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Squads Finalize Preparations For GNAC Action Next Week
Seattle Pacific's Jordan McPhee was named the GNAC Player of the Week after tallying 51 points and 18 rebounds in the APU West Region Crossover Challenge last weekend.
Seattle Pacific's Jordan McPhee was named the GNAC Player of the Week after tallying 51 points and 18 rebounds in the APU West Region Crossover Challenge last weekend.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

WEST REGION DOMINANCE: In the latest edition of the Division II Sports Information Directors of America Women’s Basketball Poll, five GNAC teams are ranked within the top-10 while two more receive votes. Joining Alaska Anchorage, Simon Fraser and Western Washington on the list are Seattle Pacific and Montana State Billings. Northwest Nazarene and Western Oregon are among the teams receiving votes.

FOUR TEAMS LEFT UNSCATHED: Already halfway through week three of the Division II college basketball season, four GNAC teams have yet to be beaten. Alaska Anchorage, Montana State Billings, Seattle Pacific and Western Oregon all have more than four wins on the season and look to carry their hot form into conference action next weekend.

ONE FINAL SHOOTOUT AT THE ALASKA AIRLINES CORRAL: The end of an era not only for Alaska Anchorage, but for college basketball is here as the Seawolves host the 40th and final edition of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout over Thanksgiving weekend.

The tournament officially began with two women’s games last night. The host Seawolves played in the late game at 8 p.m. (AKST) against Maryland Eastern Shore. The other half of the four-team tournament field features Binghampton (N.Y.) and Tulsa. The men’s tournament starts tonight with Alaska Anchorage hosting Cal State Bakersfield at 8 p.m. (AKST).

The first of the big regular-season college hoop tournaments thanks to the NCAA’s rules exempting games in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico counting against a school’s limit of contests, UAA officials announced the end of the Shootout in September.

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), Denielle Hartzog, CU, Bailey Cartwright, CU, Rylee Kane, MSUB, Rachel Koehler, MSUB.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jordan McPhee
Seattle Pacific
G • 5-10 • Senior • Normandy Park, Wash.

McPhee finished with 51 points and 18 rebounds and shot 65.4 percent from the field and 80 percent from the free throw line to lead the Falcons to two wins at the APU West Region Crossover Classic. She scored a career-high 30 points in Friday’s 80-69 win over No. 16 Azusa Pacific, connecting on 11 of 16 from the field and 8 of 11 from the free throw line with nine rebounds. McPhee then paced SPU’s 65-59 come-from-behind win over UC San Diego by scoring the team’s last 10 points and finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. She was named to the West Region Crossover Classic All-Tournament Team.

Also Nominated: Hannah Wandersee (Alaska Anchorage), Alisha Breen (Montana State Billings), Elin Johansson (Saint Martin’s), Tayla Jackson (Simon Fraser), Hannah Stipanovich (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC

ALASKA
• Appearing in the 2017 Seawolf Hoops Classic during the weekend, Alaska split its neutral-site games against Western State and Holy Names.
• The Nanooks fell short in their opening game of the tournament Friday afternoon, falling to the Western State (Colo.) 49-41 at the Alaska Airlines Center.
• Junior forward Marian Wamsley led Alaska’s offensive efforts, shooting 8 of 14 from the field to tally a career-high 16 points. Wamsley also tied for a team-high eight rebounds, while also chipping in two steals, one assist and one block.
• Sophomore guard Lexi Carpenter connected on 4 of 15 shots from the field, including 2 of 5 from behind the arc for 13 points, giving the guard her third-straight double-figure game.
• On Saturday, Alaska earned its second victory of the season with a 73-29 win against Holy Names.
• Junior forward Ashlie Blackburn led all players with 10 rebounds. Blackburn also shot 3 for 7 from the field for nine points. Blackburn also chipped in three blocks and was named to the All-Tournament Team for her first honor as a Nanook.
• As a team, the Nanooks shot 26 of 72 from the field for a 36.1 shooting percentage and went 10 of 29 from behind the arc. Additionally, Alaska shot 11 of 14 (78.6 percent) from the free throw line.
• The Nanooks will begin GNAC play at home on Thursday, Nov. 30 as they host Northwest Nazarene at 7 p.m. (AKST).

