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Seawolves, Cavaliers Look To Extend Win Streaks In Alaska
Alaska Anchorage is second in the GNAC in scoring offense (79.1) and leads the league in scoring margin (+18.4), assists (287), steals (195), assist/turnover ratio (1.3) and turnover margin (+7.07).
Alaska Anchorage is second in the GNAC in scoring offense (79.1) and leads the league in scoring margin (+18.4), assists (287), steals (195), assist/turnover ratio (1.3) and turnover margin (+7.07).

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

CAVALIERS, SEAWOLVES PUT WIN STREAKS ON THE LINE: Concordia and Alaska Anchorage have put together a solid string of wins to position themselves in the top half of the GNAC standings.

At 6-0, Alaska Anchorage is the only undefeated team in GNAC play and has won its last three games. The Seawolves look to extend its win streak to four when they host Western Oregon tomorrow. The Cavaliers have won their last four games and a win on Thursday against the Nanooks will set the table for a must-see game against the Seawolves at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Expect a defensive struggle on Saturday. Alaska Anchorage leads the GNAC and is seventh in Division II with 13.9 steals per game and is limiting opponents to a GNAC-best 63.4 points per game. As for the Cavs, they lead the GNAC with 56 blocked shots and are limiting opponents to just 28.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc.

WOLVES SNAP 10-YEAR DROUGHT AGAINST VIKINGS: Thanks to an 18-point effort by senior guard Kennedy Corrigan and a 13-point performance from senior guard Sydney Azorr, Western Oregon earned a 54-50 win over Western Washington on Saturday, giving the Wolves its first win against the Vikings since a 65-57 decision in Bellingham on Feb. 23, 2008.

GNAC REPRESENTED WELL IN D2SIDA WEST REGION POLL: In the latest D2SIDA West Region Media Rankings, five GNAC teams have positioned themselves in the weekly poll. Alaska Anchorage remains at No. 1 for the eighth consecutive week while Northwest Nazarene improves two spots to No. 4. Seattle Pacific has been included in the poll for seven straight weeks and sits at No. 5 while Concordia jumps one spot to No. 7. Montana State Billings rounds out the GNAC at No. 8 after ranking ninth last week.

GNAC CHAMPIONSHIPS TICKETS ON SALE: Tickers are on sale for the 2018 GNAC Basketball Championships, which take place Mar. 1-3 at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Tournament passes for all three days are available for $30 for adults, $18 for students, seniors and youth, while single game tickets are available for $15 for adults, $9 for students, seniors and youth. Tickets can be purchased online at gnachooptickets.com.

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
Danielle Hartzog
Concordia
G • 5-9 • Senior • Beaverton, Ore.

Hartzog averaged 25 points, 7.5 rebounds, three assists and 3.5 steals per game as the Cavaliers scored home wins over Western Washington and Simon Fraser. In Thursday’s 71-60 win over the Vikings, Hartzog finished with 16 points and six rebounds and shot 6 of 8 from the free throw line. In Saturday’s 79-69 win over the Clan, Hartzog led all scorers with a career-high 34 points, going 15 of 28 from the field in an effort where she tied for the third most field goals made in a game in GNAC history and tied for the sixth most attempts. She also finished with nine rebounds, four assists, five steals and a block.

Also Nominated:
Alisha Breen (Montana State Billings), Colette Gall (Northwest Nazarene), Makenna Schultz (Saint Martin’s), Nicole Vander Helm (Simon Fraser), Kennedy Corrigan (Western Oregon), Nikki Corbett (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• In its only game last week, Alaska took an 86-56 loss to Montana State Billings on Thursday.

• Junior forward Ashlie Blackburn led the Nanooks with 17 points and seven rebounds on 8 of 13 shooting. Sophomore guard Lexi Carpenter was the only other Nanook to score in double figures with 10 points.

• Carpenter continues to lead the team and is fifth in the GNAC with 14.2 points per game. Her three-point shooting has made her one of the league’s premier scoring threats as she is tied for third in the GNAC with 2.3 three-point field goals per game. Blackburn is seventh in the GNAC with 5.2 defensive rebounds per game and leads the team with 6.8 rebounds per game.

• The Nanooks continue to get things done on the defensive boards with 28 per game, ranking second in the GNAC. They are fifth in the GNAC in scoring defense, allowing 64.4 points per game.

• Alaska returns home after a three-game road trip to host Concordia on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage played in just one contest last week, coming away with an 81-60 win over Montana State Billings on Saturday.

• Led by senior forward Shelby Cloninger’s 19 points on 60 percent (6-10) shooting, four Seawolves reached double-digit scoring against the Yellowjackets. Junior guard Tara Thompson supplied 18 points on a perfect 6 for 6 from beyond the arc while senior guard Rodericka Ware posted 13 points off the bench.

