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.
Just kidding -there’s no such thing in basketball.
The seeding was announced by the GNAC on twitter and we’re going to post it here for you before anything else just ’cause:
#1 Western Oregon = BYE
#2 Seattle Pacific = BYE
#6 Northwest Nazarene vs. #3 Central Washington
#5 Western Washington vs. #4 Alaska Anchorage
How interesting are those match-ups? NNU swept CWU and UAA swept WWU. If WWU and CWU both win (which is our prediction, actually, then…
WOU faces WWU, having been swept by the Vikings.
SPU faces CWU, having recently murdered the Wildcats.
Any more speculation than that, we’re not going to go for. It’s too much. And we could be totally wrong about WWU and CWU winning the first rounds; being wrong is great -too competitive to be able to stand filling out real brackets; it’s more fun to watch the chaos and simply enjoy basketball being unpredictable.
What’s not unpredictable is the guys in our conference being AMAZING.
Here are the most fantastic of tonight’s highlights:
- Riley Carel of SMU went out with a bang, picking up almost a full house with 16 points, four boards, three assists, and three steals.
- Will Bond, also of SMU, had 16 points off the bench.
- Derrick Fain was insanely close to a triple double with nine boards, eight assists, and 16 points. UM WHAT??
- Dom Hunter had 15 points off the bench.
- KALIDOU PLAYED!!!!!!!! He had eight points off the bench. Missed you Kalidou!
- From CWU: Joe Stroud had 24 points; Dom Williams had 33 points whilst going 15-18 from the line.
- Antoine Hosley, of MSUB, had an insane 50 points -going 16/25 from the field and 16/18 from the line, along with picking up seven boards, two assists, and five fouls.
- NNU’s starters actually logged substantial field numbers; usually when teams play SPU you see a lot of 1s, 2s, and 0s.
- Erik Kinney (of NNU) had a full house.
- Matt Borton of SPU had 13 boards and 13 rebounds.
- LEW THOMAS HAD 15 REBOUNDS AND 12 POINTS!!!!!! Little more enthusiastic because he hasn’t really done that much in weeks.
The full run down and thoughts about every game’ll be posted around midday tomorrow.
Wow. That was a really fun night of GNAC games. The madness started at 6pm PST and for the most part didn’t overlap at any super critical part, so enjoying the games was in full force.
In every instance the team with the better FT shooting won, so there’s that note.
If you need some extra entertainment, check out the UAF fan in the comments. UAF’s currently suspended from post season play due to APR, so… on that note:
WWU 60 @ UAF 64
There’s the sense from Vikings fans that this wasn’t an unexpected loss -that team just can’t win in the Patty Center, and yet… that needs to stop. WWU had every opportunity and they didn’t take it and while there were a lot of things wrong with the performance… Free throw shooting seems to be the biggest culprit. Make your free throws. The Vikings went 10-22 from the line and that is never gonna work.
The good things that stood out for WWU? Mac Johnson went 5-7 and 2-3 on FTs with seven rebounds, five blocks, and 12 points; Anye Turner was 4/5 from the line and had seven boards, three assists, and scored eight points; Harris Javier scored 11 points on 4-6 shooting, and finally: Jaamon Echols had 20 points and six boards, but his shooting percentage was horrifying.
In regard to UAF: Isaac Ladines had seven boards; Ashton Edwards dropped 30, going 6/7 from the line; Eric Fongue added nine points and five boards; Kyle Tomlinson was mostly silent as was Ruben Silvas, but this is a good moment to point out: they weren’t hot shooters and so they stopped and tried to contribute in other ways.
Overall, this was an ugly, ugly game of basketball full of selfish play and poor FT shooting. The two teams had 18 assists combined, which while admittedly they didn’t have many turnovers… the incredibly low shooting percentages of their respective leading scorers… Ick. It’s an interesting question: If shots aren’t falling, should one person just keep shooting, or should they start deferring and getting everyone in the game? Honestly it seems like more guys should at least get shots, rather than having someone go 8/20 and 3/8 or 10/22.
Congrats to the Nanooks on the win, but as noted with CWU: This means nothing and in your case: you can’t go anywhere anyway.
SMU 66 @ MSUB 65
This blog is a pretty big fan of Momir Gataric and yet… he pretty much ran under a big tree during a lightening storm. In the final seconds of the game, MSUB was down 63-66 with a great chance to tie it -those cunning Saints left Momir a wide open path to a layup, which he took, and then the game ended.
Fear not: In the realm of other stupid decisions, the Saints have some big moments too -like Riley Carel going 6-16. But they pulled it out. The shooting percentages all around were just terrible; Tyler Copp scored 9 but was 3/8 and 2/6; Trey Ingram was 1-4; they had some nicely balanced rebounding numbers –Tyler Idowu, Cameron Chatwin, and Brent Counts all had five; no one had too many assists; Will Bond had a full house with four rebounds, one assist, two steals, one block, and two fouls in twenty-five minutes, so that was good.
