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Men's Hoops Teams Off To Strong Start In Regional Play
Seattle Pacific's Coleman Wooten was named MVP of the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic after scoring 45 points in two wins.
Seattle Pacific's Coleman Wooten was named MVP of the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic after scoring 45 points in two wins.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tyler Copp
Saint Martin’s
G • 6-1 • Sr. • Camas, Wash.

Copp averaged 23 points and seven rebounds per game and shot 65.2 percent from the field to lead the Saints to two opening weekend victories. Copp had a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds while connecting on 7 of 12 from the field and 4 of 9 from three-points range in a 73-52 win at Fresno Pacific and then scored 22 points on 8 of 11 from the field in Saturday’s 86-80 overtime win over Point Loma.

Also Nominated: Coleman Wooten (Seattle Pacific), Latrell Wilson (Concordia), Marc Matthews (Montana State Billings), Dom Hunter (Central Washington), Jeffrey Parker (Western Washington), Tanner Omlid (Western Oregon), Jayden Bezzant (Northwest Nazarene).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska has opened the season with a 1-2 record. After dropping opening weekend games to Hawaii Pacific on Friday, 78-71, and to Chaminade on Saturday, 80-66, the Nanooks finished the trip with a 74-63 win at BYU-Hawaii on Monday.

• Guard Brandon Davis leads the team with 46 points over the first three games. He led the Nanooks with 15 points against Hawaii Pacific and 17 points against Chaminade. Davis is shooting 40 percent from the floor. Davis ranks fourth in the GNAC with an average of 35 minutes per game.

• Guard Nahjee Matlock is averaging 4.33 assists per game in the three games, fourth best in the GNAC. He had a GNAC high eight assists against Chaminade.

• Alaska went 1-1 in its preseason exhibitions, which included an exciting 87-85 overtime loss at Division I Utep on Nov. 5. The win came in a 97-49 defeat of Portland Bible on Nov. 7.

• Alaska enters the week fourth in the GNAC in field goal percentage defense (.420).

• The Nanooks play this weekend at the Seawolf Jamboree at Alaska Anchorage. They will play Cal State LA on Friday before engaging in a rematch with BYU-Hawaii on Saturday.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage is 2-2 on the young season. After beating Portland Bible in their first two games on the season, the Seawolves dropped both contests in Hawaii, losing 92-81 to Chaminade on Friday and 77-71 to Hawaii Pacific on Saturday.

• GNAC Preseason Player of the Year Sekou “Suki” Wiggs continues to be a scoring force, averaging 22.8 points per game in the first four games. Wiggs scored a GNAC season-high 33 points against Chaminade, 19 of which came from the free throw line. Wiggs is fourth in the GNAC in scoring this week and ranks sixth in Division II with 91 total points.

• Forward Corey Hammell enters the week sixth in the GNAC with an average of nine rebounds per game. He leads the GNAC and is fourth in Division II with six offensive rebounds per game. Hammell pulled down a season-high 11 rebounds against Chaminade.

• As a team, the Seawolves lead the GNAC in scoring margin (+25.8), rebounding (47.8 rebounds per game), rebounding margin (+21.7), assists (19.25 per game) and offensive rebounds (21.00 per game). The Seawolves are fourth in Division II in total rebounds (191) and total steals (36).

• Alaska Anchorage began the season No. 12 in the NABC Division II Preseason Rankings and No. 16 in the D2SIDA Media Poll. The Seawolves began ranked No. 3 in the D2SIDA West Region Rankings, but were not ranked this week.

• The Seawolves will play at home for their next five games. They host BYU-Hawaii and Cal State LA this weekend in the Seawolf Jamboree before opening the GCI Great Alaska Shootout on Wednesday against Buffalo.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington opened the season with a 2-0 record, beating Cal State San Bernardino in overtime, 89-84, on Friday and Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday, 93-87, in the GNAC/CCAA Challenge.

• The Wildcats followed the trip up by taking Division I Washington State to brink on Tuesday, leading much of the first half before falling to the Cougars 81-76 in a game played in Kennewick, Wash.

• Guard Dom Hunter enters the week second in the GNAC and 15th in Division II with an average of 26.5 points per game. He scored 29 points in the win over Cal State San Bernardino and added 24 points over Cal State Monterey Bay. Hunter is also perfect from the free throw line in the two games, connecting on 19 of 19.

• Guard Naim Ladd has averaged 16.5 points per game in the two contests, scoring 17 points against Cal State San Bernardino and 16 against Cal State Monterey Bay. Ladd also ranks third in the GNAC with 36 minutes played per game.

