UNDEFEATED NO MORE: It took two top-25 opponents to end Western Washington's undefeated run to the start the season as the Vikings fell in a pair of hard-fought games in the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas.
Three-pointers and free throw shooting proved the difference in a 90-83 loss to No. 9 West Texas A&M on Dec. 18. The Buffaloes made three more three-pointers (11) than the Vikings and connected on 25 of 35 from the charity stripe.
It all came down to the end in a close 84-83 loss to No. 15 Tarleton State on Dec. 19. After holding as much as a 10-point lead in the first half, the Vikings saw the Texans come back and take the lead for good on Ridell Camidge's three-point play with four seconds left.
Despite the losses, Western Washington will still enter the bulk of the GNAC schedule as the team to beat. The Vikings own the best overall record in the league at 8-2 and lead the GNAC in scoring, averaging 90.7 points per game.
AGAINST DIVISION I TEAMS: The GNAC is 1-11 on the season against Division I opponents. Alaska Anchorage collected the one win of the season, defeating Drake 74-69 on Nov. 26 in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout.
Saint Martin's played Eastern Washington to within 11 points on Oct. 30, falling 80-69. A week later, the Saints played Cal State Fullerton much closer before dropping a 70-67 decision on Nov. 5.
Western Washington gave Washington a handful at Seattle on Nov. 3, eventually falling to Lorenzo Romar's squad 109-103. The closest GNAC contest, however, came in El Paso as Alaska led for the first 28 minutes in its contest with UTEP on Nov. 5. The game would go to overtime before the Miners pulled away for the 87-85 victory.
THREE GNAC GAMES TO AIR ON ROOT SPORTS: For the eighth consecutive year, Great Northwest Athletic Conference basketball will be featured throughout the Northwest on ROOT SPORTS.
The conference and the regional sports network have agreed to a three-game schedule that will feature six different GNAC men's basketball programs. The slate begins on Thurs., Jan. 19, with Montana State Billings playing at Saint Martin's in a game that will tip off at 9 p.m. (Pacific).
Two games will air in February. Western Oregon will host Seattle Pacific on Sat., Feb. 4, for a 5 p.m. (Pacific) tip off. One of the conference's top rivalries completes the schedule as Central Washington plays host to Western Washington on Thurs., Feb. 16, at 8 p.m. (Pacific).
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS: The following GNAC players have been selected to all-tournament teams during the 2016-17 season: Veteran's Day Pioneer Challenge (Nov. 11-12, Hayward, Calif.): Jeffrey Parker (6'6''-F-93), WWU (Most Valuable Player), Taylor Stafford, WWU. Sodexo Tip-Off Classic (Nov. 11-12, Seattle): Coleman Wooten, SPU (Most Valuable Player), Joe Rasmussen (6'8''-C), SPU. Oak Harbor Freight Lines Classic (Nov. 18-19 at Seattle): Dom Hunter, CWU; Coleman Wooten, SPU. Ron Logsdon Basketball Classic (Nov. 18-19 at Rohnert Park, Calif.): Tyler Copp, SMU. Seawolf Jamboree (Nov. 18-19 at Anchorage): Brandon Davis, UAF; Connor Devine, UAA; Corey Hammell, UAA, Suki Wiggs, UAA (Most Outstanding Player). Chuck Randall Classic (Nov. 26-27 at Bellingham, Wash.): Jeffrey Parker, WWU (Most Valuable Player); Daulton Hommes, WWU; Brandon Davis, UAF; Nahjee Matlock, UAF. GCI Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 23-26 at Anchorage): Diante Mitchell (6'1''-G-95), UAA.
GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK (DEC. 12-20) Taylor Stafford Western Washington G • 6-1 • Sr. • Chicago, Ill.
Stafford averaged 26.7 points per game in three games for the Vikings, all against top-25 opponents. Last Monday, Stafford exploded for 44 points on 15 of 21 from the field and 7 of 9 from three-point range in a 104-81 win at UC San Diego. He added a game-leading 21-point performance against West Texas A&M on Sunday and 15 points against Tarleton State on Monday at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas.
Also Nominated: Bouna N'Diaye (Northwest Nazarene), Dom Hunter (Central Washington), Drew Martin (Concordia), Spencer Svejcar (Alaska Anchorage).
AROUND THE GNAC ALASKA • Alaska cruised in its only game non-conference game in December, beating Trinity Western on Dec. 19, 81-59.
• Freshman forward Michael Kluting came off the bench to lead the Nanooks with 20 points and 12 rebounds, connecting on 6 of 11 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw line. Kluting enters the week fifth in the GNAC in field goal percentage at 55.2 percent (32 of 58).
• Senior guard Brandon Davis continues to lead the Nanooks in scoring, averaging 14.2 points per game. Davis ranks third in the GNAC with 1.82 steals per game and eighth with 3.45 assists per game.
