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Big Matchups Featured In First Week Of Conference Play
Adonis Arms and Northwest Nazarene enter GNAC play with a 5-0 record after victories last week over College of Idaho and Division I Idaho.
Adonis Arms and Northwest Nazarene enter GNAC play with a 5-0 record after victories last week over College of Idaho and Division I Idaho.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NIGHTHAWKS LEAD WAY AS CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS: In the GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll, Northwest Nazarene was picked to finish seventh. As conference play begins this week, the Nighthawks find themselves at the top of the table.

Northwest Nazarene is the only undefeated GNAC team left, picking up two wins last week to improve to 5-0 on the season. The Nighthawks captured the annual Mayors’ Cup competition with Canyon County rival College of Idaho, ranked No. 3 in NAIA Division II, 83-73 on Tuesday. The Nighthawks then entered the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase and walked away with an upset of Division I Idaho on Friday, 77-73.

Northwest Nazarene did pick up one loss in the string, a 91-75 exhibition defeat to Division I Portland State on Saturday. The effort, however, saw the Nighthawks share GNAC Team of the Week honors with their women’s counterparts.

The Nighthawks will face stiff conference challenges in the only week of GNAC play prior to Christmas, playing at Seattle Pacific on Thursday and at preseason poll favorite Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

The conference season will begin on Tuesday with an intriguing matchup between Alaska and Montana State Billings. The game is the first for MSUB head coach Mick Durham against his former team. Durham made the jump from the Nanooks and returned to the Treasure State during the spring. It is also Greg Sparling’s first GNAC game as Nanooks’ head coach after 24 years as head coach at Central Washington.

Among the other games to watch in the first week of the conference season includes Central Washington at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Western Washington at Western Oregon on Saturday.

RECORD EFFORT FOR EENIGENBERG: Five games into his first season with Western Washington, junior guard Taylor Eenigenberg has already put his name into the GNAC record books. The transfer from Bakersfield College went 8 for 9 from three-point range in Saturday’s 129-55 win over Langara en route to a game-leading 28 points. The three-point performance tied the GNAC single-game record of three-pointers made with one miss. He tied the mark set by Central Washington’s Robert Hicks against Humboldt State on Jan. 6, 2006, and tied by Western Oregon’s Demetrius Trammell against Fresno Pacific on Nov. 11, 2017.

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS: The following GNAC Players have been recognized with all-tournament team honors during the 2018-19 season...

PacWest/GNAC Conference Challenge (Nov. 9 & 10 at Honolulu): Spencer Sweet (UAF), Tyler Brimhall (UAA).

CCAA/GNAC Challenge (Nov. 9 & 10 at La Jolla, Calif.): Trevor Jasinsky (WWU), Othniel Spence (SFU).

Concordia Oxford Suites Classic (Nov. 16 & 17 at Portland): Obi Megwa (NNU, Most Valuable Player), Adonis Arms (NNU), Hunter Sweet (CU).

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Tyler Green
Montana State Billings
G • 5-10 • Jr. • Redding, Calif.

Green led the Yellowjackets by scoring 19 points in both games at the MSUB Thanksgiving Classic, shooting 42.8 percent from the field and 52.9 percent from three-point range. Green led MSUB with 19 points, which included 4 of 8 from three-point range, along with four rebounds and four assists in a 75-73 loss on Friday to Cal State Dominguez Hills. He then scored 19 in the Yellowjackets’ 90-70 win over Black Hills State, shooting 50 percent from the field and 55 percent from three-point range to go with two rebounds and four assists.

Also Nominated: Sjur Berg (Alaska Anchorage), Jeryn Lucas (Central Washington), Jarrett Gray (Concordia), Adonis Arms (Northwest Nazarene), Chandler Redix (Saint Martin’s), Drew Bryson (Simon Fraser), Dalven Brushier (Western Oregon), Tucker Eenigenburg (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska ran its win streak to three games with a pair of victories at the MSUB Thanksgiving Classic. The Nanooks beat Black Hills State on Friday, 68-64, and Cal St. Dominguez Hills on Saturday, 76-75.