Even with Momir’s Minor Mistake Marvin moment, MSUB was incredibly balanced: Kendall Denham had 14 points; Emmanuel Johnson had 13 along with seven boards; Jace Anderson had 13, Momir had 14 points along with a fantastic 13 rebounds and three assists. Austin Hudson is out for the season (and his career) due to academic difficulties, but they kept missing him during non-conference for various reasons, and so it’ll be interesting to see if the Yellowjackets can find an identity without him… there’s a distinct possibility that the consistency of not having him will benefit them far more.
As noted: Sloppy, sloppy game, but Saint Martin’s got it done.
SFU 86 @ UAA 108
SOMEONE FINALLY DID IT. It’s that raging moment of being torn because defensive, stifling basketball is awesome and yet it’s so great to see the Clan doing well and they do play fairly unselfish basketball. That’s one really interesting thing about the breakneck pace: You’d expect it to be sloppy and selfish, but it’s largely not. They distribute and rely on each other; at their breakneck pace, they look a lot more cohesive than other teams do playing slower.
Sango: So proud of Sango. He had an off night for shooting, but instead picked up nine assists; Roderick Evans-Taylor had seven rebounds and 10 points; Patrick Simon II went 6-8 from the line and had five boards along with 19 points; Adam Westfall had 11 points; Hidde Vos had 15. Some of the shooting percentages are incredibly alarming –Justin Cole was 1-9, Roderick was 2-9, but no one else was particularly bad.
Anchorage: Really, really proud of the Seawolves. The Clan started to get into transition and push the tempo and I’ll be honest: I was screaming at my computer screen for them to commit and they did it and clamped down and got it done and still got to score a whopping 108 points. Fantastic. Brian McGill had an amazing game with 28 points, five fouls, six rebounds, and four assists, going 7-9 from the line; Travis Thompson went 7-8 from the line and finished with 15 points; KALIDOU had 19 points on 9-11 shooting, grabbing a whopping 15 boards; Christian Leckband grabbed eight boards and scored nine points; Sjur Berg also had eight boards; Derrick Fain added 11 points; and then Boomer Blossom chipped in five assists. Bad moments for the Seawolves include Travis’s 3-10 shooting and Kevin Bowman’s 3-9 shooting, but… when your scoring is as balanced as the Seawolves, we’ll give it a pass.
Overall the game was a blowout, still very proud of the Clan because it should teach them a lot and then with the Seawolves… It’s good to see them back to being themselves. Unfortunately: this game doesn’t mean anything for either team because it doesn’t continue a trend of any kind, so it’s hard to say if SFU is bad or UAA is bouncing back and actually good.
WOU 76 @ SPU 84
This game was closer than anticipated, so that was good. It was a fun game to watch, really interesting.
In regard to the Wolves… shooting percentages, oh dear. Devon Alexander was 4-13, Lew Thomas was 2-8. In better news: Andy Avgi was fantastic, picking up six boards and 19 points; Julian Nichols was also great, going 4-6 from three, picking up five boards, four assists, two steals, one block, and five fouls for a FULL HOUSE and 18 points; Adam Hastings added nine points. Overall not a bad game; the Wolves had many chances to procure the win and simply didn’t. It happens.
Seattle Pacific: Riley Stockton was solid, 5-6 from the field, three boards, four assists; Brendan Carroll went 2-3 from three and scored 12 points; Mitch Penner had some nasty shooting percentages but grabbed nine boards and four assists; Cory Hutsen went 5-7 and scored 13 points; off the bench, Shawn Reid added 14 but his shooting percentage wasn’t great. Now let’s talk about Matt; he went 10-10 from the line, had eight boards, three assists, three steals and almost had a block; he had four turnovers which is a big no-no, but… he plays such an unselfish form of basketball, that the turnovers generally are easily excusable.
Game previews/predictions’ll be up tomorrow morning.
Alaska-Anchorage 65, Rice 54
UAA beating Rice isn’t as huge as some would make it out to be. If UAA had been winning consistently, it might be, but as such: it’s not. Every conference team thus far is so up and down and wins and losses mean little because if you’re going to blow one out of proportion it makes sense to blow them all out of proportion and at this point we can’t do that. Not with the Seawolves, not with anyone.
Player highlights: Travis Thompson had a monster game with 29 points; Nicho Burgard came in off the bench and chipped in 11; Derrick Fain added 9; Sjur Berg contributed 7 points and six rebounds; finally the best of the day: Brian McGill had 9 points, 8 rebounds, and 10 assists. Travis Thompson scoring is awesome, but Brian McGill made those around him better and that’s invaluable. This game was remarkably turnover free, largely thanks to the combination of McGill and Thompson, so there is that.
