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Three Teams Emerge Opening GNAC Weekend Unscathed
Chandler Redix led Saint Martin's to a pair of wins with 40 points, shooting 61.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.
Chandler Redix led Saint Martin's to a pair of wins with 40 points, shooting 61.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SAINTS, WOLVES, ‘JACKETS JUMP OUT ON TOP: The first week of conference play saw three teams jump out to an early lead in the standings.

Two of the three were expected to be in the spot if you reference the GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll. Saint Martin’s, the preseason favorite, was a solid winner in a pair of home games. The Saints knocked off Central Washington on Thursday, 77-69, and then handed Northwest Nazarene its first loss of the season on Saturday. The game was not as close as the 88-86 final score would indicate as the Saints had an 11-point lead with 1:33 left.

Western Oregon also emerged with a 2-0 mark after a pair of home victories. After opening the week with a 72-58 victory over Simon Fraser on Thursday, the Wolves battled Western Washington to a 96-88 double-overtime victory on Saturday. The contest was the first two-overtime contest in the GNAC since Jan. 20, 2018, and the third time since the start of the 2016-17 season that WOU has played a game with two or more overtimes.

Not in the upper tier of the preseason poll was Montana State Billings, which also emerged with a 2-0 record after beating both Alaska schools in the Treasure State. The Yellowjackets edged out Alaska on Tuesday, 79-77, in a game that saw MSUB head coach Mick Durham coaching for the first time against his former school. Montana State Billings closed the week with an 89-74 win over Alaska Anchorage.

The Nanooks and Seawolves will play the lone remaining conference game of December on Saturday in Fairbanks. Five other conference schools will play non-conference games as the schedule gets light for the remainder of the month.

DOUBLE OVERTIME BREAKDOWN: Saturday’s double-overtime game between Western Oregon and Western Washington was the 23rd in GNAC history and marked the 32nd time that a game involving a GNAC team has gone two or more extra periods. Western Oregon and Seattle Pacific have played in the most double overtime games in the GNAC era with both going 4-2 in those contests. Western Washington is now 0-5 in double overtime games in the GNAC era. The Wolves and Vikings have met once before in a double-overtime game, with WOU winning 112-110 on Jan. 24, 2002.

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
Zack Rollins
Montana State Billings
G/F • 6-6 • Sr. • Pelham, N.Y.

Rollins led Montana State Billings to a 2-0 start to GNAC play with 46 points and eight rebounds in two games, shooting 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. He opened with a 16-point, five-rebound performance in Thursday’s 79-77 win over Alaska. Rollins then led all scorers with 30 points in the Yellowjackets’ 89-74 win over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. He made 9 of 15 from the field and went a perfect 9 of 9 from the free-throw line in the contest.

Also Nominated: Brian Pearson (Alaska Anchorage), Jeryn Lucas (Central Washington), Jarrett Gray (Concordia), Adonis Arms (Northwest Nazarene), Chandler Redix (Saint Martin’s), Julian Roche (Simon Fraser), Riley Hawken (Western Oregon), Trevor Jasinsky (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska’s lone game last week was the GNAC season opener last Tuesday, with the Nanooks taking a close 79-77 loss at Montana State Billings.

• It was the first game for the Nanooks against their former coach, Mick Durham, and the first conference game for first-year UAF head coach Greg Sparling.

• Junior guard Aushanti Potts-Woods came off the bench to lead the Nanooks with 21 points, connecting on 8 of 16 from the field and 5 of 10 from three-point range. Potts-Woods enters the week averaging 11.4 points per game.

• Junior forward Michael Kluting finished just short of a double-double with 10 points and seven rebounds and shot 5 of 8 from the field. Kluting is UAF’s leading scorer at 13.5 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 9.1 rebounds per game. He is also eighth in Division II with 80 total rebounds.

• Alaska enters the week averaging 73.9 points and 32.9 rebounds per game. The Nanooks are fifth in Division II with 216 free throw attempts and 12th with 149 made. Alaska is also fourth in the GNAC with 11.38 offensive rebounds per game. In the NCAA Division II stats, junior guard Jalen McCullough is 30th with a 3.22 assist/turnover ratio.

• Alaska will play its final game of the month of December on Saturday afternoon, hosting Alaska Anchorage.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage opened conference play in its lone game of the week on Saturday, falling at Montana State Billings 89-74.

• Senior forward Brian Pearson led the Seawolves off the bench with 17 points and five rebounds, making 7 of 9 from the field. Pearson enters the week averaging six points and 4.3 rebounds per game and is tied for ninth in the GNAC with 2.11 offensive rebounds per game.