• Junior guard Spencer Sweet lead the Nanooks offensively with 40 points in the tournament, shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 9 of 9 from the free throw line. Sweet led UAF with 20 points on 5 of 10 from the field and his 9 of 9 from the free throw line against Black Hills State, adding two rebounds and three assists. Sweet led all scorers with his 20 against Cal St. Dominguez Hills, making 8 of 14 from the field and 4 of 8 from three-point range. Sweet enters the week averaging 14 points per game.

• Junior forward Michael Kluting pulled down 23 rebounds in the tournament, leading all GNAC players last week. Against Black Hills State, Kluting finished with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds. He then added six points and 12 rebounds in the win over Cal St. Dominguez Hills. Kluting is 11th in the GNAC with 14 points per game and second with 9.4 rebounds per game.

• Junior guards Tymorae Glover and Alex Martin each finished with double digits in both games. Glover scored 12 points against Black Hills State and added 13 against CSUDH. Martin came off the bench to score 13 against BHSU and 10 against CSUDH.

• Alaska enters the week averaging 73.6 points and 33.3 rebounds per game. The Nanooks are third in Division II with 186 free throw attempts and 126 free throws made.

• Alaska opens the GNAC schedule against its former head coach, taking on Mick Durham and Montana State Billings in Billings on Tuesday in the team’s only game of the week.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage won both ends of back-to-back games against South Dakota Mines in Anchorage. The Seawolves won on Friday 75-55 and took a close 73-68 decision on Saturday.

• Junior forward Sjur Berg was a force on both ends of the floor, averaging 12 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two games while shooting 69.2 percent from the field. Berg finished with a double-double of 14 points and 14 rebounds on Friday, making 5 of 8 from the field to go with four blocks. He then finished with 10 points and five rebounds on Saturday. Berg enters the week averaging six points and five rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Tyler Brimhall scored 32 points in the two games and had 14 rebounds. Brimhall exploded for 26 points and nine rebounds on Friday, connecting on 10 of 16 from the field and 6 of 7 from three-point range. He had a quieter night on Saturday with six points and five rebounds while limited to 19 minutes. Brimhall is third in the GNAC with 18.4 points per game. He is seventh in Division II with 147 total points and 13th with 23 three-pointers made.

• Junior guard Niko Bevens also scored 32 points against the Hardrockers. He contributed 16 points on 5 of 8 from the field and 3 of 6 from three-point range on Friday and also had 16 on Saturday as he shot 5 of 9 from the field and 3 of 5 from three-point range with five assists. Bevens is tied for sixth in the GNAC with 14.8 points per game and is seventh in Division II with 26 three-pointers made.

• Alaska Anchorage enters the week averaging 72.9 points and 32.6 rebounds per game. The Seawolves are second in the GNAC and 19th in Division II with 18.9 assists per game while ranking 16th in Division II with 28 total blocks.

• The Seawolves open GNAC play on the road, playing its lone game of the week at Montana State Billings on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington swept a pair of NAIA foes at home last week, scoring a 111-65 win over Evergreen State on Wednesday and a 90-68 victory over Corban on Saturday.

• Junior guard Jeryn Lucas led the Wildcats with 35 points in the two games. He opened by scoring 16 points in just 17 minutes against Evergreen State, making 6 of 11 from the field and 4 for 7 from three-point range. Lucas then added 19 points against Corban, connecting on 7 of 15 from the field and 5 of 11 from outside to go with six rebounds. Lucas enters the week averaging 13.7 points per game and is tied for fifth in the GNAC with 2.33 three-pointers made per game.

• Senior guard Jackson Price added 21 points for CWU in the two victories. Price scored eight points on 3 of 6 from the field to go with three rebounds against Evergreen State before finishing with 13 points on 5 of 10 from the field and 3 of 5 from three-point range against Corban. Price is averaging 11.5 points per game.

• Lucas and Price are among six Central Washington averaging double digits in scoring. Sophomore forward Malcolm Cola leads the way, ranking eighth in the GNAC with 14.7 points per game while ranking 10th with 6.3 rebounds per game. Junior guard Gamaun Boykin is averaging 12.2 points per game, senior guard Malik Montoya is averaging 11 points per game freshman forward Matt Poquette is coming off the bench to average 10 points per game.

