THE SECOND HALF BEGINS: Ten games remain between GNAC teams and the GNAC Championships and eight teams remain in the hunt for the tournament's six spots.
Western Washington enters the week in firm control of the standings. The Vikings went 9-1 in the first half and own a two-game lead over both Alaska Anchorage and Central Washington, who sit tied for second at 7-3. Montana State Billings and Western Oregon are tied for fourth with 6-4 records.
The real battle appears to be shaping up for the sixth and final GNAC Championships spot. Saint Martin's and Northwest Nazarene are tied for sixth with 5-5 records and Seattle Pacific is one game behind in eighth at 4-6.
30 FOR 30: It was a big week for 30-point scorers in the GNAC last week with five players turning in performances at or above the threshold.
Seattle Pacific's Coleman Wooten (6'5''-F) led the parade, scoring 35 points on 14 of 23 from the field in the Falcon's game at Saint Martin's last Tuesday. Western Washington's Jeffrey Parker (6'6''-F-93) poured in 32 points in Thuesday's home win over Northwest Nazarene and the Crusaders Bouna N'Diaye (6'6''-G) scored 31 points on 12 of 21 from the field in the same game.
Central Washington had two 30-point scorers in its games. Naim Ladd (5'7''-PG) finished with 33 points on 11 of 17 from the field in Thursday's win at Simon Fraser and Dom Hunter scored 30 points in Saturday's loss at Western Washington.
To date, there have been 26 30-point performances in the GNAC this season. Hunter leads the way with five 30-plus point performances.
THREE GNAC GAMES TO AIR ON ROOT SPORTS: Conference basketball fans can look forward to two more games airing on ROOT SPORTS. 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).
Saint Martin's and Montana State Billings opened the three-game broadcast slate last Thursday, with the Saints rolling to a 106-58 victory. This marks the eighth year that GNAC basketball has been featured on ROOT SPORTS.
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, WWU (Most Valuable Player), Taylor Stafford, WWU. Sodexo Tip-Off Classic (Nov. 11-12, Seattle): Coleman Wooten, SPU (Most Valuable Player), Joe Rasmussen, 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, UAA.
THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK Jeffrey Parker Western Washington F • 6-6 • Sr. • Richmond, Calif.
Parker scored 59 points, shot 60.6 percent from the field and 68.6 percent from three-point range to lead the Vikings to two wins to improve to 9-1 in GNAC play. He scored 32 points on 11 of 18 from the field in the Vikings' 102-74 win over Northwest Nazarene on Thursday. He then added 27 points on 9 of 15 from the field and 5 of 9 from three-point range in WWU's 100-89 win over Central Washington.
AROUND THE GNAC ALASKA • Alaska secured a split at home to finish the first half of the GNAC season. The Nanooks collected an 83-75 win over Concordia on Thursday before taking an 83-51 loss to Western Oregon on Saturday.
• Senior guard Nahjee Matlock was the Nanooks' leading scorer in both games. He finished with 22 points on 8 of 9 from the field and 4 of 5 from three-point range with six assists in the win over Concordia and added nine points against Western Oregon. Matlock enters the week leading the GNAC with a 2.61 assist/turnover ratio and is second in the GNAC with 4.95 assists per game.
• Senior forward Zach Pederson came up with 16 points against Concordia, making 7 of 14 from the field. Pederson enters the week ranked sixth in the GNAC with 2.11 offensive rebounds per game.
• Against Western Oregon, junior forward Spencer Clark was one of three players to score seven points as he went 3 of 5 from the field with three rebounds and two steals.
• Alaska enters the week averaging 75.3 points and 34.1 rebounds per game. The Nanooks lead the GNAC and are 30th in Division II with a 1.39 assist/turnover ratio. Alaska is also second in the GNAC with a +4.00 turnover margin.
• Alaska opens the second half of the GNAC season on the road, playing at Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Saint Martin's on Saturday.
ALASKA ANCHORAGE • Alaska Anchorage solidified its spot in the top half of the conference standingd with two home wins. The Seawolves played to an 81-73 win over Western Oregon on Thursday before holding off Concordia for a 77-75 win on Saturday.
• Senior guard Sekou 'Suki' Wiggs led the Seawolves in scoring in both games. He scored 25 points on 8 of 16 from the field and 5 of 8 from three-point range to go along with six assists against Western Oregon. Wiggs then added 21 points, including 13 of 18 from the free throw line, against Concordia. Wiggs is second in the GNAC and 12th in Division II in scoring at 22.9 points per game. He also ranks eighth in Division II in free throw attempts (144) and 15th in free throws made (102).
• Senior guard Spencer Svejcar also put together two solid scoring efforts, finishing with 12 points against Western Oregon and 19 points against Concordia on 7 of 10 from the field and 5 of 6 from three-point range. Svejcar leads the GNAC and is ninth in Division II with a .922 free throw percentage (47-51).
