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Gaining Poll Position In The GNAC Standings Key For January
The Nighthawks boast the highest scoring offense in the GNAC with 83.3 points per game. A big factor to Northwest Nazarene’s offensive output has been its league-leading .458 field goal percentage.
The Nighthawks boast the highest scoring offense in the GNAC with 83.3 points per game. A big factor to Northwest Nazarene’s offensive output has been its league-leading .458 field goal percentage.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

REBOUNDING DISPLAY FEATURED IN PORTLAND: Concordia used a dominant rebounding performance to pick up an 85-51 win over Pacific (Ore.) last Thursday in their final non-conference game of the season. Concordia’s 70 rebounds against the Boxers broke the GNAC single-game rebounding record that was previously set by Alaska Anchorage (66) on Nov. 21, 2013.

Junior forward Bailey Cartwright was one of four Cavs to reach double-figure scoring with 12 points and 18 rebounds in the contest. Her 12.5 points and 15.5 rebounds in the Cavs’ two games last week was enough to claim this week’s GNAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week honor. She leads the GNAC and is 29th in Division II with 10.2 rebounds per game. Her double-doubles this week gave her six for the season.

THE FOCUS IS ON CONFERENCE PLAY: With Concordia’s win over Pacific (Ore.) on Thursday, the GNAC closed the door on non-conference play. Now all of the games count towards the pursuit of the six spots in the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships, Mar. 1-3 in Anchorage.

Picked to win the conference this year, Alaska Anchorage is sitting pretty in first place at 12-1, 5-0 GNAC. The Seawolves are followed by a trio of teams that are 3-1 and victorious in their previous contests. Seattle Pacific, Northwest Nazarene and Montana State Billings look to take sole possession of second place as all three teams partake in two games each this week. Compacted in the five through seven spots are Concordia, Central Washington and Western Washington at 2-2. Simon Fraser, Western Oregon and Saint Martin’s look to get back on track after starting the conference season 1-3.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS: The following GNAC players have been selected to all-tournament teams during the 2017-18 season...

Stanislaus State CCAA/GNAC Challenge (Nov. 10-11, Turlock, Calif.): Raquel Jardine, NNU (Most Valuable Player), Lexi Tubbs, NNU, Bailey Cartwright, CU.

West Region Tip-Off Classic (Nov. 10-11, San Francisco, Calif.): Alisha Breen, MSUB (Most Valuable Player), Vanessa Stavish, MSUB.

Azusa Pacific West Region Crossover Classic (Nov. 17-18, Azusa, Calif.): Jordan McPhee, SPU; Courtney Hollander, SPU, Hannah Stipanovich, WWU.

Seawolf Hoops Classic (Nov.17-18, Anchorage, Alaska): Hannah Wandersee, UAA (Most Valuable Player), Yazmeen Goo, UAA, Ashlie Blackburn, UAF, Rodericka Ware, UAA.

Yellowjacket Classic (Nov. 16-18, Billings, Mont.): Alisha Breen, MSUB (Most Valuable Player), Danielle Hartzog, CU, Bailey Cartwright, CU, Rylee Kane, MSUB, Rachel Koehler, MSUB.

GCI Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 21-23, Anchorage, Alaska): Shelby Cloninger, UAA (Most Valuable Player), Hannah Wandersee, UAA, Yazmeen Goo, UAA.

Lynda Goodrich Classic (Nov. 24-25, Bellingham, Wash.): Hannah Stipanovich, WWU, Gracie Castaneda, WWU, Elin Johansson, SMU.

Viking Holiday Hoops Classic (Dec. 18-19, Bellingham, Wash.): Anna Schwecke, WWU, Hannah Stipanovich, WWU, Sophie Swant, SFU.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bailey Cartwright
Concordia
F • 6-1 • Junior • Pasco, Wash.