• Junior forward Sjur Berg added 13 points and five rebounds, shooting 6 of 8 from the field in 19 minutes of action. Berg is entering the week averaging 6.8 points per game and is 11th in the GNAC with 5.8 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard/forward Tyler Brimhall added 10 points in the loss. Brimhall of the Seawolves’ leading scorer, ranking third in the GNAC with 17.4 points per game. He is also sixth with 6.9 rebounds per game.

• Alaska Anchorage enters the week averaging 73 points and 32.9 rebounds per game. The Seawolves lead the GNAC and are ranked 24th in Division II with 17.89 assists per game and also rank seventh in Division II with 161 total assists. Individually, junior guard Niko Bevens is 13th in Division II with 69 three-point attempts and tied for 28th with 26 three-pointers made.

• Alaska Anchorage will travel to Fairbanks to face Alaska in its only game of the week on Saturday. It is the Seawolves’ final counting game before the New Year.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington dropped both games on the road to open its GNAC season last week, falling 77-69 at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and 97-82 at Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

• Junior guard Jeryn Lucas once again led the Wildcats with 26 points in the two games, shooting 52.4 percent from the field. He opened the week with 11 points with four rebounds against Saint Martin’s and then led CWU with 15 points at Seattle Pacific. Lucas is the Wildcats’ leading scorer, averaging 13.5 points per game.

• Junior guard Gamaun Boykin added 25 points in the two games, headlined by his 14 points at Seattle Pacific to go along with six rebounds. Boykin enters the week averaging 12.2 points per game.

• Senior guard Malik Montoya came up with 24 points and 10 rebounds in the two games. His high-water mark came with 13 points and four rebounds against Seattle Pacific. Montoya enters the week averaging 11.3 points per game.

• Central Washington enters the week second in the GNAC and 20th in Division II with 89.1 points per game along with averaging 36.4 rebounds per game. The Wildcats are also ranked 27th in Division II with 134 total assists and 28th with 70 total steals.

• The Wildcats do not play this week. They return to action with a Dec. 12 matchup against Douglas.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia dropped both home contests over the opening weekend of conference play. The Cavaliers lost 83-66 to Western Washington on Thursday and 81-79 to Simon Fraser on Saturday.

• Senior guard Jarrett Gray once again paced the Cavaliers offensively with 35 points in the two games, shooting 50 percent from the field. Gray led Concordia with 19 points against Western Washington. connecting on 7 of 11 from the field and 3 of 4 from three-point range. He also led the team with 16 points against Simon Fraser. Gray is sixth in the GNAC with 15.1 points per game and is fifth in the league with a .889 free throw percentage (24-27).

• Junior guard Xavier Smith was the other CU players in double figures against Western Washington, scoring 13 points on 6 of 9 from the field. Senior guard Jace Cates had 13 points against Simon Fraser as he connected on 4 of 7 from the field and 3 of 6 from three-point range. Smith is the Cavs’ second-leading scorer, averaging 11.6 points per game.

• Concordia enters the week averaging 73.6 points per game and is third in the GNAC with 38.1 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers are third in the GNAC in field goal defense (.420) and defensive rebounds (27.25 per game) and fourth in free throw percentage (.732). In the NCAA Division II stats, junior guard Dom Bradley is 19th in Division II with three double-doubles.

• The Cavaliers play one game this week, hosting former longtime Cascade Conference rival Northwest (Wash.) on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings has won three straight games and jumped to a 2-0 start to conference play with a 79-77 win over Alaska on Tuesday and an 89-74 win over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

• Senior guard Zack Rollins was named the GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week, giving the Yellowjackets honorees in back-to-back weeks. Rollins scored 46 points and shot 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range in the two games. He opened with 16 points and five rebounds against Alaska. He then exploded for 30 points in Saturday’s win over Alaska Anchorage, making 9 of 15 from the field and a perfect 9 of 9 from the free throw line. Rollins is tied for eighth in the GNAC with 14.4 points per game and leads the league with a .944 free throw percentage (17-18).

• Freshman forward Brendan Howard had 32 points in the two games off the bench to go with 10 rebounds, shooting 60 percent from the field. Howard finished with 13 points against Alaska on 5 of 7 from the field and 3 of 4 from the free throw line. He then added 19 points against Alaska Anchorage on 7 of 11 from the field to go with eight rebounds. Howard is tied for Rollins for eighth in the GNAC in scoring with 14.4 points per game.

• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 75.8 points and 34.4 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets are third in the GNAC with a .736 free throw percentage and fourth with 3.50 blocked shots per game. In the NCAA Division II stats, junior guard Tyler Green is 20th in Division II with a .520 three-point percentage (26-50).

