-double with 10 boards and 14 points, also making his free throws. Off the bench: Bouna N’Diaye managed to collect a full house with one rebound, one assist, one steal, one block, a foul, and eight points.
MSU-Billings 64 @ Saint Martin’s 75
Congrats Saint Martin’s on a nice victory. MSUB playing without Momir Gataric definitely helped -it probably would’ve been much closer had they had the man that’s become their main squeeze. All the same -exploit the weakness, take advantage where you can, that’s exactly what the Saints did.
Yellowjacket Highlights: Emmanuel Johnson finished with a full house with nine boards, one assist, one steal, three blocks, two fouls, and seven points; Jace Anderson added nine points; Jordan Perry added 11 points and nine boards; Tyler Nelson had seven boards. Off the bench: Antoine Hosley had 14 points, three boards, and two assists; and Marc Matthews had 21 points and four boards on 8-11 shooting.
Saints highlights: Trey Ingram had 15 points and six assists; Ryan Rogers had six boards; Tyler Idowu had seven points; Cameron Chatwin had 15 points and four rebounds on 5-8 shooting. Off the bench: Victor Ieronymides had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, one steal, two blocks, three fouls, and five points; Brent Counts had five boards; Isaac Bianchini had 11 points; and Tyler Copp had 15 points.
In the jungle, the GNAC jungle, it’s cool to follow the crowd. In the jungle peer pressure leads us to take bad shots all around… Some weeks there are endless highlights from tons of teams; this weekend it was pretty minimal. We’ll have to see about POW; we may go back to highlighting every team without even doing the “ten best players” thing because highlighting the 10 best players can at times be grimace inducing.
Regardless of how it’s calculated: POW noms & POW will be up in the AM.
Good luck recovering from that Super Bowl.
The big news of the day seems to be that Dixie State beat BYU-H. The reason this is big news for us is because WOU and SPU both beat Dixie State but BYU-Hawaii was 4-0 against the GNAC, so… could have bracketology implications in terms of procuring or losing an at large bid if we manage by some miracle to be in the running for one.
Back in our own conference: the status quo ruled the day. WWU won, SPU won, WOU won, and CWU won, and then the Alaska schools are enjoying rivalry week so we’ll check in with them on Saturday/Sunday.
MSU-Billings 68 @ Western Washington 88
There’s the Vikings we all know and love/hate. Honestly, this victory says good things about the Vikings but nothing particularly bad about the Yellowjackets. They’re probably pretty disappointed in themselves thinking that now would be the prime time to beat the Viks, but… MSUB is dealing with a lot right now in terms of figuring out their identity.
Player highlights include Momir Gataric’s 25 points on 10-14 shooting and 3-5 shooting from three; Tyler Nelson had a team high six rebounds; Antoine Hosley chipped in 17 points on 8-11 shooting and honestly: that’s about it for that team. Their free throw shooting wasn’t great, they only had 25 rebounds and 11 assists, it wasn’t a particularly cohesive game. Oh well: Again, it’s hard to play the Vikings, even harder at Carver, and MSUB’ll figure out their identity as they go on. The SFU game looms large, they should feel no shame about this one, and get right into focusing on beating the Clan.
As for the Vikings highlights: HOLY GUACAMOLE. Where to even begin: Kyle Impero may not have had the best shooting night, but he still chipped in a whopping seven assists; Anye Turner got a full house with seven rebounds, four assists, two steals, five blocks, and 11 points; Harris Javier also had a poor shooting night but still turned in 10 assists; Jeff Parker chipped in 17 points; Mac Johnson went 7-11 for fifteen points, and had nine rebounds, two assists, and one steal; and Joey -the-man-himself- Schreiber went 6-6 from the line, 6-9 from three, had 12 rebounds, and 38 points -that is one heck of a double-double.
Seattle Pacific 115 @ Simon Fraser 81
It was beyond thrilling to get to watch SFU in person and started to make a lot more sense of what they do and how they win. Sango is such a cool player and there is no way he’s 6’0 but all the same he does what he does. It was in his play that we can really appreciate how much SPU did to disrupt their offense, even while the score crept up substantially.
Usually Sango is really good at getting the guys around him involved, but this game he had comparatively fewer assists and his stats were definitely down. While he scored 27 points total before the usual modification, that’s not a number that’s out of the ordinary for any player. No SFU player really scored a bunch or did much in the field, which is really a testament to SPU. Justin Cole had eight, Michael Harper had eight, Adam Westfall had seven, Patrick Simon II had 14, and then their bench didn’t really do much. There was a horrifying fall by Roderick Taylor-Evans, which haven’t heard the official word yet but looked season ending; his knee completely buckled and it looked like it had to tear something.