Cartwright led the Cavaliers to two wins as she averaged 12.5 points and 15.5 rebounds per game. She had a double-double of 12 points and 18 rebounds in 18 minutes to lead Concordia in Thursday’s 85-51 non-conference win over Pacific (Ore.). Cartwright then notched another double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds to help lift the Cavaliers to a 93-89 road victory over Central Washington. She finished the week shooting 46.7 percent from the field.

Also Nominated: Shelby Cloninger (Alaska Anchorage), Alisha Breen (Montana State Billings), Jordan McPhee (Seattle Pacific), Elin Johansson (Saint Martin’s), Sophie Swant (Simon Fraser), Kelsey Rogers (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Playing in their first conference road games of the season, the Nanooks fell 83-49 to Western Washington on Friday before ending the week with a 73-49 loss at Simon Fraser.

• Sophomore guard Lexi Carpenter averaged 14 points and six rebounds to lead the Nanooks in both categories over the two games. Shooting 3-of-5 from downtown on Friday, Carpenter led all scorers with 19 points.

• Junior forward Ashlie Blackburn totaled eight points per game and combined for eight rebounds in the two contests. In 27 minutes of action against WWU, Blackburn accounted for 12 points and was just one of two Alaska starters to reach double figures in scoring.

• Carpenter continues to lead the team and is sixth in the GNAC with 14.5 points per game. Her three-point shooting has made her one of the league’s premier scoring threats, ranking third in the GNAC with 2.4 three-point field goals per game.

• The Nanooks continue to get things done on the defensive boards with 28.1 per game, ranking second in the GNAC. In their game against the Clan, Alaska pulled down 27 defensive rebounds to SFU’s 25.

• Alaska finishes its three-game road trip at Montana State Billings tomorrow before hosting Concordia and Western Oregon next week.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage responded well after suffering its first defeat of the season to Sonoma State on Dec. 19 with a pair of GNAC road wins to end 2017.

• The Seawolves capped an impressive 12-1 start to the year with an 84-79 win over Simon Fraser on Friday and a 64-54 win at Western Washington on Sunday.

• Senior forward Shelby Cloninger averaged 19 points and 10.5 rebounds to lead the Seawolves in the two contests. Cloninger tallied a career-high 26 points on 12 of 19 shooting in UAA’s five-point win over SFU. As a team, the Seawolves dominated the paint scoring 48 points to Simon Fraser’s 32.

• On Saturday, Alaska Anchorage converted 20 Western Washington turnovers into 17 points to earn its fifth conference win of the season. Sophomore guard Yazmeen Goo improved to second in the GNAC with seven steals in the contest (2.5 steals per game). Goo also averaged eight points per game on 44.4 percent shooting during the two contests.

• Senior forward Hannah Wandersee and Cloninger are both within the GNAC’s top-10 scorers with 14 and 13.8 points per game, respectively. Both are shooting better than 48.6 percent from the floor.

• The Seawolves have the GNAC’s top-three steal leaders in junior guard Kian McNair, senior guard Rodericka Ware and Goo. McNair and Goo are both averaging more than 2.5 steals per game while Ware has recorded 2.4 steals per game.

• Alaska Anchorage is second in the GNAC in scoring offense (78.9) and leads the league in scoring defense (60.8), scoring margin (+18.2), assists (268), steals (186), offensive rebounds (209) and turnover margin (+7.54).

• The Seawolves remain No. 1 in the D2SIDA West Region Poll but fell to No. 6 and No. 7 in the WBCA Division II and D2SIDA National Rankings.

• Alaska Anchorage concludes its five-game road trip at Montana State Billings this Saturday before hosting Western Oregon and Concordia next week.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• In just one contest last week, Central Washington took a narrow 93-89 loss to Concordia on Saturday.

• The Wildcats’ starting five carried most of the load Saturday afternoon as four players scored in double figures. Senior guard Jasmin Edwards provided a team-high 23 points on 50 percent shooting (3-6) from behind the arc. Despite fouling out late in the game, junior guard Sadie Mensing supplied 17 points on 7 of 10 shooting from the field. Senior forward Taylor Baird completed her double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, four of which came on the offensive end.