• Central Washington is second in the GNAC and 10th in Division II in scoring at 93.7 points per game. The Wildcats are second in the league with a .750 free throw percentage as well as third in the GNAC and 24th in Division II with 18.5 assists per game.

• Central Washington opens GNAC play in the Puget Sound region, playing at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and at Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia won both of its games at the NDNU Thanksgiving Classic in Belmont, Calif., last weekend, The Cavaliers took a 79-67 win over Holy Names on Friday and a 58-56 win over the host Argonauts on Saturday.

• Senior guard Jarrett Gray led the Cavaliers as he scored 25 points and has 12 rebounds in the two games. Gray opened with a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds to go with three assists and two blocks against Holy Names. He then added a 14-point performance against Notre Dame de Namur on 6 of 15 from the field. Gray enters the week 10th in the GNAC with 14.3 points per game.

• Sophomore guard/forward Hunter Sweet finished with 30 points in the two games, shooting 55.6 percent from the field. Sweet came off the bench for 12 points on 4 of 9 from the field against Holy Names and then led the Cavs with 18 points on 6 of 9 from the field to go with eight rebounds against NDNU. Sweet is averaging 12 points per game and shooting 55.6 percent from the field.

• Junior guard Dom Bradley notched his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds against Holy Names. Bradley enters the week ranked sixth in Division II with his three double-doubles and is one of five GNAC players with two or more double-doubles.

• Concordia enters the week averaging 74 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 40.5 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers also rank second in the league with 12 offensive boards per contest.

• The Cavaliers open the GNAC schedule at home, hosting Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings went 1-1 in its own MSUB Thanksgiving Classic over the weekend. The Yellowjackets opened with a tight 75-73 loss to Cal St. Dominguez Hills on Friday before rolling past Black Hills State on Saturday, 90-70.

• Junior guard Tyler Green was named the GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week after he turned in back-to-back 19-point performances at the MSUB Thanksgiving Classic. Against CSUDH, Green added four rebounds and four assists to the 19 points, which included 4 of 8 shooting from the three-point line. He returned on Saturday to score 19 on 50 percent shooting from the field and 55 percent from outside against Black Hills State. He also had four rebounds and two assists in the contest. Green enters the week ranked fifth in the GNAC with 14.8 points per game and 10th with a .500 three-point percentage (21-42).

• Junior forward Melvin Newbern, Jr., finished with 33 points and 19 rebounds in the tournament. He opened with 11 points and eight rebounds on Friday against CSUDH before finishing with a double-double of 22 points and 11 rebounds on 7 of 8 from the field and 8 of 12 from the free throw line against BHSU. Newbern is averaging 13.3 points per game and is tied for 25th in Division II with two double-doubles.

• Sophomore forward Zharon Richmond came off the bench to finish with 15 points and eight rebounds against CSUDH and scored 10 in a starting role against BHSU. Richmond enters the week averaging 10 points per game.

• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 73 points and 34.3 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets lead the league with four blocked shots per game.

• Montana State Billings is home to open GNAC play, hosting head coach Mick Durham’s former team, Alaska, on Tuesday before hosting Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• After beating rival College of Idaho on Tuesday, 83-73, Northwest Nazarene beat a Division I team for the first time in the school’s Division II history with a 77-73 win over Idaho on Friday in the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase in Boise. The Nighthawks closed the week with a 91-75 loss to Division I Portland State in an exhibition on Saturday.

• For the week’s performance, the Nighthawks were named the GNAC’s Co-Team of the Week, sharing the honor with the NNU women’s basketball team.

• Junior guard Adonis Arms led the Nighthawks with 37 points on 67.7 percent shooting in the two counting games. He finished with 16 points and five rebounds on 6 of 8 from the field against College of Idaho before going off for 21 points on 8 of 13 from the field with six rebounds, three assists and five steals against Idaho. Arms also led the Nighthawks against PSU with 18 points and six rebounds. Arms is second in the GNAC with 18.4 points per game and a .679 field goal percentage (36-53). He leads the league with 2.80 steals per game.