• Senior guard Nahjee Matlock is 24th in Division II and second in the GNAC with his average of 5.73 assists per game. Matlock is also tied for eighth in the GNAC with teammate LaDonovan Wilder with 1.36 steals per game and 10th in free throw percentage (.815).
• As a team, Alaska is averaging 75.8 points and 37.2 rebounds per game. The Nanooks lead the GNAC in turnover margin (+5.45) and is second in scoring defense (70.0 points allowed per game) and field goal percentage defense (.405). In the Division II stats, the Nanooks are 10th in assist/turnover ratio, 11th in turnover margin (5.5) and 13th in turnovers per game (10.8).
• Alaska returns to GNAC play at home this weekend, hosting Saint Martin's on Thursday and Seattle Pacific on Saturday.
ALASKA ANCHORAGE • Alaska Anchorage completed its non-conference schedule with a pair of wins over Trinity Western. The Seawolves rolled to an 82-44 win on Dec. 17 and were euqally as dominant in an 84-54 victory on Dec. 18.
• Guard Sekou 'Suki' Wiggs led UAA in scoring in the Dec 17 game with 22 points and added 14 points in 18 minutes on Dec. 18. Wiggs is second in the GNAC and eighth in Division II in scoring at 24.1 points per game. Wiggs is also 30th in Division II with 241 total points.
• Guard Spencer Svejcar was the leading scorer on Dec. 18 with 22 points, connecting on 7 of 11 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range to go along with seven rebounds and six assists. Svejcar leads the GNAC with his .960 free throw percentage (24 of 25).
• Forward Corey Hammell leads the GNAC and is 17th in Division II with 10.9 rebounds per game. He also ranks second in Division II with 5.50 offensive rebounds per game. Hammell came up big with 15 rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench against Trinity Western on Dec. 17.
• Alaska Anchorage leads the GNAC in scoring defense (63.5 points allowed per game), scoring margin (+20.3), field goal defense (.403), rebounding (44.6 per game), rebounding defese (27.6 allowed per game), rebounding margin (+17.0), assists (17.90), steals (9.00 per game) and offensive rebounds (17.80 per game). In the NCAA Division II stats, the Seawolves lead the country in offensive rebounds per game and rebounding margin.
• The Seawolves return to conference play at the Alaska Airlines Center, hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Saint Martin's on Saturday.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON • Central Washington was a big winner in its lone game before the holiday break, defeating Langara 100-63 on Dec. 17.
• Guard Dom Hunter led the scoring machine once again, finishing with 31 points on 11 of 18 from the field and 9 of 12 from three-point range. It was his eight consecutive 20-plus point performance of the season. Hunter enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked second in Division II in scoring at 28.6 points per game. Hunter also ranks second in Division II with 4.50 three-pointers made per game and ninth in free throw percentage (.952).
• Hunter led six CWU players who scored in double figures against Langara. Jerome Bryant led the other five as he scored 14 points in 14 minutes off the bench, connecting on 7 of 7 from the field.
• Forward Fuquan Niles enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked fifth in blocked shots with 3.25 per game. Niles had four swats in the win over Langara.
• Central Washington enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 11th in Division II with an average of 92.8 points per game. The Wildcats also led the GNAC and rank seventh in Division II in free throw percentage (.791). Central Washington averages 36.8 rebounds per game and also lead the GNAC in blocked shots (4.38 per game) and three-pointers made (11.75 per game).
• Central Washington is on the road in its return to conference play, competing at Western Oregon on Thursday and at Concordia on Saturday.
CONCORDIA • Concordia went 2-0 in its non-conference games in December, capping the set with a 101-60 win over Vancouver Island on Dec. 17.
• Senior forward Drew Martin led the Cavaliers in the game with 20 points and 13 rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks. Martin enters the week 10th in the GNAC in scoring at 16.2 points per game and is sixth in rebounding at 7.4 boards per game.
• Forward Christopher Edward added 16 points on 8 of 11 from the field in the victory. Edward is third in the GNAC in rebounding at 8.7 boards per game and second in field goal shooting at 63.2 percent (60 of 95).
• Concordia enters the week averaging 82.9 points and 40.9 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers lead the GNAC in defensive rebounds (29.67 per game) and is third in rebounding, field goal percentage (.488) and blocked shots (3.67 per game).
• Concordia will make its return to conference at home, hosting Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS • Montana State Billings has not played since Dec. 10, when it defeated crosstown rival Rocky Mountain 95-85.
• Guard Marc Matthews was named GNAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week for Dec. 5-11 after he led the Yellowjackets in the victory over Rocky Mountain and a win over Western Oregon on Dec. 5. He enters the week averaging 14.2 points per game and is fourth with 2.80 three-pointers made per game.