• Even though the Wildcats outscored the Cavs 44-30 in the paint, Concordia made the most of its steals as it converted 21 points off 18 Central Washington turnovers.

• Edwards and sophomore guard Alexis Pana are among the GNAC’s top-five playmakers with five and 4.2 assists per game, respectively.

• Sophomore forward Kaelie Flores is third in the GNAC with 1.3 blocks per game. Her efforts on the defensive end of the court have helped CWU lead the GNAC with four blocked shots per game. The Wildcats have recorded double-digit offensive rebound totals in 10 of its previous 11 games, ranking them fifth in the GNAC with 13.7 offensive boards per game.

• Central Washington embarks on a four-game road trip starting this week with contests against Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia ended 2017 on a high note with two wins to improve to 8-4 on the season. The Cavaliers used a dominant rebounding performance to pick up an 85-51 win over Pacific (Ore.) on Thursday before winning a 93-89 thriller at Central Washington two days later.

• Paced by sophomore guard Kizza Maltezo’s 17.5 points per game through the two contests, the Cavaliers led for all but six seconds during the two games. Maltezo registered a team-high 24 points off the bench to lead CU to a narrow win over the Wildcats. Senior guard Danielle Hartzog added 22 points and seven assists while junior guard Keesha Sarman recorded 13 points and nine rebounds.

• Junior forward Bailey Cartwright was one of four Cavs to reach double-figure scoring with 12 points and 18 rebounds against Pacific (Ore.). Her 12.5 points and 15.5 rebounds in the two games last week was enough to claim this week’s GNAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week honor. She leads the GNAC and is 29th in Division II with 10.2 rebounds per game. She has also recorded six double-doubles this season.

• The Cavaliers’ 70 rebounds against the Boxers broke the GNAC single-game rebounding record that was previously set by Alaska Anchorage (66) on Nov. 21, 2013.

• Assists have been easy to come by for Sarman, who leads the GNAC and is 22nd in Division II with 5.6 assists per game.

• In the latest D2SIDA West Region rankings, Concordia is ranked No. 8 for the third consecutive week.

• Concordia has allowed 62.7 points per game and boasts the league’s best field goal and 3-point field goal percentage defense at 35.6 and 27.7 percent.

• The Cavaliers host Western Washington tomorrow before taking on Simon Fraser this Saturday at 2 p.m.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Despite falling to Seattle Pacific 70-61 on Thursday, the Yellowjackets bounced back for a narrow 58-56 road win at Saint Martin’s to snap their four-game losing streak on Saturday.

• Senior forward Alisha Breen continued her GNAC tear, averaging 22 points and 13.5 rebounds over the two contests. Against Seattle Pacific, she recorded a game-high 25 points on 9 of 17 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds. Breen leads the GNAC and is 17th in Division II with 21 points per game.

• Senior guard Rylee Kane provided the secondary scoring option with 15 points on 35 percent shooting. As a team, MSUB connected on just 6 of 25 shots from three-point range against SPU.

• In MSUB’s win over Saint Martin’s, the Yellowjackets limited SMU to 1 of 17 shooting from beyond the arc. Breen was once again the go-to scorer with a game-high 19 points in 38 minutes of action. Junior forward Vanessa Stavish provided solid minutes for the Yellowjackets, as she totaled 12 points on 42 percent shooting from the floor.

• The Yellowjackets will be eager to return home this week, as they are 7-0 in contests at Alterowitz Gym this season. Montana State Billings has shot 42.7 percent at home compared to 39.3 percent in seven road games. It also has been better from the three-point line in Billings, shooting 33.9 percent opposed to 29.6 percent away from home.

• Montana State Billings is among five GNAC teams included in this week’s D2SIDA West Region Poll at No. 9. The ‘Jackets have scored 70.8 points per game this season and have allowed 65.8 points per game.

