Conference Play Continues As New Year Begins
Junior guard Avery Albrecht leads the top-five Nighthawks with 12.1 points per game entering the month of January.
Junior guard Avery Albrecht leads the top-five Nighthawks with 12.1 points per game entering the month of January.

Monday, December 31, 2018

Taryn Shelley
Montana State Billings
F • 6-3 • Fr. • Shoreline, Wash.

Shelley finished with one double-double and just missed a second to help lead the Yellowjackets to a split at the Daytona Beach Shootout. She had her double-double of 19 points and 15 rebounds in the team’s 48-47 win over Maryville on Tuesday. She finished shooting 8 of 12 from the field and also had a block and a steal. Shelley then finished with eight points and nine rebounds in MSUB’s 89-66 loss to Angelo State on Wednesday.

Also Nominated: Sala Langi (Alaska Anchorage), Kaelie Flores (Central Washington), Abby Zhang (Concordia), Claire Dingus (Saint Martin’s), Jessica Jones (Simon Fraser), Ali Nelke (Western Oregon), Kelsey Rogers (Western Washington).

• The Nanooks were off for the majority of the month, breaking for final exams and the holidays after an 0-2 start to conference play.

• Both of those contests came on the road against teams who entered the week previously undefeated. Alaska led 6-1 Central Washington at the end of the first quarter in Ellensburg but were unable to hang on to the advantage, ultimately falling 76-61 on Dec. 1.

• Senior Marian Wamsley leads the team in scoring after the first two months of play. The forward is averaging 13.8 points per game, with guard Kylie Wallace following at 13.3 points per game.

• Alaska is in action twice this week. The Nanooks will host Western Washington on Thursday in Fairbanks before welcoming in Simon Fraser on Saturday.

• Alaska Anchorage emerged from its Hawaiian holiday trip unscathed. The team blew out Holy Names on Dec. 18 to posting a 71-60 victory at Hawaii Hilo one day later.

• The Seawolves only held a six-point lead at halftime against the Vulcans but outscored their opponent 24-13 in the third stanza. The outburst allowed the club to ultimately cruise to the quality road win.

• Guard Yazmeen Goo is the team’s leader in scoring. She is averaging 13 points per game while also making a difference on the defensive end, notching 4 steals per game entering the month of January.

• The Seawolves lead the GNAC and are 10th nationally with 12.5 steals per game. Senior Kian McNair is second in the conference with 2.7 steals per game.

• Alaska Anchorage is ranked No. 14 in the latest WBCA Division II Coaches Poll and No. 17 in the D2SIDA Poll.

• The team will return to Anchorage for its first home game since Nov. 24 this week. Its first contest will tip-off at 5:15 p.m. on Thursday evening against Simon Fraser, followed by a Saturday night tilt with Western Washington.

• The Wildcats dropped their second and third games of the season leading up to the break, coming by a total of seven points on the road against Cal Poly Pomona on Dec. 15 and Cal State Dominguez Hills on Dec. 17.

• Forward Kaelie Flores shined in the road trip, averaging 18.5 points and 9 rebounds per game. Guard Alexis Pana helped provide some balance in the backcourt, adding 15.5 points and 6 assists per contest. Pana (14.0) leads the team in scoring through the first two months of the season.

• The team is shooting at one of the hottest clips in the country, making 49.4 percent of its field goal attempts thus far. That has Central Washington ranked first in the GNAC and fourth nationally.  

• The Wildcats three losses on the 2018-19 campaign have come to teams with a combined record of 23-7.

• They will be in action twice this week, traveling to WOU and Concordia.

• Concordia dropped its last two counting games of the month, a challenging trip to Fort Lauderdale against Drury and Nova Southeastern. The contests snapped a two-game non-conference winning streak for the club.

• Sophomore Olivia Vezaldenos shined for the Cavaliers, leading the team with 9.5 points per game in the trip south.

• Vazaldenos leads the team in scoring, averaging 11.5 per game through eight weeks of play. On the glass, senior Keesha Sarman tops CU with 7.1 rebounds per game.

• The team rounded out the month of December in Eugene with an exhibition loss to Division I No. 5 Oregon. Guard Kizzah Maltezo led the visitors with a game-high 25 points.

• The Cavaliers are back in action twice this week, returning to Portland to host Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington. Thursday’s date with the Nighthawks will tip-off at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s contest is scheduled for 2 p.m.

• The Yellowjackets capped their calendar year with a two-game split in a trip south for the Daytona Beach Shootout.