Nicely done Seawolves.
MSU-Billings 79, Black Hills State 61
Again: We’d call it a big result against an RMAC school except then we’d have to give credit to the Frontier Conference (which admittedly: we do) but it’s just too hard to say. And to be frank: it doesn’t really matter. They got it done. Let’s see if our Yellowjackets (mascot of both teams) can do it more consistently. The good news lies in their players:
Marc Matthews was great with 23 points; Momir Gataric chipped in 14; Austin Hudson had a quiet game but inevitably was felt when he was in; Antoine Hosley added 10 points off the bench; finally: Gary Gordon added 7 points. Relatively even distribution of assists, and rebounds; the Yellowjackets also improved with turnovers, which is great.
They’ll be a threat yet.
Western Washington 95, Douglas 54
We refuse to dignify this game with any analysis. It’s late November: play some gosh darn rootin’ tootin’ D2 teams.
Western Oregon 83, Academy of Art 73
Does the SPU loss to Academy of Art make this game look better or worse? Yet to decide on that one, but the Wolves got it done all the same. Maybe the decision is that it doesn’t matter because parity reigns supreme overall.
Julian Nichols had an amazing game with four rebounds, four assists, two steals, 26 points and only ONE turnover -WOW; Lew Thomas added 12 points, seven rebounds, and two assists; Andy Avgi contributed 16 points and seven rebounds. Off the bench, the Wolves got 12 points out of Marwan Sarhan which is nothing to sniff at. Turnovers… they had 14, which is under 15, which is good, so… slowly but surely improving across the conference.
Notre Dame de Namur 123, Simon Fraser 116
And SFU got burned. Oh well. Still proud of the Clan, although starting to think math is going to have to be more involved in determining player of the week. Their guys GET UP and yet it’s not fair to punish guys on teams with defensive prowess because they’re not hitting near the SFU totals. Defense wins championships, eh?
Sango Niang had 15 points, four rebounds, eight assists, and three steals; Roderick Taylor-Evans had 25 points six rebounds, two assists, and four steals; Michael Harper had 15 points and five boards while being a turnover king; Patrick Simon II also chipped in 15 points. Off the bench Hidde Vos (6th man, hello) added 18.
The thing about all of that is now we really should divide all of those numbers in half, no? The collective point total divided in half is roughly 120, meaning each team would have scored roughly 60 if they’d played defense. Since the total is a little low, we’ll multiply everything by .65 instead.
As such: ND de Namur scored 80, SFU 76; Sango had 10, Roderick 17, Michael & PSII 10, Hidde 12. That seems more fair in context.
Tarleton State 81, Northwest Nazarene 61
This game was an intriguing game purely because of when it landed. The results are not surprising in the slightest. Tarleton State is ranked in the top 10 (more about rankings early next week), the game was in Texas, and while the trip was recommended -it was because it was Texas over Thanksgiving weekend; not the fact that the Crusaders were going to win (because we knew they weren’t).
Player highlights: Erik Kinney had 13 points, eight rebounds, and three assists whilst fouling out; Mike Wright chipped in 11 points; Kevin Rima added 10 points and six rebounds; Todd Helgeson had seven points and four rebounds off the bench. The Crusaders had a whopping 18 turnovers and lost the battle of the boards (although not by much). Bouna needs to start stepping up once again.
Central Washington 84, Walla Walla 71
For those not familiar with it: Walla Walla is a DIII 7th Day Adventist college. Because the score is within reason, we will actually do player highlights:
Gary Jacobs with a FULL HOUSE of 19 points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal, two blocks, a mere two turnovers, and four fouls; Dom Williams had nine points and five rebounds; Terry Dawn had 17 points and five rebounds off the bench; Joseph Stroud had 18 points and five rebounds off the bench. Nicely done Wildcats.
Saint Martin’s 73, Concordia 72
First and foremost: There will be a collective Concordia post about their results against their new siblings this current year. We’re so proud of both the Saints and the Cavaliers for this game. Ultimately for now we’re only going to highlight the Saints players, BUT in the collective post Concordia will be the focus.
Trey Ingram, Tyler Copp, and Ryan Rogers all had 11 points a piece –Ryan Rogers separates himself with eight rebounds. Tyler Copp may have had the game winning shot, but needing a game winning shot is not something we see as a good thing. If everyone had committed to defense more, it would’ve been unnecessary. Off the bench Brent Counts had 12 points and Will Bond had eight. Turnovers were back in check with a mere 9, so that is at least good to see.
Overall not a bad day for the conference and good to see turnovers getting themselves under control for the most part.