Seattle Pacific: These are all modified numbers so you know in context of what they normally do -that being said, so many guys had fantastic games even still. Riley Stockton went 5-7 from the field for eight points, although was in foul trouble for much of the game; Brendan Carroll made his minutes productive; Matt Borton had 10 rebounds, and fourteen points for the double-double; Mitch Penner went 11-15, 2-3 from three, and 7-9 from the line finishing with eight boards, five assists, and 21 points; Cory Hutsen picked up three rebounds, two assists, a steal, a block, and finished with a full house on 20 points -AWESOME. Again, the bench didn’t really contribute although Bryce Leavitt was helpful with ball distribution in Riley’s absence.
Here it comes again: Okay game for the Falcons -not great. They should’ve been able to control the tempo more. It’ll be interesting to see what they do against WWU on Saturday at Carver.
Central Washington 70 @ Saint Martin’s 68
This was a really interesting game, mainly because CWU played terribly and yet still pulled out the ‘W’ and that’s what you’ve gotta do. It’s gotta be a bad loss to swallow for the Saints because… it was theirs and they let it go. It would be easy to blame their 60% free throw shooting, but when it comes down to two points and your team has a hefty seven assists -it’s not the free throws, it’s the cohesion, which has been the complaint now for weeks against SMU.
SMU could be a mediocre team that does well through teamwork, or a mediocre team that does poorly through lack of teamwork. They should choose the former.
CWU didn’t have many highlights, here they are: Joe Stroud was 7-9 for 15 points; Jordan Russell was 5-8 for 15 points; Dom Williams had a game high four assists; Gary Jacobs was 5-6 from the line, picked up six boards, and ultimately had fifteen points. Balanced scoring, but not cohesive basketball either. Still, the Wildcats managed to do just enough and get it done and more power to them for that.
Saint Martin’s highlights: Trey Ingram went 7-11 overall, 3-5 from three, and 3-3 from the line to finish with 20 points, unfortunately he also had eight turnovers -zoinks; Ryan Rogers picked up eight boards and 10 points; Tyler Idowu picked up six boards; Riley Carel went 6-8 from the line and finished with 22 points.
On the whole this game went down to the wire but was rather disjointed through it’s entirely.
Northwest Nazarene 59 @ Western Oregon 66
The good news is: both teams wanted it, badly; both teams were really committed to defense; this game was a battle for the better and WOU did exactly what they needed to do in coming out on top.
In terms of Northwest Nazarene: Alex Birketoft had nine rebounds and ten points; Erik Kinney had seven rebounds and 21 points, going 5-6 from the line; Mike Wright chipped in seven assists; Matyas Hering added 14 points. The bad -Erik had five turnovers, Kevin Rima was almost silent, and they got pretty much nothing from their bench.
WOU: Devon Alexander had four rebounds, three assists, and eleven points; Julian Nichols went 4-4 from the line, had eight rebounds, five assists, five steals, and finished with ten points; Lew Thomas also had eight rebounds, though a mere two assists, one steal, two blocks, and two fouls, as well as an abomination of a shooting percentage; Jordan Wiley added 16 points, four rebounds, and two assists; Andy Avgi 18 points, three rebounds, and one steal. Like the Crusaders, WOU received almost nothing from their bench.
Overall, good game for WOU to pull through and good game for NNU to get experience.
As noted: This was a really status quo day. Saturday looms large -there is not going to be a bad game to watch on Saturday. Game previews’ll go up tomorrow morning.
As noted previously: CWU & NNU players are ineligible to win because it’s player of the week, not player of the game.
UAF: Ashton Edwards -dropped 30 against WWU and then went 8-8 from the line against SFU.
UAA: Brian McGill -made his free throws, very complete player, did exactly what he needed to do to get his team a ‘W.’
SFU: Patrick Simon II -good shot selection, grabbed boards, made his FTs; can be said for both games.
WWU: Harris Javier -had eight assists against UAA and then played 37 minutes, scoring 11 points against Fairbanks.
SPU: Riley Stockton & Matt Borton -Both were incredibly consistent, aggressive in their rebounding, and team first guys that still scored plenty.