• Thompson’s superb shooting night matched Alaska Anchorage’s single-game program record for three-point accuracy. The last time a Seawolf went a perfect 6 of 6 from downtown was when Dasha Basova poured in 22 points against Alaska on Jan. 17, 2009.

• Cloninger leads the team and is sixth in the GNAC in scoring averaging 14.1 points per game. Junior forward Hannah Wandersee has also been a reliable scorer for the Seawolves with 13.8 points per game.

• On Saturday, Alaska Anchorage converted 16 Yellowjackets’ turnovers into 24 points. All five starters recorded at least one steal while Ware recorded two steals. The Seawolves have three of the top-four steal leaders in the GNAC. Junior guard Kian McNair leads the league with 2.8 steals per game while Ware and sophomore guard Yazmeen Goo each have 2.4 steals per game.

• Alaska Anchorage is second in the GNAC in scoring offense (79.1) and scoring defense (60.7) and leads the league in scoring margin (+18.4), assists (287), steals (195), assist/turnover ratio (1.3) and turnover margin (+7.07).

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

• Alaska Anchorage returns home after a six-game road trip to take on Western Oregon on Thursday and Concordia on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington earned a narrow 49-46 win over Saint Martin’s on Thursday before falling to Seattle Pacific, 62-43, two days later. The Wildcats then snapped Northwest Nazarene’s four-game win streak last night with a 79-73 win in Nampa.

• Senior guard Jasmin Edwards led the Wildcats last week, averaging 12 points per game in the two contests. Edwards tallied a team-high 13 points on 4 of 9 shooting with three rebounds against the Saints and posted 11 points against Seattle Pacific. The senior is ninth in the GNAC with 13.9 points per game and ranks third with 4.5 assists per game.

• Junior forward Sadie Mensing recorded 17 points over the two games in Lacey and Seattle, averaging 8.5 points. A majority of her scoring came against Saint Martin’s as she accounted for 11 points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats limited the Saints to just 33 percent shooting and 9.1 percent from beyond the arc. Mensing is 12th in the GNAC with 12.5 points per game.

• Senior forward Taylor Baird pulled down 17 rebounds over the two contests last week, nine of which came against Seattle Pacific.  She has also been a force on the glass, ranking seventh in the league with 7.1 rebounds per game.

• The Wildcats used a 19-point performance by Edwards and 24 points off the bench to down NNU and improve to 4-3 in GNAC play. Senior guard Beverly Verduin and sophomore guard Alexis Pana each chipped in 13 points while Baird was one rebound shy of a double-double.

• Central Washington is averaging 69.9 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 3.9 blocked shots per game.

• The Wildcats finish their four-game road trip with a visit to Montana State Billings on Saturday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia extended its four-game win streak with a pair of home wins last week. The Cavaliers upended Western Washington 70-61 on Thursday before handing Simon Fraser a 79-69 loss on Saturday.

• Senior guard Danielle Hartzog was named the GNAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week after averaging 25 points, 7.5 rebounds, three assists and 3.5 steals over the two games. After recording 16 points against the Vikings, Hartzog poured in a career-high 34 points on 15 of 28 shooting against Simon Fraser. Her 15 field goals made tied for third in GNAC history for most field goals made in a game. Hartzog leads Concordia and is second in the GNAC with 16.5 points per game.

• Overshadowed by Hartzog’s explosive scoring week, junior forward Bailey Cartwright recorded two double-doubles to give her eight for the season. Cartwright averaged 17.5 points and 12.5 rebounds per game over the two contests. She leads the GNAC and is 19th in Division II with 10.5 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Keesha Sarman continues to display her exquisite passing ability after averaging 6.5 assists over the two contests, eight of which came against Simon Fraser. Sarman leads the league and is 15th in Division II with 5.7 assists per game.

• In the latest D2SIDA West Region rankings, Concordia is among five GNAC teams ranked within the top-10 at No. 7.

• Concordia is third in the GNAC with 71.6 points per game and has limited opponents to a GNAC-best 36.3 percent from the field.

• The Cavaliers begin a three-game road trip with a visit to the Last Frontier. Concordia takes on the Nanooks on Thursday and face first-place Alaska Anchorage two days later.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings split its first games of 2018, scoring an 86-56 win over Alaska on Thursday before falling 81-60 to Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

• Senior forward Alisha Breen continued her standout season with 38 points over the two contests. In MSUB’s win over Alaska, Breen managed 11 points in 22 minutes on 50 percent shooting (5-10). Most of her production came against Alaska Anchorage, as Breen was the only Yellowjacket to score in double figures with 27 points. Breen leads the GNAC and is 17th in Division II with 20.8 points per game. She also is second in the conference with 8.4 rebounds per game. The senior has attempted the most free throws (100) in the GNAC, connecting on 88 percent.