• Guard Preston Beverly continues to be the Yellowjackets' leading scorer, ranking sixth in the GNAC with an average of 17.6 points per game. He also ranks fourth in the league in rebounding with 8.6 boards per game.
• As a team, Montana State Billings is averaging 81.1 points and 38.5 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets are second in the GNAC in offensive rebounds (13.50 per game) and free throw percentage (.750) .
• Montana State Billings ends its long winter's nap on Thursday, hosting Simon Fraser before welcoming Western Washington on Saturday.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE • Northwest Nazarene broke up the holiday break with an exhibition game at Idaho on Dec. 17, falling to the Division I Vandals 87-61.
• Senior guard Bouna N'Diaye led the Crusaders against the Vandals with 16 points on 7 of 15 from the field to go along with six assists. N'Diaye enters the week averaging 14.3 points per game.
• Junior forward Maurice Jones leads NNU in scoring, ranking 12th in the GNAC with 15.1 points per game. Jones is also 10th in the GNAC at 6.8 rebounds per game. Jones finished with eight points against Idaho.
• Forward Kaileb Rodriguez enters the week as the Crusaders' top rebounder, ranked ninth in the GNAC at 6.9 rebounds per game and is tied for sixth in the GNAC in field goal shooting with teammate Jones at 54.7 percent. Guard Jayden Bezzant is sixth in the GNAC in three-point shooting at 45.9 percent and is seventh in steals with 1.4 per game.
• The Crusaders rejoin conference play averaging 76.4 points and 35.4 rebounds per game. Northwest Nazarene is second in the GNAC in field goal percentage (.495) and third in scoring defense (71.6 points allowed per game).
• Northwest Nazarene is on the road this week, playing at Concordia on Thursday and at Western Oregon on Saturday.
SAINT MARTIN'S • Saint Martin's has not played since Dec. 10 when it cruised to a 120-62 win over Northwest Indian.
• Freshman guard Logan Adams led the Saints off the bench in the victory, scoring 30 points on 11 of 16 from the field and 6 of 10 from three-point range. He was one of six SMU players to score in double figures on the night.
• Guard Tyler Copp enters the week ranked fourth in the GNAC in scoring at 19.5 points per game, is fifth in free throw shooting at 87.8 percent and is sixth with 2.6 three-pointers made per game. Trey Ingram is ranked third in the GNAC in three-point shooting at 46.9 percent and seventh with 2.6 three-pointers made per game.
• Guard Cole Preston enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked 17th in Division II in assists, averaging 6.3 per game.
• As a team, Saint Martin's is third in the GNAC with 86.1 points and fourth with 39.9 rebounds per game. The Saints are second in field goal defense (.411), rebounding defense (31.7 allowed per game), rebounding margin (+8.2) and blocked shots (3.89 per game).
• The Saints are in Alaska for the re-boot to GNAC play, at Alaska on Thursday and at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.
SEATTLE PACIFIC • Seattle Pacific finished non-conference play with two games in Hawaii. The Falcons dropped a close 87-86 decision to Chaminade on Dec. 14 and scored a 72-66 victory over Hawaii Hilo on Dec. 16.
• Freshman Tony Miller scored in double digits in both games. He finished with 16 points and seven rebounds against Chaminade and led the Falcons against Hawaii Hilo with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Miller enters the week ranked ninth in the GNAC in scoring with 16.5 points per game and is fifth in rebounding at eight per game.
• Guard Coleman Wooten led the Falcons against Chaminade with 22 points and nine rebounds, including a 7 of 18 performance from the field. Wooten enters the week eighth in the GNAC in scoring at 17 points per game and second in rebounding at 9.6 per game. In the NCAA stats, Wooten is 15th with 7.50 defensive rebounds per game and 24th with five double-doubles.
• Seattle Pacific is averaging 82 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 41.8 rebounds per game. The Falcons also lead the GNACis 19th in Division II in three-point defense at .294. The Falcons are also 24th in Division II with 29.20 defensive rebounds per game.
• The Falcons will be in Alaska for the re-start of conference play. Seattle Pacific is at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and at Alaska on Saturday.
SIMON FRASER • Simon Fraser dropped both of its contests prior to the break at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic. The Clan fell 88-63 to Tarleton State on Dec. 18 and 83-58 to Angelo State on Monday.
• Guard Michael Provenzano led three Simon Fraser players in double-figure scoring against Tarleton State with 16 points to go along with seven assists. Provenzano enters the week fourth in the GNAC in assists at 4.36 per game.
• Junior guard Kedar Wright led SFU against Angelo State, coming off the bench to score 15 points along with five rebounds.