• The highlight of the week came in a tight 48-47 victory over Maryville. Freshman Taryn Shelley led Montana State Billings, totaling 19 points to finish as one of two Yellowjackets in double figures. Forward Vanessa Stavish joined her with 14 points to go along with seven rebounds.

• Shelley’s exploits earned the forward the nod as GNAC Player of the Week. It was the team’s first such honor of the 2018-19 season.

• Montana State Billings is back in action this week with a pair of games in its return to GNAC play. The team will host Saint Martin’s on Thursday at 7 p.m. before winding the weekend down against Seattle Pacific on Saturday afternoon.

• The Nighthawks are the only unbeaten remaining throughout the GNAC. Their latest win came against Whitworth, where they jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in a 103-68 victory on Dec. 18.

• Freshman Erin Jenkins shined for NNU, leading her team with 18 points off the bench. She was one of seven Nighthawks to finish the afternoon scoring in double figures.

• The Nighthawks are now No. 5 in the latest D2SIDA Media Poll and 7th in the WBCA Division II Coaches Poll. They are one of just three teams receiving first-place votes in the D2SIDA Poll.

• Northwest Nazarene will hit the road this week, putting its undefeated record on the line against two conference opponents. The trip will start in Portland against Concordia on Thursday night and continue Saturday afternoon at Western Oregon.

• Saint Martin’s emerged victorious in one of three games on its Hawaiian swing to close out the month of December.

• That lone win came in decisive fashion at Chaminade on Dec. 16, where the Saints took care of business to the tune of a 69-59 decision.

• Freshman Claire Dingus led SMU in the victory, compiling 21 points while logging a game-high 38 minutes. She was one of two Saints to finish scoring in double figures.  

• Sophomore Saniah Simpson-Patu has led Saint Martin’s this season, averaging 17.1 points per game at the conclusion of non-conference play. Simpson-Patu leads the GNAC in scoring average.

• Saint Martin’s will be in action twice this week, starting its month off with a rivalry tilt against Seattle Pacific on Tuesday night. It will then hit the road, facing Montana State Billings on Thursday at 7 p.m. (MST).

• Seattle Pacific was in action twice before break, dropping a pair of games at Cal State LA and at Concordia-Irvine. The contests marked the team’s first action since sweeping its first two games of GNAC play.

• The Falcons were led by a pair of explosive days from senior Carly Rataushk, who finished the week averaging 15 points and 6 rebounds per game.

• Senior Riley Evans leads the team in scoring through eight weeks of play at a clip of 16.3 points per game.

• Seattle Pacific will be in action twice this week, taking to the road to face Saint Martin’s on Tuesday and Montana State Billings on Saturday.

• The Clan took to the floor twice more before breaking for the holidays, falling in a pair of games at the Viking Holiday Hoops Classic in Bellingham. The team fell against Stanislaus State in the tournament opener before dropping a tight decision against Lubbock Christian.

• Sophomore Jessica Jones led the team in the short trip across the border, averaging 16 points per game over the two contests. She was one of three scorers to finish in double figures in the six-point defeat against the Chaparrals.  

• Jones and senior Sophie Swant are at the top of the SFU scoring list after nine games, averaging a clip of 14.7 points per game. Point guard Tayler Drynan is following closely behind at 11.3 per game.

• The team returns to the floor twice this week at Alaska Anchorage and Alaska.

• Western Oregon was in action once prior to the break, blowing out Notre Dame de Namur for a 79-60 victory on Dec. 19.

• Forward Ali Nelke led her team to the win, scoring 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds in the 19-point win. Forward Natalie DeLonge finished with a double-double, pouring in 18 points while pulling down 10 boards.

• DeLonge leads the Wolves with an average of 11.8 points per game. Sophomore Keyonna Jones is next on the team with 10.9 points per game.

• The Wolves will return to the floor twice this week, hosting Central Washington on Thursday night before Northwest Nazarene comes calling two days later.

• The Vikings split their two games before break as they hosted the Viking Holiday Hoops Classic.  

• Sophomore Kelsey Rogers shined in her first two non-conference contests of the season, averaging 13.5 points and 7.5 rebounds across the pair of games.

• It’s Rogers who leads the team in scoring, averaging 14.5 points per game after eight weeks of action. Two other Vikings, Anna Schwecke (13.2 points per game) and Dani Iwami (12.1), are scoring in double figures as the third month of the season tips off.  

• The Vikings will make its Alaska road trip this week, starting with a date with the Nanooks on Thursday evening. The week will then conclude at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.