• Montana State Billings returns to non-conference play on Saturday, hosting cross-town rival Rocky Mountain.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene extended its season-opening win streak to six games with a close 87-86 win over Seattle Pacific on Thursday to open conference play before seeing that streak end with an 88-86 loss at Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

• Junior guard Adonis Arms had an outstanding week with 52 points and 11 rebounds in the two games, which included 16 of 17 shooting from the free throw line. Arms opened with a 32-point, eight-rebound performance at Seattle Pacific where he shot 10 of 16 from the field, 4 of 8 from three-point range and 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Arms then scored 20 points at Saint Martin’s, which included 8 of 8 from the charity stripe. Arms is second in the GNAC with 20.6 points per game. He also leads the league with 2.71 steals per game and is fourth with a .654 field goal percentage (51-78). He also ranked 21st in Division II with 19 total steals.

• Senior guard Obi Megwa scored 43 points in the two games, which included 9 of 11 from the free throw line and 4 of 7 from three-point range. Megwa opened the week by scoring 18 points at Seattle Pacific on 7 of 15 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free throw line. He then led the Nighthawks with 25 points on 8 of 18 from the field, 4 of 7 from three-point range 5 of 6 from the free throw line at Saint Martin’s. He also had seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Megwa is fourth in the GNAC with 16.1 points per game.

• Northwest Nazarene is third in the GNAC in scoring at 84 points per game while averaging 36.6 rebounds per game. The Nighthawks lead the GNAC and rank eighth in Division II with a .524 field goal percentage and ranks second in the GNAC with a .415 field goal percentage defense.

• Northwest Nazarene received votes in both national polls, picking up eight points in the D2SIDA Media Poll and two in the NABC Coaches Poll.

• The Nighthawks do not play again until Dec. 15 when they host Portland Bible.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s is now on a five-game win streak after two wins to open GNAC play. The Saints beat Central Washington on Thursday, 77-69, and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday, 88-86.

• Senior guard Chandler Redix once again was the prime mover behind the SMU offense with 40 points in the two games, shooting 61.1 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. Redix opened the week with 15 points on 4 of 7 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free throw line against Central Washington. He then scored 25 points against Northwest Nazarene on 7 of 11 from the field and 9 of 12 from the free throw line. He also had nine rebounds and two assists. Redix leads the Saints with 11.9 points per game. He ranks sixth in the GNAC in both field goal percentage (.604) and three-point percentage (.550).

• Senior guard Luke Chavez had his best week of the season thus far, finishing with 30 points and six steals. Chavez finished with 20 points on 7 of 15 from the field and three steals against Central Washington. He then added 10 points against Northwest Nazarene with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. The GNAC Preseason Player of the Year is averaging 10.5 points per game, is ranked ninth in the GNAC with 1.38 steals per game and leads Division II with a 6.25 assist/turnover ratio.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week averaging 81.6 points and 34.2 rebounds per game. The Saints lead the GNAC and rank 22nd in Division II with 10.9 three-pointers made per game and are 21st with 87 three-pointers made.

• Saint Martin’s leaped up in both national polls, moving up seven spots to No. 15 in the D2SIDA Media Poll and to No. 24 in the NABC Coaches Poll.

• Saint Martin’s will host Evergreen State on Friday in the Saints’ only game of the week.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific achieved a split on the first week of GNAC play, falling in a close 87-86 decision to Northwest Nazarene on Thursday before beating Central Washington on Saturday, 97-82.

• Junior guard Gavin Long once again led the Falcons’ offense with 30 points in the two games on 12 of 16 from the field. He finished with 14 points on 5 of 9 from the field against Northwest Nazarene and then added 17 points on 7 of 7 from the field in the win over Central Washington. Long is seventh in the GNAC in scoring with 15 points per game.

• Senior guard Nikhil Lizotte contributed 30 points in the opening GNAC weekend, which included 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He led the Falcons with 18 points against Northwest Nazarene, making 6 of 14 from the field and 4 of 9 from three-point range. Lizotte then added 12 points with three rebounds, five assists and two steals against Central Washington. Lizotte is averaging 13.3 points per game and is second in the GNAC and 14th in Division II with a .938 free throw percentage (15-16).

• Seattle Pacific enters the week averaging 81.3 points and 37 rebounds per game. The Falcons are second in the GNAC with a .492 field goal percentage and third with a +4.7 rebound margin.

• The Falcons do not play again until Dec. 18, traveling to southern California to face Concordia-Irvine.