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska continued its hot start to the season with a pair of victories at its home Seawolf Hoops Classic at Alaska Airlines Center.
• Senior guard Rodericka Ware scored 19 points while junior forward Hannah Wandersee totaled 17 points to power No. 2  Alaska Anchorage to a 92-49 win over Holy Names on Friday.
• The Seawolves also got 14 points on 50 percent shooting and six steals from junior guard Kian McNair as they won their 34th straight regular-season game against Division II opposition.
• The fourth quarter belonged entirely to the Seawolves as their 33-7 scoring advantage ranked as the program’s highest differential against a Div. II opponent since women’s college basketball went to quarters in 2015-16.
• On Saturday, Wandersee led a balanced attack with 16 points, six rebounds and four blocks, as Alaska Anchorage earned an 82-54 victory over Western State at the Alaska Airlines Center.
• Wandersee shot 8 of 13 from the field dished two assists in just 20 minutes of action. Wandersee has scored double figures in every game this season, leading UAA with 17.4 ppg
• Sophomore guard Yazmeen Goo, McNair and Ware were all named to the All-Tournament team. Wandersee was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
• Senior forward Shelby Cloninger scored a career-high 19 points to lead Alaska Anchorage to a 69-59 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore on Tuesday in the first round of the GCI Great Alaska Shootout at the Alaska Airlines Center.
• The Seawolves lead the GNAC in scoring offense (82.8), scoring margin (+27.7), blocked shots (28), assists (136), steals (101) and turnover margin (+9.33).
• With the victory, UAA advances to its 13th title game in 38 editions of the tournament and will take on Tulsa. The Seawolves are 6-6 in Shootout championship games and are 37-56 all-time in the Shootout. The Hawks became the 34th different Division I program to fall to the Seawolves.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• In a pair of contests at the Tony Corbetta Classic hosted by Colorado School of Mines, the Wildcats dropped a couple of tough games to RMAC foes.
• Central Washington fell in their first game of the Classic, 61-56, to Colorado School of Mines.
• The Wildcats struggled from the floor, shooting just 34.4 percent. They outshot the hosts from beyond the arc, however, converting eight times compared the Orediggers’ three.
• Sophomore forward Kaelie Flores finished with nine points, six rebounds and two blocks. Senior forward Taylor Baird finished with eight rebounds, six points and two blocks.
• Just one day later, the Wildcats fell in a 76-65 affair to Metro State.
• Senior guard Jasmin Edwards finished with a team-high 14 points, while both junior guard Sadie Mensing and Flores added 13. Baird also finished in double-digits with 10 points. Flores led the rebounding effort, completing her double-double with 11 rebounds. Sophomore guard Alexis Pana finished with eight points, four assists, two blocks and two steals. The Wildcats finished with 30 points in the paint and 15 points off of turnovers.
• Bouncing back from three straight losses, Central Washington topped Eastern Oregon 84-70 last night behind Edwards’ 21-point outburst to improve to 2-3.
• The Wildcats are back in action on Saturday against Pacific Lutheran. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. in Nicholson Pavilion.