• Senior forward Grace Weeks provided a team-high 18 points against Alaska, shooting 7 of 9 from the field.

• Senior guard Rylee Kane continues to lead the team and is second in the GNAC with 5.3 assists per game. She totaled eight assists in the Yellowjackets’ two contests last week.

• Taking care of the ball and finding the open player have been two aspects that MSUB has excelled at this season. The Yellowjackets are second in the league with 16 assists per game and a 1.3 assist/turnover ratio.

• Montana State Billings is among five GNAC teams included in this week’s D2SIDA West Region Poll at No. 8. The ‘Jackets have scored 71.1 points per game this season while allowing 66.1 points per game.

• After suffering its first home loss of the season to Alaska Anchorage, Montana State Billings will look to rebound as it hosts Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Despite earning a 58-57 win over Seattle Pacific and a 79-61 victory at Saint Martin’s last week, Northwest Nazarene saw its four-game win streak end last night with a 79-73 loss to Central Washington.

• A balanced scoring effort in both contests last week lifted the Nighthawks to second place in the conference at 5-1. Junior guard McKenna Walker led NNU with 10.5 points per game while junior forward Danielle Jardine and senior guard/forward Collette Gall each managed 20 points over the two contests.

• Walker pumped in a team-high 19 points on Saturday while Jardine provided 15 points off the bench. Senior guard Lexi Tubbs and junior forward Raquel Jardine each managed 10 points in starting roles.

• Excellent shooting nights from Walker (16 points, 6 of 12) and sophomore guard Marina Valles (16 points, 7 of 12) was not enough to overcome the Wildcats’ 37 percent shooting from behind the arc, as the Nighthawks suffered their first home loss of the season on Tuesday.

• Danielle Jardine and sophomore guard Avery Albrecht rank first and fourth in the GNAC shooting over 50 percent from the field. Albrecht also leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage at 52 percent.

• The Nighthawks boast the highest scoring offense in the GNAC with 80 points per game. A big factor to Northwest Nazarene’s offensive output has been its league-leading .447 field goal percentage.

• Ranked No. 4, Northwest Nazarene is one of five GNAC teams ranked in the top-10 of the D2SIDA West Region Poll.

• The Nighthawks play their last game of the week at Montana State Billings tomorrow night at 5:15 p.m.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s endured two tough home losses last week, falling to Central Washington 49-46 on Thursday before taking a 79-61 loss to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

• Sophomore guard Makenna Schultz led the Saints with 17.5 points per game in the two contests. Schultz was the only SMU player to record double-digit scoring against the Wildcats with 13 points. She followed up that performance with a team-high 22 points on 7 of 18 shooting against the Nighthawks and was one of three Saints to reach double figures.

• Limited to just six points on Thursday, freshman guard Saniah Simpson-Patu tallied 13 points and 13 rebounds in her effort against NNU. Simpson-Patu is eighth in the GNAC with 13.6 points per game and improved her rebounding numbers to 7.7 per game, good for sixth in the conference.

• Senior forward Elin Johansson had a hard time finding any rhythm as she found herself in foul trouble for most of the week. Johansson finished with 6.5 points per game in the two contests and ended both nights with four personal fouls. Despite the uncharacteristic scoring week, Johansson remains third in the GNAC with 16.2 points per game.

• Saint Martin’s is averaging 65.9 points per game and is limiting opponents to 28.6 percent shooting from beyond the arc. The Saints also rank fourth in the GNAC with 27.5 defensive rebounds per contest.

• The Saints head north to take on Simon Fraser on Thursday and finish the weekend at Western Washington on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific split its games last week with a nail-biting 58-57 loss to Northwest Nazarene and a comfortable 62-43 home win against Central Washington. The loss to NNU gave Seattle Pacific its first home defeat of the season.

• Senior guard Jordan McPhee was the go-to scorer for the Falcons with 13.5 points per game over the two contests. McPhee was the only SPU player to record double-digit scoring with 13 points on 46 percent shooting. On Saturday, she led Seattle Pacific in scoring with 14 points. The senior is fourth in the GNAC with 15.3 points per game and is second in steals (2.5) after picking up seven last week.

• Despite scoring 26 points off 19 Northwest Nazarene turnovers, Seattle Pacific’s bench was outscored 27-14.

• Senior forward Courtney Hollander supplied 8.5 points per game in the two contests while senior center Julia Haining averaged 7.5 rebounds. Hollander is second on the team with 11 points per game while both Haining and she are among the GNAC’s top-five rebounders with 8.2 and 7.8 boards per game.