Concordia 85, Saint Martin’s 68
Simon Fraser 147, Douglas 57
Seattle Pacific 86, Evergreen State 62
PR Bayamon 84, Western Washington 78
Dixie State 78, MSU-Billings 56
Concordia vs. Saint Martin’s… It was said in the first post that GNAC bias is fully intended. The problem with this game is that we’re in the process of adopting Concordia and so as much as there’s disappointment in the Saints because they do return a good bit and they should be somewhat okay… We’re very excited for Concordia to get the W. They’ve been doing work. It was really fun watching Cal Baptist come in and make the NCAA tournament from the get-go in the Pac-West and so seeing Concordia take a stand is exciting. Hopefully for the sake of conference strength the Saints come back, but… Concordia! We can’t help but be proud.
In terms of the Saints as players: Tyler Copp had 19 points, four rebounds, and a steal; Trey Ingram had 10 points and a steal, Victor Ieronymidas had a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds; Will Bond had 10 points off the bench. Decent balance in scoring, still having problems with turnovers.
Simon Fraser is getting more interesting by the day. As noted on twitter, they’ve been putting up big points regardless as to whether it’s a Big West team or one from a lower level, so… it’ll be interesting to see what happens when defense comes into play. If they can continue to force schools into their tempo it could be some really ugly basketball but also very enjoyable to watch.
When you score as much as SFU, there are always a bunch of guys with a ton of points… the balance the Clan has displayed so far is impressive. Sango Niang continues to impress with 11 assists (DANG!), five steals (GOODNESS!), and 20 points; Justin Cole had a full house with one rebound, three assists, four steals, one block, and 21 points; Roderick Taylor-Evans scored 18 points; Michael Harper had a double-double with 13 rebounds (AWESOME!) and 17 points along with four assists and four steals; Patrick Simon II had 17 points and six rebounds. Off the bench, Daniel Deflorimonte had 11 points; J.J. Pankratz had 16 points, and Hidde Vos had 11 points.
Seattle Pacific vs. Evergreen State looked a lot iffier until the Falcons decided enough was enough. There’s not a bunch to say about this game… they did what they needed to do against a DIII school and while again: it wasn’t always pretty, the score ended up as what it needed to be.
Riley Stockton had a full house with 10 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals, and a block!; Matt Borton also had a full house with 13 points, six rebounds, two assists, one steal, and one block; Garrett Swanson had 14 points; Cory Hutsen had 13 points. Fairly balanced effort from the Falcons. They need to keep building.
Falcons winning the league… we’ll see. Not out of the realm of possibility, but even with as few games as we’ve played as a conference -nothing seems out of the realm of possibility. At this point it seems that SFU has a decent shot of winning the conference. No telling what is gonna happen.
The Western game… not sure. When looking at the teams from PR, they weren’t great last year, hence why it was referred to as WWU’s Puerto Rican vacation. The Vikings are a team that’s easy for eternal optimism and no matter what they do “they’ll come back, it’s no big deal,” and yet… there are more and more implications. It’s not at the point where we’ll state that the GNAC isn’t going to host the tournament, but if many more games look like this… it’s going to get dicey very, very quickly. Although speaking of SFU… SFU hosting? That would be loads of fun. That campus is sublime.
WWU player highlights: Jaamon Echols had 22 points; Kyle Impero had 17 points and six boards; Ricardo Maxwell had 15 points; Jeff Parker had 12 points. Their starters played a lot of minutes, their rebounding… if they’d rebounded properly they would’ve won. Anye was pretty much silent which really shouldn’t happen, ever. He’s better than that.
The Vikings are a better team than has been on display. It’s pretty much been said about every team, but again: GNAC bias is important and it’s still early in the season and we’ll plug our fingers in our ears and scream “LA LA LA,” about whatever implications for as long as we can.
Dixie State against MSUB… MSUB lost to an NAIA school. They lost to Dixie State by 20. There should be panic considering the Yellowjackets are a favorite team (not-so-secret: we have eleven favorite teams and we love all of them to pieces) which is why with this… Dixie State is a good team. The Yellowjackets are going to get better, can’t panic yet. It’s going to be okay. They have a good coaching staff, a great center, plenty of room to grow and improve; parity, parity, parity. Not panicking yet.
Player-wise… the game was ugly. There’s no one really to highlight. The rebounding was atrocious. Not sure whether that’s something positive in terms of Dixie or bad about MSUB. Tending to think positive about Dixie State. Gary Gordon had 10 points; Marc Matthews had 13; the Jackets had a 7 man rotation for the most part and it wasn’t awful. The game was iffy, but… there could be worse things.
The general jist of this post is: We’re refusing to panic yet because it’s still so early even though there may be slight urges to panic because there have been some ugly games and ugly halves of basketball… One game at a time. Let’s get through the first weekend of conference play and then maybe consider bringing out the “bang head here” poster.
Tomorrow we’ll see if WWU has bounced back while in PR.