CONCORDIA
• Playing in its second straight home game last night, Concordia sits two games above .500 entering the Thanksgiving weekend.
• At the Yellowjacket Classic over the weekend, Concordia saw its rally from a 17-point deficit fall short in a 72-65 loss to Montana State Billings in non-conference action.
• Junior forward Bailey Cartwright paced the Cavs with a game-high 19 points. The preseason All-GNAC selection went 7 of 16 from the field and connected on 5 of 6 six attempts from the charity stripe. Senior guard Danielle Hartzog, added 12 points while dishing out four assists.
• In their second contest of a four-game homestand, the Cavaliers used a total team effort to key a 70-58 win over Humboldt State. Four Cavaliers scored in double digits led by junior forward Erin Higbie and Hartzog, who each totaled 16.
• Concordia held Humboldt State to 29 percent shooting including 14 percent from beyond the arc while forcing 14 turnovers. The Cavs also dished out 14 assists on 22 baskets led by Hartzog with six.
• Concordia will go into its first two GNAC game of the season with a 4-2 record after an 83-36 win over Multnomah last night. Hartzog and Cartwright combined for 29 points, 12 rebounds, seven steals two blocked shots and three assists.
• The Cavaliers return home on November 30 when they host No. 16 Seattle Pacific in both team’s conference opener at LCEF Court.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Led by the GNAC’s top scorer in senior forward Alisha Breen, the Yellowjackets have achieved a rampant start to their season at 5-0.
• Making its home regular season debut last week, MSUB kept its record unblemished with two victories at the Yellowjacket Classic. The ‘Jackets picked up a 72-65 win over Concordia on Friday before downing Chadron State 69-59 on Saturday.
• Allowing 62 points per game, the Yellowjackets have the fourth-best defense in the conference. Montana State Billings has not allowed more than 65 points and has held the opposition under 60 points twice.
• For the second straight week, senior Breen was named the Most Valuable Player of her team’s tournament. Through five games, Breen leads the team and the GNAC with 18.4 points per game while shooting 38 percent overall, 38.5 percent from 3-point range and 93.3 percent from the foul line.
• Senior guard Rylee Kane leads the GNAC with 32 assists through the first five games of the year, chipping in a dozen last week in MSUB’s two wins. Kane received all-tournament recognition for her role in the Yellowjackets’ success, as she also scored 21 points and added seven rebounds.
• In MSUB’s 80-64 win over Colorado School of Mines yesterday, Kane scored a game-high 19 points while Breen recorded her second straight double-double to lead the Yellowjackets to their fifth win of the year.
• Montana State Billings has an exhibition at Division I Montana State Univ. Saturday afternoon. The ‘Jackets return to regular-season action on Nov. 30, when they make their GNAC debut at home against Western Washington.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Dropping its first contest of the year last week, Northwest Nazarene heads into week three of the regular season at 3-1.
• Last Wednesday, sophomore guard Marina Valles scored 18 points off the bench to give Northwest Nazarene a 79-69 victory over Cal State LA.
  Valles went 7 of 11 from the field and 4 of 6 from the charity stripe in 24 minutes of game action.
• Junior forward Danielle Jardine added 16 points and seven rebounds while junior forward Raquel Jardine added 10 points and five rebounds.
• One night later, Northwest Nazarene’s furious late rally fell short, as the Nighthawks dropped their first game of the season 67-64 to Biola.
• Junior guard McKenna Walker finished with a team-high 17 points and six rebounds, while senior guard Lexi Tubbs pumped in 14 points and seven rebounds. Raquel Jardine added 12 points and six rebounds while Danielle Jardine had nine points and seven rebounds.
• The Nighthawks are second in the GNAC averaging 78.8 points per game. As a team, NNU is shooting 45.9 percent from the field, also good for second in the league.
• Heading into the Thanksgiving weekend, NNU returns home to play Point Loma at 2 p.m. today at the Johnson Sports Center.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• For the first time since the 2015/16 season, the Saints have won back-to-back games by 10 or more points.
• Behind Elin Johansson’s 19 points and career-high 15 rebounds, Saint Martin’s defeated Puget Sound 74-57 last weekend, giving first-year head coach Christy Martin her first NCAA victory.
• Nearly five Saints scored in double-digits with sophomore guard Makenna Schultz (15) and senior guard Hannah Reynolds (13 points) leading the way. Freshman guard Saniah Simpson-Patu and junior guard Rebekah Baugh added nine points each while combining for seven rebounds and six assists.
• In their match against Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, Saint Martin’s held the Lutes to under 30 percent from the field in a 65-45 victory in the Doug McArthur Classic.
• Simpson-Patu led the Saints with 13 points and eight rebounds while Johansson added 12 points and three boards. Junior guard Emma Kennedy tallied nine points off the bench.
• Behind Johansson’s career-high 22 points and 12 rebounds and Simpson-Patu’s 16-points, the Saints extended their win-streak to three games with a 69-59 victory over Biola last night.
• Johansson leads the team and is third in the GNAC with 16.8 points per game. She is also eighth in the league shooting .500 from the field. Reynolds is ninth in the GNAC with 3.6 assists per game.
• The Saints travel to Bellingham, Wash., for the Lynda Goodrich Classic, starting Friday against Academy of Art.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• For the first time this season, No. 16 Seattle Pacific will play at home this week. After back-to-back road tournaments against West Region competition, the Falcons welcome Biola today in Brougham Pavilion.
• Undefeated to begin the season, Seattle Pacific entered the WBCA Division II rankings as the No. 16 seed after receiving votes last week.
• Senior guard Jordan McPhee poured in a career-high 30 points Friday night as Seattle Pacific knocked off then-No.16 Azusa Pacific 80-69 in the APU West Region Crossover Classic.
• Her scoring wasn’t done. Just one night later, McPhee scored Seattle Pacific’s final 10 points as the Falcons earned a 65-59 come-from-behind win against UC San Diego.
• McPhee’s 51 points, 18 rebounds, 65.4 percent shooting (17 of 26) and 80 percent mark from the line (16 of 20) over the two games earned her the GNAC Women’s Basketball Player of the Week honor.
• Senior forward Courtney Hollander has recorded double-digit rebounds in three of her first four games. The Falcons have been monsters on the glass, as SPU ranks second in the GNAC and 37th in Division II with 30.8 defensive boards per game.
• The Falcons have a 4-0 record for the fourth time in the last five years. The only exception to that was 2015 when they were 2-2 after four games.
• After its match against Biola, Seattle Pacific starts its conference slate with a game at Concordia on Nov. 30.