• Senior forward Corey Hammell collected his sixth double-double of the season when he had 14 points and 11 rebounds against Concordia. Hammell leads the GNAC and is 17th in Division II with 10.3 rebounds per game.
• For a team that has not depended on the bench much, junior guard Ashton Pomrehn came up with a solid effort against Western Oregon. He scored 12 points in 17 minutes, going 4 of 9 from the field with two three-pointers.
• Alaska Anchorage enters the week averaging 80.1 points per game and leads the GNAC with 40.4 rebounds per game. The Seawolves lead Division II in rebounding margin at 12.7. They are also sixth in scoring defense, allowing 63.9 points per game, and 12th in scoring margin (16.1). Alaska Anchorage leads the GNAC in scoring defense, scoring margin, field goal percentage defense (.408), rebounding defense (27.7 allowed per game), rebounding margin, and offensive rebounds (14.33 per game)
• Alaska Anchorage is on the road for its next two games, playing at Saint Martin's on Thursday and at Seattle Pacific on Saturday.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON • Central Washington took a split to end the first half of GNAC play. The Wildcats extended their win streak to five with a 97-85 victory at Simon Fraser on Thursday before falling 100-89 to Western Washington on Saturday.
• The Wildcats had 30-point scorers in both games. Junior guard Naim Ladd finished with 33 points against Simon Fraser, connecting on 11 of 17 from the field and 8 of 11 from the free throw line. Ladd enters the week ninth in the GNAC with a .434 three-point percentage and is 10th in the GNAC in scoring at 16.8 points per game. He is also 26th in Division II with 3.31 three-pointers made per game.
• Senior guard Dom Hunter scored double digits in both contests. He had 23 points, which included 8 of 12 from the free throw line, against Simon Fraser and led the team 30 points on 12 of 22 from the field at Western Washington. Hunter continues to lead the GNAC and is third in Division II in scoring at 25.7 points per game. Hunter is also fourth in the GNAC with 1.67 steals per game.
• Forward Fuquan Niles continues to lead the GNAC and is fifth in Division II with 3.25 blocked shots per game. He added four to his total last week, three against Simon Fraser.
• The Wildcats had a solid shooting weekend, hitting 51.1 percent from the field in the two games (67-131). The Wildcats shot 54.1 percent from the field and 54.2 percent from three-point range against Simon Fraser.
• Central Washington is second in the GNAC and 13th in Division II in scoring at 89.6 points per game. The Wildcats lead the GNAC in blocked shots (4.38 per game) and three-pointers made (11.13 per game).
• Central Washington is home to begin the second half of the GNAC season, hosting Concordia on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday.
CONCORDIA • Concordia dropped both games on the Alaska road swing to close the first half of the season. The Cavaliers fell to Alaska on Thursday, 83-75, before taking a close 77-75 loss at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.
• Junior forward Christopher Edward led the Cavaliers against Alaska with a double-double of 24 points and 14 rebounds. He made 8 of 13 from both the field and the free throw line. Edward enters the week third in the GNAC with a .598 field goal percentage (104-174) and is fifth in rebounding with 8.4 boards per game.
• Senior forward Drew Martin scored 18 points in both games in the 49th state. He finished with a double-double of 18 points and 10 rebounds at Alaska added 18 points and eight rebounds at Alaska Anchorage. Martin is eighth in the GNAC in scoring at 17.1 points per game, is seventh in rebounding with 8.2 per game and is 10th with a .515 field goal percentage (118-229).
• Sophomore guard Jarrett Gray did his part to keep Concordia in the game against Alaska Anchorage, finishing with 21 points on 7 of 11 from the field. All seven of the made shots were three-pointers. As a team, Concordia finished shooting 50.9 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range against the Seawolves.
• Concordia enters the week averaging 79.2 points and 38.1 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers are third in the GNAC in three-point defense (.347) and blocked shots (3.82 per game).
• Concordia is on the road this weekend, traveling to Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.
MONTANA STATE BILLINGS • The Yellowjackets saw their string of six wins over seven games end in a brutal way. Montana State Billings fell to Saint Martin's in the first ROOT SPORTS game of the season on Thursday, 106-58. On Saturday, the Yellowjackets dropped a 94-75 decision at Seattle Pacific.
• Sophomore forward Preston Beverly and junior guard Kendall Denham each scored 11 points in the loss at Saint Martin's. Beverly enters the week fourth in the GNAC in scoring at 17.8 points per game and sixth in rebounding with 8.2 boards per game. Beverly also leads the GNAC with 6.72 defensive rebounds per game.
• Senior guard Marc Matthews led the Yellowjackets against Seattle Pacific with 17 points six rebounds and five assists, connecting on 4 of 8 from three-point range. Matthews enters the week third in the GNAC with 3.17 three-pointers per game.