MSUB: Momir Gataric -had a good game against Saint Martin’s and then a decent game against WOU.
CWU: Pass. If the guy that played “best” goes 7-19, no.
NNU: ERIK KINNEY! Holy potatoes! Full house, played 38 minutes, one board away from a double-double, WHOA.
SMU: Tyler Idowu -A couple of above average but consistent games against MSUB & SPU respectively.
WOU: Andy Avgi -great games against both the Falcons and the Yellowjackets; uses his weight really well.
More information in regard to how it’s decided can be found here.
The player-of-the-week announcement will be posted in about an hour.
First, an announcement: a brand new page went up late last night. It’ll be updated every Saturday night and is a more visual way of grasping who’s beaten whom, where.
Now to our usual Sunday programming:
SFU 111 @ UAF 121
The code has been cracked. Admittedly it’s incredibly difficult to play the Alaska schools and get a win, but… SFU got a lot of hype during non-conference and a huge part of that was likely because they had been basement dwellers for so long and it would be nice as a conference to see them do well. Fact is, they barely played anyone during non-con and it’s starting to show now. UAF is a good team -as noted: when Ashton, Ruben, and Kyle are all firing, they can do work- and the Clan were shown what that work looks like.
Sango had 35, Justin had 16, and Adam Westfall had 16 and yet all of their shooting percentages were mediocre to bad; Sango chipped in eight assists, but remember: it’s different with SFU. Hidde Vos had a bad shooting percentage, as did pretty much everyone else -there are no real other stats to flesh out either. It wasn’t a team game, guys weren’t involved, and shots weren’t falling. Never a recipe for success.
In regard to UAF: they had their things together. They’d come off of a great win against WWU and then got Ashton, Ruben, and Kyle firing. Free throw shooting was top notch and we’ve discussed this: want to win games? First step is making your free throws. Ruben went a fantastic 8-11 in terms of field goals and 17-18 from the free throw line, along with 11 rebounds and five assists -WOW!; Alex Duncan chipped in six assists; Kyle added eight rebounds and 13 points; Ashton bounced back and went 3-3 from three and 8-8 from the line for 23 points; Almir added nine rebounds. Now again: those numbers are inflated because it’s against SFU, but it’s still awesome to see the Nooks walk like that.
WOU 72 @ MSUB 64
It’s straight up hard to play at MSUB, the Yellowjackets keep improving, and so while there’s an urge to say “this win doesn’t look good for the Wolves” the MSUB/Seattle Pacific back-to-back is hard. It ranked second in terms of the most deadly travel weekend because the schools are really far apart, the gyms are both difficult to play in, the coaching staffs know what they’re doing (baldy power, apparently) and getting a win at MSUB even against a less than impressive MSUB team is big.
As noted: MSUB is starting to figure out who they are and it’s starting to look passable if not really good. Kendall Denham covered some of the intangibles; Emmanuel Johnson had a full house with three rebounds, two assists, one steal, three blocks, three fouls, and sixteen points; Momir Gataric was back to earth a bit –six turnovers, yeesh- but still added five rebounds and four assists along with 13 points; Antoine Hosley added 17 points on terrible shooting percentages; and then Jordan Perry had a whopping nine rebounds, four assists, and twelve points.
With WOU: Lots of heavy minute players. Off the bench Marwan Sarhan was great with 6-8 shooting, seven rebounds, a block, a steal, a foul, and 13 points; Andy Avgi, awesome once again -he went 11-15 with five rebounds, a steal, a block, and two fouls for 23 points. Other than that: poor shooting, really poor shooting from Devon Alexander, Lew Thomas, and Jordan Wiley. The good news is Devon had four assists and five steals along with two blocks, a foul, and a grand total of three points for a full house; Julian chipped in seven assists and three steals; Lew Thomas added eight points and five rebounds; Jordan Wiley added eight points. Not the best performance as a team, but they got it done and sometimes that’s what counts.
SMU 52 @ SPU 87
As noted above: SPU and MSUB make for a brutal back-to-back. That being said, when you transfer from one conference school to another and the other conference school does well and you’re the best player with a terrible shooting percentage due to ill-advised shots on the lesser of the two teams… talking is deserved. You’re pretty much asking for it.
SPU was in control the whole time, there’s not a lot of good to discuss with the Saints. Tyler Idowu’s 18 points on 6-8 shooting is about it. There was little rebounding, little assisting, little stealing, little blocking, and little fouling. Trey Ingram went 2-6, Cameron Chatwin went 0-4, and Riley Carel went 0-5. Ouch.