SIMON FRASER
• Attempting 50 3-pointers in their two non-conference games last week, the Clan came away with a 1-1 split against PacWest opposition.
• Despite five players scoring in double figures, Simon Fraser was edged 82-76 by Hawaii Pacific in the Clan’s home opener Thursday afternoon.
• Simon Fraser shot 13 of 24 from beyond the arc, going 8 for 12 in the second half to keep pace with Hawaii Pacific, which dominated the paint. The Sharks grabbed 13 more rebounds than SFU and outscored the Clan 40-20 in the paint.
• Junior center Tayla Jackson scored a game-high 23 points while sophomore guard Nicole Vander Helm scored 19 to lead Simon Fraser to a 79-65 win over Cal Baptist Saturday afternoon.
• Junior forward Sophie Swant was three assists shy from a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
• Through five games, Simon Fraser ranks second in the GNAC shooting .360 from beyond the arc. The Clan has pumped in a total of 114 triples this season.
• Jackson is tied for sixth in GNAC scoring with 15.4 points per game. Sophomore guard Tayler Drynan is averaging 4.6 assists per game, good for fourth in the league. Swant has connected on all 14 of her free throw attempts this year.
• SFU will return to action today against Academy of Art. The game will be the Clan’s final home game before the winter break. Simon Fraser opens the GNAC on the road against Western Washington on Nov. 28.

WESTERN OREGON
• One of four remaining undefeated GNAC teams, Western Oregon continued its hot start yesterday with a 64-62 win over Humboldt State.
• Over the weekend, WOU comfortably defeated Notre Dame de Namur 81-62. Pulling away in the second quarter, Western Oregon won its third straight game to start the season for the first time in nearly 20 years.
• The win kept the Wolves season perfect in three outings for the first time since the school transitioned to Division for the 1999-2000 season.
• Junior guard Maddy Pape led the team in scoring with 18 points while three other teammates reached double figures with senior guard Shelby Snook tallying 16 and guards Sydney Azorr and Keyonna Jones adding 11 points each. Snook went 3 for 9 from beyond the arc to account for the Wolves’ perimeter threat.
• In their back-and-forth affair against Humbolt State last night, the Wolves used balanced scoring to earn their fourth win of the season. Snook led Western Oregon with 15 points, as the Wolves limited HSU to just six bench points.
• Western Oregon boasts the best free throw percentage in the GNAC (.804) and has pulled down the most offensive rebounds (185). Snook is fourth in the league with a .882 free throw percentage.
• The Wolves begin conference play next weekend as they welcome Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific to Monmouth, Ore.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• After starting the season 2-0, the Vikings dropped a pair of games in the West Region Crossover Classic held at Azusa Pacific last weekend.
• Western Washington suffered its first defeat of the season Friday night, falling 56-49 against UC San Diego at the Felix Event Center.
• Senior forward Hannah Stipanovich led the Vikings’ scoring for the third consecutive game, totaling 13 points to go along with a career-high 14 rebounds, including 10 offensive rebounds.
• Sophomore point guard Dani Iwami joined Stipanovich in double figures with 12 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists.
• Junior guard Bobbi Westendorf finished with 10 points and five rebounds.
• On Saturday, Stipanovich tied a season-high with 20 points to lead three Vikings in double-figures scoring in the Vikings 84-68 loss to No. 17 Azusa Pacific.
• Stipanovich was the lone Viking to be named to the West Region Crossover Classic All-Tournament Team.
• Appearing in the D2SIDA Media West Region Poll for the second straight week, Western Washington is among five GNAC teams ranked within the top-10 at No. 9.
• Western Washington has been monsters on the glass this year, ranking first in the GNAC with a 12.2 rebounding margin, totaling 16.8 offensive rebounds per game.
• Stipanovich is fourth in the league with 16.5 points per game. She leads the GNAC 4.5 offensive rebounds per game.
• After consecutive trips to California to begin the season, WWU returns home for its first official games in Carver Gym next week during the 20th Annual Lynda Goodrich Classic. The Vikings face Valdosta State next Friday before hosting Academy of Art the following day.

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