• Montana State Billings is now 11-7 overall on the season, which matches its win total from the 2015-16 season.
• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 81.8 points per game and 36.8 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets are second in the GNAC in offensive rebounds (12.56 per game) and third in three-pointers made (9.44 per game).
• Montana State Billings opens the second half of the GNAC season at home, hosting Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE • Northwest Nazarene secured a split of its road games last weekend. The Crusaders took a 102-74 loss at Western Washington before scoring an 80-74 win at Simon Fraser on Saturday. Northwest Nazarene has now won three of its last four games.
• Senior guard Bouna N'Diaye led the Crusaders in scoring for the weekend. He came alive for 31 points on 12 of 21 from the field and 6 of 8 from three-point range at Western Washington. He then added 19 points on 7 of 12 from the field to go with 10 rebounds against Simon Fraser. N'Diaye leads NNU and is 11th in the GNAC in scoring at 16.1 points per game.
• Senior center Kaileb Rodriguez had a big night against Simon Fraser, finishing with 23 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. He made 10 of 12 from the field. Rodriguez is fifth in the GNAC with a .547 field goal percentage (94-172) and is 10th with 6.4 rebounds per game.
• Northwest Nazarene put it all together as a team against Simon Fraser. The Crusaders shot 52.5 percent from the field, which included 55.6 percent in the second half alone (15-27). The Crusaders also outrebounded the Clan 42-28.
• The Crusaders enter the week averaging 75.2 points and 36.2 rebounds per game. The team is second in the GNAC in field goal percentage (.476) and third in field goal defense (.425). Northwest Nazarene is ranked 27th among Division II teams in fewest fouls (286).
• The second half of the GNAC starts with NNU at home, hosting Western Oregon on Thursday and Concordia on Saturday.
SAINT MARTIN'S • Saint Martin's is now on a three-game win streak with a trio of victories over the last week. The Saints opened the week with a 93-80 win over Seattle Pacific on Tuesday and then beat Montana State Billings on Thursday, 106-58, in the GNAC's first ROOT SPORTS game of the year. The Saints finished non-conference play on Monday with an 89-64 win over Quest.
• Saint Martin's could hardly miss in the win over Montana State BIllings. The Saints finished shooting 57.6 percent from the field (38-66), 67.9 percent from three-point range (19-28) and 78.6 percent from the free throw line (11-14).
• For their dominant efforts in the two conference victories, Saint Martin's was recognized as the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.
• Senior guard Cole Preston led the Saints in the win over Seattle Pacific, finishing with 19 points on 4 of 6 from the field and 9 of 10 from the free throw line. Preston also had 16 assists in the three games. He leads the GNAC and is 15th in Division II with 6.06 assists per game.
• Senior forward Brandon Kenilvort played a big role in the win over MSUB, leading the Saints with 23 points in 14 minutes off the bench. He connected on 8 of 12 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range to go along with seven rebounds.
• Senior guard Tyler Copp had 35 points in the two GNAC games, topped by a 20-point effort against MSUB. Copp enters the week seventh in the GNAC in scoring at 17.2 points per game and is fourth in free throw shooting att 88.8 percent. Copp had a streak of 17 straight free throws made snapped against Seattle Pacific.
• As a team, Saint Martin's is third in the GNAC in scoring at 82.7 points per game and is fifth in rebounding at 38.1 rebounds per game. The Saints are second is the GNAC in scoring defense (71.7 points allowed per game), field goal percentage (.478) and field goal defense (.423).
• Saint Martin's hosts the Alaska schools this week, welcoming Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and Alaska on Saturday.
SEATTLE PACIFIC • The Falcons took a split to finish the first half of conference play. Seattle Pacific fell to Saint Martin's on Tuesday, 93-80, before shooting 55.2 percent from the field to beat Montana State Billings on Saturday, 94-75.
• Sophomore forward Coleman Wooten led the Falcons in both games. He scored 35 points on 14 of 23 from the field and seven three-pointers against Saint Martin's and added 23 points on 8 of 10 from the field against MSUB. Wooten enters the week fourth in the GNAC in rebounding at 8.6 boards per game and fifth in scoring at 17.7 points per game.
• Senior center Joe Rasmussen had a pair of consistent efforts in the two games. He scored 19 points with six rebounds against Saint Martin's on Tuesday and had 18 points in the win over MSUB. Rasmussen is averaging 15 points per game.
• While quiet in the two games, freshman forward Tony Miller continues to be a force. He enters the week second in the GNAC in rebounding at 8.7 rebounds per contest and ninth in scoring 17 points per game.
• The Falcons enter the week averaging 80.5 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 40 rebounds per game. Seattle Pacific leads the GNAC in defensive rebounds (28.00 per game) and is 21st in Division II in free throw attempts (479).