• As a team, Central Washington is third in the GNAC with 91 points per game.

• Central Washington will play this weekend at Seattle Pacific’s Oak Harbor Freight Lines Classic, taking on Dixie State on Friday and Central Washington on Saturday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia is off to a 1-1 record to start the season. The Cavaliers opened with an 80-73 win over Cal State Monterey Bay on Friday at the GNAC/CCAA Challenge before dropping an 85-72 decision to Cal State San Bernadino on Saturday.

• The Cavaliers played its lone Division I exhibition on Tuesday, dropping a 96-53 decision at Utah. Christopher Edward led Concordia offensively with 12 points on 6 of 12 from the field.

• Guard Latrell Wilson led Concordia in the two games offensively, averaging 17.5 points per game. He scored 19 points against Cal State Monterey Bay and added 16 against Cal State San Bernardino. Wilson is also tied for fourth in the GNAC in three-pointers made with three per game (6 total).

• Guard Taylor Harris has made the most of his scoring opportunities, going 6 for 9 in the two games. His .667 field goal percentage currently ranks fifth in the GNAC.

• Concordia enters the week averaging 76 points and 34.5 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers lead the GNAC in three-point shooting (.469) and are third in blocked shots (4.50 per game) and defensive rebounds (28.50 per game).

• The Cavaliers play this weekend at the WOU Doubletree by Hilton D2 Shootout, facing UC San Diego on Friday and San Francisco State on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings is 1-2 on the season. The Yellowjackets dropped a 101-86 decision at Cal Baptist on Friday, but evened their record with an 88-80 win over Holy Names on Saturday. On Tuesday, the Yellowjackets dropped a 78-73 decision to crosstown river Rocky Mountain.

• Guard Preston Beverly has led MSUB in the three games with an average of 16.3 points per game. He led the Yellowjackets in scoring in the loss to Rocky Mountain.

Marc Matthews posted the Yellowjackets’ top single game performance thus far, scoring 30 points on 9 of 16 from the field and 7 of 7 from the free throw line against Holy Names.

• Against Cal Baptist, all three of MSUB’s top scorers came from off the bench. Zach Lessinger scored 18 points on 7 of 10 from the field. Cinco Durr added 15 points and Ryan Chappell scored 13.

• As a team, Montana State Billings is averaging 82.3 points and 39.7 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets lead the GNAC in free throw percentage (.839, 73 of 87) and are second in the GNAC in offensive rebounds (17.67 per game). They enter the week ranked ninth in Division II in free throw shooting.

• Montana State Billings’ lone game of the week is at home with Cal State East Bay coming to Billings on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene won its only counting game of the opening weekend, scoring a 92-67 win over Simpson (Calif.) on Friday.

• All five NNU starters scored in double figures in the opener. Jayden Bezzant led the way with 29 points, connecting on 11 of 17 from the field and 7 of 10 from three-point range.

• The next night, the Crusaders struggled at Division I Utah, taking an 81-37 loss.  Maurice Jones led the team in scoring with 11 points.

• Northwest Nazarene co-hosts the Taco Bell Shootout with Canyon County rival College of Idaho this weekend. The Crusaders will play Portland Bible on Friday and Colorado Christian on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• The Saints came alive for two wins on the opening weekend. At the GNAC/PacWest Challenge in Fresno, Saint Martin’s beat host Fresno Pacific on Friday, 73-52, before beating Point Loma in overtime on Saturday, 86-80. The Saints improved to 3-0 on the year with a 97-89 win at home on Tuesday over Hawaii Hilo.

• Senior guard Tyler Copp was named GNAC Player of the Week after he averaged 23 points per game and shot 65.2 percent from the field over the opening weekend, topped by a double-double of 24 points and 10 rebounds against Fresno Pacific. Copp went on to pour in 24 points in the win over Hawaii Hilo.

• Guard Cole Preston has scored 30 points and is averaging 15 points per game over the first three contests. He opened his season by scoring 19 points and hitting on 10 of 12 from the free throw line in the win over Point Loma.

• Saint Martin’s enters the weekend averaging 85.3 points and 38.7 rebounds per game. The Saints rank third in the GNAC in field goal shooting, hitting on 47.7 percent from the field.

• Saint Martin’s travels to Sonoma, Calif., this weekend for the Ron Logsdan Classic. The Saints will play host Sonoma State on Friday and Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific went 2-0 in its first games under new head coach Grant Leep at its own Sodexo Tip-Off Classic. The Falcons beat Humboldt State on Friday, 102-90, and Hawaii Hilo on Saturday, 88-80.