• The Yellowjackets begin their four-game homestand with a pair of contests against the Alaska teams this week. MSUB hosts the Nanooks tomorrow before taking on Alaska Anchorage this Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• In its only game last week, Northwest Nazarene pulled out a convincing 94-67 home win over Western Oregon.

• Five Nighthawks provided double-digit scoring nights with senior guard Lexi Tubbs netting a team-high 16 points on 50 percent shooting. Junior forward Danielle Jardine provided solid minutes off the bench, scoring 15 points in 35 minutes.

• Northwest Nazarene pulled out all the stops against the Wolves, forcing 23 turnovers for 23 points. The Nighthawks’s bench also outscored WOU’s reserves 37-28.

• The Nighthawks boast the highest scoring offense in the GNAC with 83.3 points per game. A big factor to Northwest Nazarene’s offensive output has been its league-leading .458 field goal percentage

• Second in the league in steals (97) and assists (16.4 per game), Northwest Nazarene has capitalized on its opportunities beyond the arc with a .386 mark from downtown, good for first in the GNAC.

• Jardine and sophomore guard Avery Albrecht rank first and second in field goal percentage shooting over 56 percent. Albrecht also leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage at 62.5 percent.

• Northwest Nazarene is one of five GNAC teams ranked in the top-10 of the D2SIDA West Region Poll. The Nighthawks are sixth for the third time this season.

• The Nighthawks head to Washington to take on Seattle Pacific tomorrow before taking on Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s is coming off a tough 58-56 loss against Montana State Billings to end 2017.

• Up by one with 1 minute, 11 seconds remaining, the Yellowjackets scored the final three points of the contest to give SMU its third conference defeat of the season.

• As she has done so much this season, senior forward Elin Johansson collected a team-high 16 points on 5 of 11 shooting. Sophomore guard Makenna Schultz (15 points) led a Saint Martin’s bench that accounted for 25 points.

• Freshman guard Saniah Simpson-Patu tallied seven points and nine rebounds but saw her potential game-tying shot rim out with two seconds left in the contest. She is seventh in the GNAC with 14.3 points per game and is sixth in rebounding with 7.4 boards per game.

• Johnansson is the league’s second-leading scorer at 17.8 points per game. The senior is fifth in the GNAC with a .513 field goal percentage.

• Saint Martin’s is averaging 67.9 points per game and has shot almost 41 percent from the field as a team. The Saints rank third in the GNAC with 10.4 defensive rebounds per contest.

• The Saints finish its four-game homestand with 7 p.m. contests against Central Washington tomorrow and Northwest Nazarene this Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific continued its hot 9-2 start to the season with a 70-61 win over Montana State Billings to end 2017.

• Despite shooting just 35 percent from the field, Seattle Pacific used a 17-7 free throw advantage over MSUB to hand the Yellowjackets its fourth straight loss. Senior guard Jordan McPhee totaled a team-high 19 points while senior center Julia Haining supplied 13. Hainingis third in the GNAC with 8.4 rebounds per game.

• Senior guard Courtney Hollander was one point shy of a double-double (11 rebounds). Her six assists marked a career-high.

• McPhee is third in the GNAC with 15.6 points per game and is fourth with 2.3 steals per game. She has recorded back-to-back 19 point outings and has scored in double figures nine times in 11 games.

• Seattle Pacific has dominated the defensive boards this season and leads the GNAC with 29.2 per game. The Falcons are second in the GNAC allowing just 61.7 points per game while scoring almost 74 per contest.

• The Falcons receive votes (18 and 13) in both the WBCA Division II Poll and D2SIDA National Poll. They are ranked fourth in the D2SIDA West Region Rankings.

• Seattle Pacific hosts a pair of contests this week, taking on red-hot Northwest Nazarene tomorrow before facing Central Washington two days later.