• Senior guard Obi Megwa added 34 points in the two games. He led the Nighthawks with 18 points and five assists against College of Idaho and contributed 16 points, five assists and two steals against Idaho. Megwa is averaging 14 points per game.

• Northwest Nazarene is third in the GNAC in scoring at 83 points per game and leads the GNAC with a .524 field goal percentage. The Nighthawks are the only remaining undefeated team in the league.

• The Nighthawks will be tested once again in conference openers on the road at Seattle Pacific on Thursday and at Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• The Saints open GNAC play on a three-game win streak. After beating Northwest Christian at home on Monday, 94-74, Saint Martin’s collected an 81-55 win over Notre Dame de Namur on Friday and a 77-63 win over Holy Names on Saturday in the NDNU Thanksgiving Classic.

• Senior guard Chandler Redix led the Saints with 36 points in the three games, shooting 61.1 percent from the field and 60 percent from three-point range, and led the GNAC with 15 assists last week. Redix opened with 15 points on 6 of 9 from the field with eight assists against Northwest Christian and closed the week with 16 points, four rebounds and four assists against Holy Names. Redix is averaging 9.2 points per game and is sixth in the GNAC with a .571 three-point percentage (8-14).

• Sophomore guard BJ Standley added 35 points in the three contests. He came off the bench to score 14 against Northwest Christian and then led the Saints with 15 points on 5 of 9 from the field and 3 of 5 from three-point range against Notre Dame de Namur. Standley enters the week averaging 8.8 points per game while shooting 51.3 percent from the field.

• Senior guard Luke Chavez is second in Division II with a 10.50 assist/turnover ratio. In six games, Chavez has 21 assists against just two turnovers. Chavez had 12 assists in the three games last week with just one turnover.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week averaging 81.3 points and 34.3 rebounds per game. The Saints lead the GNAC and rank 15th in Division II with 19.2 assists per game.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week ranked 22nd in the D2SIDA Division II Media Poll and is among teams receiving votes in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll.

• Saint Martin’s opens a four-game home stand this week, hosting Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific dropped both of its games at the PLNU Thanksgiving Classic in San Diego last weekend, falling 77-69 to St. Cloud State on Friday and 79-72 to Cal State San Bernardino on Saturday.

• Junior guard Gavin Long paced the Falcons offensively, finishing with 31 points in the two games. Long led SPU with 19 points against St. Cloud State, connecting on 7 of 14 from the field to go with three rebounds, three assists and two steals. He then finished with 12 points, three rebounds and two steals against Cal State San Bernardino. Long enters the week tied for sixth in the GNAC with 14.8 points per game.

• Senior guard Nikhil Lizotte added 27 points in the two games. He finished with 10 points and four rebounds against St. Cloud State and then led the Falcons with 17 points on 6 of 14 from the field and 3 of 8 from three-point range against Cal State San Bernardino. Lizotte is averaging 12.5 points per game.

• Senior forward Coleman Wooten did his most damage with his 21 rebounds in the two games. He finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds against St. Cloud State and finished just short of a double-double with nine points and 11 rebounds against Cal State San Bernardino. Wooten leads the GNAC and is sixth in Division II with 11 rebounds per game and is eighth in Division II with 7.75 defensive rebounds per game.

• Seattle Pacific enters the week averaging 76.2 points and 37.2 rebounds per game.

• The Falcons open the GNAC schedule at home, hosting Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday. After the set, SPU will not play at home again until Jan. 10.

SIMON FRASER
• After losing two games to open the season, Simon Fraser has won four straight after collecting a 109-43 win over Columbia Bible on Thursday and a 102-72 win over Capilano on Saturday.

• Freshman guard Drew Bryson led the Clan with 39 points in the two games, connecting on 51.6 percent from the field with seven rebounds, six assists and five steals. Bryson was one of six SFU players to score in double figures against Columbia Bible, scoring 18 on 7 of 16 from the field with four rebounds, two assists and three steals. He then led the Clan with 24 points on 10 of 16 from the field against Capilano. Bryson enters the week averaging 13.3 points per game.