• Guard Coleman Wooten was named the tournament’s most valuable player after he finished with 45 points and 23 rebounds in the two games. He scored 26 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against Humboldt State and finished with 19 points and 12 rebounds against Hawaii Hilo. Wooten is second in the GNAC and 26th in Division II with 11.5 rebounds per game.

• Freshman guard Joe Rasmussen could be a sharp-shooter from outside for the Falcons, having connected on 7 of 9 from downtown in the first two games. He scored 21 points against Hawaii Hilo on Saturday on 8 of 12 from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Rasmussen is seventh in the GNAC with a .647 field goal percentage.

• As a team, Seattle Pacific leads the GNAC and is 13th in Division II with an average of 95 points per game. The Falcons rank second in the GNAC with a .488 field goal percenrage and third with a .404 three-point percentage.

• Seattle Pacific hosts the Oak Harbor Freight Lines Classic this weekend. The Falcons will play Minnesota-Mankato on Friday and Dixie State on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• The Clan got off to a tough start in head coach Steve Hanson’s first two games, falling on Friday to Hawaii Hilo, 88-73, and Saturday to Humboldt State, 87-62, at the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic.

• Guard Kedar Wright led Simon Fraser with 33 points and 16 rebounds in the two games. He led the Clan against Hawaii Hilo on Friday with 23 points on 6 of 15 from the field and 11 of 13 from the free throw line to go along with 12 rebounds and four assists.

• Freshman forward Graham Miller enters the week second in the GNAC with a .714 field goal percentage, making 10 of 14 shots in his first two games. He came off the bench to score 15 points on 7 of 9 from the field against Hawaii Hilo.

• As a team, Simon Fraser is averaging 67.5 points per game and is third in the GNAC with 41 rebounds per game. The Clan is also fourth in the GNAC in blocked shots with four per game (eight total).

• Simon Fraser will be on Burnaby Mountain this weekend, hosting Lindenwood in games on Friday and Saturday afternoons.

WESTERN OREGON
• The defending GNAC and West Region champions are off to a 2-0 start after posting a 64-62 win over Point Loma and a 85-54 win over Fresno Pacific in the GNAC/PacWest Challenge in Fresno, Calif.

• Junior guard Tanner Omlid, the lone returning starter from last year’s team, led the Wolves 29 points and 20 rebounds in the two games. His weekend was led by a 19-point, 10-rebound performance against Point Loma, Omlid is tied for fourth in the GNAC with 10 rebounds per game. He leads the league and is eighth in Division II with three blocked shots per game and is second in the GNAC in steals with four per game.

• Junior transfer Ali Faruq-Bey had 31 points to lead all scorers for the Wolves. He paced WOU in the opener with Point Loma, scoring 19 points on 8 of 16 from the field and 3 of 6 from three-point range.  

• Western Oregon enters the week leading the GNAC in field goal percentage defense (.374), three-point defense (.286), steals (11 per game), turnover margin (+9.00) and three pointers made (25). The Wolves are 12th in Division II in scoring defense (58 points allowed per game) and 19th in steals per game.

• Western Oregon hosts the WOU/Doubletree by Hilton D2 Shootout this weekend. The Wolves will play San Francisco State on Friday and UC San Diego on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington outscored opponents by an average of 17 points per game in its two wins at the Pioneer Challenge in Hayward, Calif. The Vikings beat Sonoma State on Friday, 72-64, and beat host Cal State East Bay, 107-81, on Saturday.

• Forward Jeffrey Parker led Western Washington with 45 points in the two games, making 60 percent of his shots (18-30). Parker led all scorers with 32 points on 13 of 15 from the field and 4 of 4 from three-point range in the win over Cal State East Bay. He was named the tournament’s most valuable player.

• Guard Daulton Hommes had quite the introduction in his first game for the Vikings, coming alive for 29 points against Sonoma State. He finsihed shooting 11 of 13 from the field 5 of 6 from three-point range. Hommes enters the week leading the GNAC in field goal shooting at 73.7 percent. He is also fourth in the GNAC in three-point shooting at 71.4 percent.

• Senior transfer Taylor Stafford currently leads the GNAC and is 12th in Division II with an average of seven assists per game. He finished with eight assists in the win over Cal State East Bay.

• Western Washington leads the GNAC and is is fourth in Division II in field goal percentage (.559). The Vikings also lead the league in rebounding defense (25.0 rebounds allowed per game). The team is averaging 89.5 points and 31.5 rebounds per game.

• The Vikings play just one game this weekend, hosting Holy Names on Saturday.

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.

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