SIMON FRASER
• The Clan succeeded in a road split in the opening GNAC week, dropping a 72-58 decision at Western Oregon on Thursday before beating Concordia on Saturday, 81-79.

• Sophomore center Julian Roche led the Clan in the opening weekend with 31 points on 63.6 percent shooting from the field. Roche finished with 14 points against Western Oregon to go along with six rebounds. He led the Clan with 17 points against Concordia, shooting 8 of 11 from the field with four rebounds. Roche enters the week averaging 12.3 points per game and is eighth in the GNAC with a .554 field goal percentage.

• Junior guard Michael Provenzano scored 23 points and had 12 assists in the games. After finishing with eight points, four rebounds and four assists against Western Oregon, Provenzano surged for 15 points and eight assists against Concordia. Provenzano is averaging 10.1 points per game and is tied for first in the GNAC with 4.88 assists per game.

• Junior guard Othniel Spence added 22 points on the road trip, scoring six points with five rebounds and five steals against Western Oregon before finishing with 16 points against Concordia with three rebounds. Spence is the Clan’s leading scorer with an average of 13.8 points per game.

• Simon Fraser enters the week averaging 79.1 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 39 rebounds per game. The Clan is 24th in Division II with a +8 rebound margin and 24th with 72 total steals.

• Simon Fraser will not return to competition until a Dec. 18 home matchup against Canadian rival Langara.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon improved to 5-1 on the season with two wins in the opening GNAC weekend. The Wolves took a 72-58 win over Simon Fraser on Thursday before outlasting Western Washington for a 96-88 double-overtime win on Saturday.

• The double-overtime game on Saturday was the first for Western Oregon since Jan. 31, 2015. The Wolves are 4-2 in the program’s GNAC history in double-overtime games and 4-1 when those games are against conference teams.

• Junior forward Riley Hawken led the Wolves with his 36 points in the two games, shooting 54.2 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. He opened by leading all scorers with 22 points against Simon Fraser, connecting on 9 of 12 from the field and 4 of 5 from three-point range to go with six rebounds and three steals. Against Western Washington, Hawken finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Hawken enters the week averaging 10.8 points per game.

• Sophomore guard Darius Lubom added 31 points in the two games while hitting 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He finished with 14 points, four rebounds and three assists against Simon Fraser and then scored 17 points against Western Washington, which included 6 of 7 from the charity stripe. Lubom leads the Wolves in scoring with 12.3 points per game.

• The Wolves enter the week averaging 75 points and 34.5 rebounds per game. The Wolves lead the GNAC in field goal defense (.399) and scoring defense (64.2 points allowed per game), which ranks 17th in Division II. Western Oregon is also fifth in Division II in turnover margin (6.8), 25th in turnovers forced (18.17 per game) and 26th in fewest turnovers (68).

• Western Oregon picked up its first votes of the season in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll, receiving three points.

• Western Oregon returns to action on Saturday, hosting NAIA rival Corban.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington split on its GNAC-opening road trip to Oregon, beating Concordia 83-66 on Thursday before losing in double overtime at Western Oregon on Saturday, 96-88.

• The game on Saturday was the first two-overtime affair for the Vikings since a loss to Alaska Anchorage on Feb. 4, 2016. Western Washington is 0-5 in the GNAC era in double-overtime games.

• Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky led the Vikings with 51 points and 13 rebounds on the road trip, shooting 50 percent from the field and 10 of 21 from three-point range along with 9 for 9 from the free throw line. Jasinsky led all scorers with 24 points at Concordia, going 9 of 14 from the field and 6 of 9 from three-point range to go with seven rebounds. He then scored 27 points against Western Oregon to go with six rebounds and 9 of 9 from the free throw line. Jasinsky leads the league in scoring at 21 points per game and is 21st in Division II with 168 total points. He also ranks 25th in Division II with a .992 free throw percentage.

• Junior guard Micah Winn scored 42 points in the two games. He finished with 19 points at Concordia as he went 7 of 17 from the field and 4 of 4 from the free throw line. Winn added 23 points at Western Oregon, going 9 of 19 from the field, to go with two assists and three steals. Winn is fifth in the GNAC with 16.1 points per game.

• Western Washington dropped out of the NABC Division II Coaches Poll, but is the first team among those receiving votes with 39 points.

• Western Washington enters the week leading the GNAC and eighth in Division II in scoring at 93 points per game while also leading the league with 40.2 rebounds per game. The Vikings also lead the league in scoring margin (+14.9) and free throw percentage (.774).

• The Vikings will host their third Canadian non-conference opponent of the season on Saturday, welcoming Columbia Bible.

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