• Freshman guard Wilfried Balata added 36 points and 17 rebounds in the two games. He opened with 15 points and four rebounds against Columbia Bible before going off for a double-double of 21 points and 13 rebounds against Capilano. Balata is averaging 13.8 points per game and is ninth in the GNAC with 6.5 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Michael Hannan had an impressive stat line off the bench against Columbia Bible, finishing with seven points, 11 rebounds, seven assists and five steals in 21 minutes of action. The seven assists is tied for the fifth highest single-game performance of the season.

• Simon Fraser enters the week fourth in the GNAC with 82.3 points per game. The Clan leads the GNAC with 41.3 rebounds per game and is second in scoring margin at 15.0. The Clan also leads the GNAC and is 18th in Division II with a +9.5 rebounding margin.

• Simon Fraser opens conference play in Oregon, competing at Western Oregon on Thursday and at Concordia on Saturday.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon split its contests at the Dixie State Thanksgiving Classic, scoring  68-59 over Westminster (Utah) on Friday before falling to the host Trailblazers on Saturday, 80-70.

• Junior guard Dalven Brushier led the Wolves with 27 points in the two games, which included a 10 for 14 effort from the free throw line. Brushier opened by scoring 11 points to go with five rebounds against Westminster, connecting on 9 of 12 from the free throw line. He then led the Wolves with 16 points on 5 of 8 from the field against Dixie State. Brushier enters the week averaging 10.3 points per game.

• Senior guard Brandell Evans added 23 points in the tournament. He led the Wolves in the win over Westminster with 17 points on 4 of 6 from the field and 8 of 11 from the free throw line with five rebounds, two assists and two steals. Evans enters the week averaging 7.5 points per game.

• Junior forward Riley Hawken was the only WOU player to score in double figures against Dixie State, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds. Hawken also led the Wolves with seven rebounds against Westminster.

• The Wolves enter the week averaging 70.5 points and 34.5 rebounds per game. The Wolves lead the GNAC in field goal defense (.382), ranking 19th in Division II. Western Oregon is also 10th in Division II in scoring defense, allowing 59.8 points per game, and ninth in fewest turnovers (36).

• Western Oregon is home for its next three games, hosting Simon Fraser on Thursday and Western Washington on Saturday to open GNAC play.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington has now won four straight games with two weekend wins, downing Capilano 107-81 on Friday and Langara 129-55 on Saturday.

• Junior guard Tucker Eenigenburg led the Vikings with 43 points in the two games, connecting on 62.5 percent from the field and 68.8 percent from three-point range. He led five WWU players in double-figure scoring against Capilano with 15 points, including 3 of 7 from long range. Eenigenburg went off for 28 points against Langara, connecting on 10 of 11 from the field and 8 of 9 from three-point range, tying the GNAC single-game record for three-pointers made with one miss. The transfer from Bakersfield College is averaging 9.7 points per game. He leads the GNAC with a .667 three-point percentage (14-21) and is ninth with a .568 field goal percentage (21-37).

• Junior guard Elijah Cotton-Welch and junior forward Cameron Retherford each scored 21 points against the Canadian teams with Retherford adding 14 rebounds. Cotton-Welch’s best game came against Capilano with 12 points on 5 of 8 from the field with three assists and four steals. Retherford’s top effort also came against Capilano with 11 points and seven rebounds.

• Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky had a relatively quiet week with 20 points and 13 rebounds. His top effort came with 12 points, nine rebounds and four assists against Capilano. Jasinsky leads the GNAC in scoring at 19.5 points per game and a .905 free throw percentage (38-42). He is 10th in Division II with 38 free throws made and 22nd with 42 free throws attempted.

• Western Washington reamined at No. 15 in this week’s NABC Division II Coaches Poll and is among teams receiving votes in the D2SIDA Division II Media Poll.

• Western Washington enters the week leading the GNAC and seventh in Division II in scoring at 95.5 points per game. The Vikings also lead the league in scoring margin (+18.3), free throw percentage (.773) and three-pointers made (11.17). They are sixth in Division II with a 1.77 assist/turnover ratio.

• The Vikings open the GNAC season on the road with games at Concordia on Thursday and at Western Oregon on Saturday.

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