• Seattle Pacific has dominated the defensive boards this season and leads the GNAC with 29 per game. The Falcons lead the GNAC allowing just 60 points per game while scoring 71.4 points per contest.

• After each of its three losses this season (which have been by a combined total of eight points), SPU has bounced back to win its next game.

• Seattle Pacific is among five GNAC teams included in this week’s D2SIDA West Region Poll at No. 5.

• Seattle Pacific heads up the I-5 corridor to take on Western Washington this Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser earned a convincing 81-67 win over Western Oregon on Thursday before sliding to .500 with a 79-69 loss at Concordia on Saturday.

• Sophomore guard Nicole VanderHelm averaged a team-high 16 points per game over the two contests while pulling down 12 rebounds. In the Clan’s win over WOU, VanderHelm exploded for a game-high 30 points along with 10 rebounds.

• It was the at the free throw line where SFU won the battle against the Wolves. As a team, Simon Fraser outscored Western Oregon 25-7 from the charity stripe, attempting 19 more free throws than WOU.

• Freshman guard Jessica Jones supplied good minutes for the Clan, averaging 15.5 points per game over the two games. Jones netted a team-high 19 points against Concordia on 7 of 11 shooting after collecting 12 points against SFU.

• Junior forward Sophie Swant continues to lead the Clan with 13.4 points per game and leads the GNAC in free throw shooting at 90.5 percent (57-63).

• Simon Fraser is averaging 70.8 points per game and is second in the GNAC shooting 77 percent (214-278) from the free throw line. The Clan has put up the second-most 3-pointers in the league (119) and have connected on almost 34 percent of their attempts.

• The Clan returns home to take on Saint Martin’s tomorrow and Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

WESTERN OREGON
• Despite dropping its first contest of 2018 to Simon Fraser on Thursday, 81-67, Western Oregon bounced back two days later to earn a 54-50 decision over Western Washington.

• Senior guard Kennedy Corrigan led the Wolves with 17 points per game over the two contests. Her 18-point effort against Western Washington was a team-high as she shot 45 percent from the field and 3 of 6 from downtown. Corrigan is tied for fourth in the GNAC, shooting 41.5 percent (11-17) from beyond the arc.

• Senior guard Sydney Azorr provided solid scoring in her starting role after averaging 11 points per game last week. Azorr tallied 13 points on 4 of 10 shooting and was one of three Wolves to score in double figures against the Vikings. She continues to lead Western Oregon with 10.6 points per game.

• The only other WOU starter to average more than 10 points per game this season is senior forward Savannah Heugly. Recording 10.5 points per game, Heugly is also averaging 5.5 rebounds per game and is 10th in the GNAC with 1.7 steals per game. The senior collected 13 rebounds last week, seven of which came against the Clan.

• The Wolves’ home win against WWU snapped an 18-game losing skid to the Vikings, dating back to the 2007-2008 season.

• Western Oregon leads the GNAC and is 18th in Division II with a 77.1 free throw percentage (175-227). Both Azorr and senior guard Shelby Snook both reside in the school’s all-time Division II top-10 for 3-pointers made. Azorr is ranked No. 4 while Snook is No. 8.

• The Wolves take the road trip to Alaska this week, facing off against Alaska Anchorage on Thursday before taking on Alaska on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington fell in both contests last week, taking a 70-61 loss to Concordia on Thursday before falling to Western Oregon 54-50 two days later.

• Junior forward/center Nikki Corbett and sophomore guard Dani Iwami led the Vikings in scoring over the week, averaging 10.5 and eight points per game, respectively.

• Corbett accounted for 13 points off the bench on 60 percent shooting against the Cavaliers. In Saturday’s contest, Iwami was the only Western Washington scorer in double figures with 10 points.

• Despite limited scoring week’s from senior forward/center Hannah Stipanovich and sophomore forward Anna Schwecke, the duo continues to dominate the glass, as each totaled eight rebounds per game over the two contests. Schwecke fell one point short of a double-double after pulling down a game-high 14 rebounds on Saturday.

• Schwecke is third in the GNAC with 8.4 rebounds per game and has been a defensive stopper this year with 1.1 blocks per game. Stipanovich ranks eighth in the league with seven rebounds per game and is averaging three offensive rebounds per game. She leads the Vikings in scoring with 13.1 points per game.

• As a team, Western Washington is No. 4 in the GNAC shooting .40.5 percent from the field. The Vikings are also second in the league shooting 36.2 percent (94-260) from downtown and have limited opponents to 64 points per game.  

• Western Washington is one win shy of reaching 1,000 all-time program wins. When reached, the Vikings will become the 15th team in women’s college basketball history to achieve the mark.

• The Vikings return home to host Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

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