• Freshman Tyrell Lewin enters the week leading the GNAC in field goal percentage at 65.5 percent (38 of 58). Lewin went 5 of 7 in the two games in Las Vegas, including a 4 for 4 performance against Angelo State where he finished with 10 points.
• As a team, Simon Fraser is averaging 67.1 points and 31.9 rebounds per game. The Clan ranks fifth in the GNAC in three-point shooting at 35.6 percent.
• Simon Fraser is home for the re-start of conference play, hosting Montana State Billings on Thursday and Western Washington on Friday.
WESTERN OREGON • Western Oregon lost its last contest, dropping an 82-71 decision at Azusa Pacific on Dec. 16. A scheduled Dec. 19 exhibition game against Douglas was cancelled.
• Junior guard Bryan Berg led the Wolves in scoring against Azusa Pacific, coming off the bench to score 17 points on 5 of 10 from three-point range.
• Guard Tanner Omlid had a solid line of nine points, eight rebounds, three assists and a steal against the Cougars. Omlid enters the week leading the GNAC and Division II with 3.56 steals per game. He is also ranked fifth in the GNAC with 4.20 assists per game and eighth in rebounding at seven per game.
• Western Oregon enters the week ranked seventh in Division II with a 6.2 turnover margin, 14th in fewest turnovers with 101 and 28th with 17.44 turnovers forced per game. The Wolves are second in the GNAC in steals with 8.40 per game and in turnover margin. Western Oregon is averaging 71.9 points and 33.3 rebounds per game.
• Western Oregon played San Francisco State to a 99-93 triple overtime loss in Monmouth on Nov. 18. The game was just the fifth three-overtime game in conference history and the seventh in GNAC history that went longer with two overtimes. The last three-overtime game in the GNAC was on Feb. 13, 2014, with Alaska beating Northwest Nazarene 108-104.
• The Wolves are home for its return to GNAC play, hosting Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.
WESTERN WASHINGTON • Western Washington took its first losses of the season prior to the break as it went 1-2 in three games against top-25 opponents. The Vikings opened with a 104-81 win at UC San Diego on Dec. 12.
• The Vikings dropped both games at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas, falling 90-83 to West Texas A&M on Dec. 18 and 84-83 to Tarleton State on Dec. 19.
• Forward Taylor Stafford was named GNAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the second time in three weeks after he averaged 26.7 points per game over the three games. The week was topped by a 44-point performance against UC San Deigo where he went 15 of 21 from the field and 7 of 9 from three-point range. The performance was the second best in WWU history.
• Stafford enters the week ranked third in the GNAC in scoring at 21 points per game and is tied for fourth with 2.80 three-pointers made per game.
• Forward Jeffrey Parker added 25 points in the victory over UC San Diego, connecting on 9 of 15 from the field and 5 of 7 from three-point range. He also scored double figures in both Las Vegas games. Parker enters the week ranked fifth in the GNAC in scoring at 18.6 points per game.
• Western Washington enters the week second in the GNAC and 16th in Division II in scoring at 90.7 points per game. The Vikings lead the league and 24th in field goal percnetage (.506).
• Western Washington will stay close to home for its first two games back in GNAC play. The Vikings will be at Simon Fraser on Friday and home against Montana State Billings on Saturday.
Player of the Year: Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State NABC NCAA D2 All-America Team Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) of Fairmont State Joshua Blaylock (6'2''-G) of Fort Lewis Luquon Choice (6'3''-G-93) of Lincoln Memorial Devin Gilligan (6'5''-F) of Southern New Hampshire Zach Hankins (6'10''-C) of Ferris State Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) of Valdosta State Aaron Lien (6'4''-G-95) of MSU Moorhead Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State Justin Reyes (6'4''-G/F) of St. Thomas Aqu... [read more]
Player of the Year:Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State
Northwest Missouri wins Division II title - 3 days ago
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Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin... [read more]
Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) three-pointer. Fairmont's Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) went on a personal 6-0 run before Pitts responded with another triple. Fairmont entered the game averaging 95 points, but it couldn't muster much offense and its press defense was largely useless against the Bearcats. Pitts, the NABC Division II player of the year, finished with 23 points and was voted most outstanding player of the Elite Eight. The junior from Blue Springs played all 40 minutes and committed just one turnover. Chris-Ebou Ndow (6'6''-F-93) was the work horse on the boards with 18 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Anthony Woods (6'2''-G, college: NW Missouri St.) added 13. Northwest Missouri State had been the regional runner-up each of the past three years. But the Bearcats finished the job for the program's first men's basketball national championship. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
Player of the Year: Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange of Newberry College Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne College Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin of Dominican College Hunter LeVeau of King University Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Matthew Dogan of Gannon University [read more]
Player of the Year: Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange of Newberry College Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne College
Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin of Dominican College Hunter LeVeau of King University Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Matthew Dogan of Gannon University
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