It’s easy to want to put the Falcons in context of the conference and say “it doesn’t mean anything,” except: SPU got it done. This is the overachieving kid getting average grades because the teacher expects more. SPU has no depth and yet they’re still getting it done. According to this logic, WOU should’ve blown out MSUB and yet they didn’t, but we didn’t hold it against them. Not sure what to do about this situation.
Riley Stockton went 5-6 and 3-5 with ten rebounds, six assists, ending up with 13 points; Brendan Carroll went 4-6; Matt Borton led the team in rebounding with seven and added two assists and a steal, ending up with 13 points; Mitch Penner went 6-8 with five rebounds and three assists, totaling 17 points; Cory Hutsen chipped in 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists. Off the bench, Will Parker went 4-4 from three and 4-5 on the game for 12 points. Bad notes from the Falcons –Shawn Reid was pretty much silent in 21 minutes of play, and then Cory was 50% on FGs which considering he’s usually two or three feet away max… that’s not good.
NNU 74 @ CWU 67
There’s a saying in writing that goes “Show, don’t tell.” CWU has made a big point of telling people that they are hot poop. They made a huge deal out of beating SPU -claiming it set the tone for the season. Reality check: It was a rivalry game. The myth about the GNAC is that travel partners are rivals. Au contraire, and thus this game against NNU was no rivalry game, which means it can be taken at face value rather than “anything can happen;” NNU straight-up beat the Wildcats, no ifs ands or buts.
In good news for CWU: Dom Williams went 4-5 from the line and had 20 total points; off the bench Jordan Russell had fifteen points and made 3-4 from the line; Joey Roppo went 5-6; Jerome Bryant chipped in six rebounds; Devin Matthews added six assists. Alarming bits: Gary Jacobs went 3-12, Dom Williams went 7-19 and 2-9 from three; Jordan Russell went 4-12 with all of the makes being from three. Not good overall. It’s fine if the opposing team is playing stifling defense but it’s still no excuse for piss poor shooting. There are ways in basketball of combating it, crazily enough.
As for the Crusaders: SO much good. Erik Kinney was fantastic with a full house on 9-9 free throw shooting, nine rebounds, one assist, one block, one steal, two player fouls, and a grand total of 25 points; Alex Birketoft added 10 boards, two assists, and three blocks; Mike Wright chipped in five assists; Kevin Rima with the double-double, going 9-10 from the line and adding 11 boards and 17 points along with two blocks and three fouls. Off the bench –Pol Olivier went 3-4 for eight points; and Bouna N’Diaye went 4-4 from the line along with eight rebounds and two assists. The bad: Mike Wright was 2-11, Bouna was 1-6 on field goals. Great game for the Crusaders.
WWU 60 @ UAA 62
UAA won the battle, WWU is closer to winning the war. The Vikings were missing Jaamon Echols and while it’s tempting to snark on him and say that WWU’s collective shooting percentage simply must’ve skyrocketed in his absence -it was a big loss; he tends to be their leading scorer. That’s not to take away from the Seawolves getting it done and getting the ‘W,’ but the Seawolves relied on Brian McGill -WWU displayed a full team front.
WWU was on the road and this loss actually can’t hurt them too badly in terms of the tournament, because we have such a terrible resume as a conference that procuring the auto bid is the only guaranteed way to make it. WWU highlights included: A full house completed by Anye Turner -he notably had eight boards and a whopping five blocks; Jeff Parker chipped in 10 points; Kyle Impero had 11 in a grueling 39 minutes of game play, Harris Javier was slicin’ and dicin’ with eight assists, and then the man Joey Schreiber had eighteen points and five rebounds. The Vikings will hate hearing it termed as this, but: moral victory. It likely could be a team defining loss in turning the season around.
In regard to the Seawolves: not cohesive. A few people did all of the work. Kalidou was fairly silent and Travis Thompson’s shooting percentage was abominable. In good news: Brian McGill was great, going 8-8 from the line for 20 points and five assists; Christian Leckbend added 16 points and five rebounds; Sjur Berg gettin’ it done in the paint had 13 boards. And that’s it; without WWU’s arguably best player. Anchorage was billed and spoken of incredibly highly to start the season -that’s the type of hype you want? Okay, but like Central is finding out: you’re going to get nitpicked like the WWUs and SPUs of the world.
Player-of-the-week nominees go up tomorrow.