SIMON FRASER
• Despite falling to first place Alaska Anchorage 84-79, the Clan managed their first GNAC win of the season with a comfortable 73-49 victory over Alaska on Dec. 31.

• Junior forward Sophie Swant averaged 19 points and 7.5 rebounds over the two games going 12 of 23 from the field. She was supported by freshman guard Jessica Jones, who averaged 12.5 points and connected for a total of six three-pointers during the week.

• Despite its best efforts to down the GNAC’s first-place team, Simon Fraser was outscored off the bench (31-21) and in points in the paint (48-32). sophomore guard Nicole Vander Helm logged 17 points and two rebounds in the game.

• The Clan bounced back two days later with a superlative effort on the defensive side of the ball to stifle the Nanooks, forcing 24 UAF turnovers for 26 points. Swant and Jones combined for 38 points while freshman guard Kendal Sands registered 11 points off the bench. They also outmatched Alaska from the free throw line, converting 17 attempts to UAF’s five.

• Simon Fraser is averaging 70.1 points per game and leads the GNAC shooting 77.6 percent from the free throw line.

• Guard Tayler Drynan has provided excellent offensive prowess in her sophomore season, ranking fifth in the GNAC with four assists per game. The guard has handled the ball well this year, averaging a league-best 2.5 assist/turnover ratio. Swant is ninth in the league with 13.8 points per game.

• Simon Fraser returns home to face Western Oregon and Concordia in GNAC action this week.

 WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon is coming off a 94-67 loss to Northwest Nazarene in both team’s final game of 2017.

• Senior guard Sydney Azorr was the lone starter in double-digit scoring with 16 points on 5 of 8 shooting. Freshman guard Keyonna Jones supplied 11 points off the bench in 27 minutes.

• The Wolves had a tough time taking care of the ball as they committed 23 turnovers for 23 Northwest Nazarene points.

• Boasting the second-highest free throw percentage in the league (.772), Western Oregon matched that mark against NNU going 16 of 22 from the charity stripe. The Wolves are averaging 67.2 points per game and are third in the GNAC with 3.5 blocked shots per game.

• Through 10 games, two Wolves are averaging at least 10 points per game. Senior forward Savannah Heugly leads the Wolves with 10.9 points per game and is followed by Azorr with 10.5 points per game. Azorr is also third in the GNAC at the free throw line shooting almost 89 percent.  

• Western Oregon looks to snap its four-game losing skid with a pair of home games against Simon Fraser and Western Washington this week. 

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington ended 2017 with a 1-1 split against Alaska opposition. On Thursday, the Vikings defeated the Nanooks 83-49 before taking a 64-54 loss to Alaska Anchorage on Sunday.

• Senior forward Hannah Stipanovich averaged 12 points over the two contests while recording 12 total rebounds. Freshman forward Kelsey Rogers supplied excellent minutes, going 9 of 17 for an average of 11 points per game during the two contests.

• Stipanovich collected a team-high 17 points while junior guard Amanda Lance pumped in 14 points off the bench to lead WWU over the Nanooks. The Vikings shot almost 51 percent from the field and were superb from deep, hitting 10 of 16 from downtown. Stipanovich is fifth in the GNAC with 14.6 points per game and is second on the team with 6.8 rebounds per game.

• In their narrow defeat to Alaska Anchorage, Rogers was the only Viking to score in double figures with 12 points. Despite limiting UAA to 33 percent shooting, the Seawolves attempted 10 more shots than Western Washington.

• Sophomore forward Anna Schwecke is fourth in the league with 8.3 rebounds per game while sophomore guard Dani Iwami has converted the league’s most 3-point field goals this season with 31.

• As a team, Western Washington is No. 4 in the GNAC shooting .717 from the charity stripe. Shooting .375 from long range this season, WWU has converted 87 three-pointers on 232 attempts. The Viks are third in the league with a +5.5 rebounding margin.

• The Vikings return to action tomorrow at Concordia before facing off against Western Oregon on Saturday in GNAC action.

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