• Seattle Pacific continues a three-game home stand this week, hosting Alaska on Thursday and Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.
SIMON FRASER • Simon Fraser continues to struggle with the Clan's losing streak now at 14 games. The Clan dropped a 97-85 game to Central Washington on Thursday before suffering a close 80-74 loss to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.
• Junior guard Kedar Wright led the Clan in scoring with 25-point performances in both contests. Wright had 25 to go along with seven rebounds against Central Washington and finished with 25 with eight rebounds and two steals against Central Washington. Wright is SFU's leading scorer, averaging 14.8 points per game.
• Senior guard Hidde Vos also provided solid scoring for the Clan. He finished with 15 points on 5 of 9 from both the field and three-point range against Central Washington and 16 points on 6 of 9 from the field and 4 of 6 from the three-point line against NNU.
• In The GNAC individual stats, sophomore Tyrell Lewin is second in field goal percentage (.671, 57-85). Freshman guard Michael Provenzano is fourth in assists (3.78 per game) and ninth in free throw percentage (.830, 39-47).
• Simon Fraser enters the week averaging 69.9 points and 31.3 rebounds per game.
• The Clan opens the second half of the GNAC season on the road, playing at Western Washington on Tuesday and at Montana State BIllings on Saturday. They will be looking for their first win since Nov. 19 (beat Lindenwood 73-72) and their first GNAC win since Feb. 11, 2016 (beat Concordia in Portland 90-70).
WESTERN OREGON • Western Oregon stayed in the playoff race with a split in Alaska. The Wolves took a competitive 84-76 loss to Alaska Anchorage on Thursday before beating Alaska on Saturday, 83-51.
• Junior guard Demetrius Trammell had quite the week off the bench. He led the Wolves with 17 points against Alaska Anchorage, hitting on 5 of 10 from the field and 3 of 6 from three-point range in 25 minutes. He added 15 points on 4 of 8 from the field and 3 of 7 from long range at Alaska. Junior guard Bryan Berg also came up big off the bench against the Nanooks, leading all scorers with 22 points on 6 of 8 from the field and 5 of 6 from three.
• Junior forward Tanner Omlid scored 19 points on 9 of 13 from the field to go along with five rebounds in the win over UAF. Omlid continues to lead WOU in scoring at 14.6 points per game. He also leads the GNAC and is sixth in Division II with 2.83 steals per game.
• Western Oregon's bench plays a more prominent role than any bench in the GNAC. Wolves not in the starting five accounted for 79 of the team's 156 points in the last two games. Players who have started less than half of WOU's games are averaging 37.2 points per game.
• As a team, Western Oregon is averaging 74.9 points and 34.3 rebounds per game. The Wolves lead the GNAC and rank 16th in Division II with 8.83 steals per game. They are also 22nd in Division II in fewest turnovers with 196.
• The Wolves are back on the road to begin the second half of the season, traveling to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.
WESTERN WASHINGTON • Western Washington is in firm control of the GNAC regular season championship race, ending the first half of the season at 9-1 and 15-3 overall. The Vikings ran its current win streak to six games with a 102-74 win over Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and a 100-89 victory over Central Washington on Saturday.
• The Vikings enters the week leading the GNAC and ranked eighth in Division II in scoring at 90.7 points per game. Western Washington had scored 90 or more points in 11 games and scored 100 or more points in six games (all wins).
• Senior forward Jeffrey Parker had two big scoring performance to help bolster the wins. He led all scorers with 32 points, including six three-pointers, to go alng with four rebounds and three assists in the win over NNU and added 27 points on 9 of 15 from the field and 5 of 9 from three-point range against CWU. Parker enters the week sixth in the GNAC in scoring at 17.6 points per game.
• Senior guard Taylor Stafford led all scorers with 29 points against Central Washington, scoring on 10 of 22 from the field. He also contributed 19 points on 7 of 13 from the field with five rebounds and nine assists against NNU. Stafford is third in the GNAC and 19th in Division II in scoring at 22.1 points per game. Stafford is also third in the GNAC at 1.72 steals and 3.94 assists per game.
• The Vikings continue to climb in the polls. Western Washington jumped seven spots to No. 11 in the D2SIDA Media Poll and two spots to No. 15 in the NABC Coaches Poll.
• In addition to scoring, the GNAC enters the week leading the GNAC in free throw percentage (.794), field goal percentage (.508) and three-point percentage (.420) and is second in rebounding defense, allowing 31.3 per game. The Vikings are fourth in Division II in free throw percentage, 10th in free throw percentage and 16th in field goal percentage.
• Western Washington's second half opens on Tuesday as the Vikings host Simon Fraser. The Vikings then travel to Montana State Billings on Thursday.
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 - 20 hours 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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