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More Separation In Store As Top Teams Battle This Week
Gavin Long scored 31 points and had 11 rebounds for Seattle Pacific last week, propelling the Falcons to a six-game win streak.
Gavin Long scored 31 points and had 11 rebounds for Seattle Pacific last week, propelling the Falcons to a six-game win streak.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

SIMPLY SEPARATION: The top teams in the GNAC just kept on winning during the third week of conference play.

The conference’s top-four teams, Saint Martin’s, Northwest Nazarene, Western Oregon and Seattle Pacific, all posted sweeps of games last week to maintain a four-way tie for first in the standings at 5-1. It helped that of the eight games played by the four teams, seven were home games.

The Wolves played the only road game of the bunch, seemingly having their way with Montana State Billings in an 81-65 win on Thursday. Western Oregon pulled away in the second half, outscoring the Yellowjackets 55-37 over the final 20 minutes while shooting 20 of 36 from the field.

Saint Martin’s had to survive a pair of close contests against the Alaska schools to keep pace. On Thursday, the Saints held off a rally by Alaska Anchorage over the final two minutes of the contest to score the 70-68 victory. Alaska took the Saints to overtime on Saturday with Chandler Redix scoring three points in the final minute of regulation to force the extra period. Redix then scored eight of SMU’s 15 overtime points, all from the free throw line.

Northwest Nazarene and Seattle Pacific made easy work of their opponents. The Nighthawks collected an 82-74 win over Western Washington on Thursday and an 88-72 victory over Simon Fraser on Saturday. The Falcons were 79-62 winners over Alaska on Thursday and 84-72 winners over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

The four-way logjam will separate out more as three of the teams face each other this week. Western Oregon will host both Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s this week. Northwest Nazarene, meanwhile, will test itself on the trip to the 49th state with games at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and Alaska on Saturday.

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
Luke Chavez
Saint Martin’s
G • 6-3 • Sr. • Woodacre, Calif.

Playing in his first minutes of 2019, Chavez led the Saints to wins over the Alaska schools with 40 points and nine rebounds, shooting 60 percent from the field. Chavez opened the week with 15 points in a 70-68 win over Alaska Anchorage on Thursday. He then scored a game-high 25 points in Saturday’s 87-80 overtime win over Alaska. He connected on 10 of 15 from the field and 5 of 10 in the contest to go with seven rebounds.

Also Nominated: Brennan Rymer (Alaska Anchorage), Gamaun Boykin (Central Washington), El-roi Butler (Concordia), Obi Megwa (Northwest Nazarene), Gavin Long (Seattle Pacific), Jasdeep Singh (Simon Fraser), Kaleb Warner (Western Oregon), Leif Anderson (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska lost on both ends of its Puget Sound road trip, falling 79-62 at Seattle Pacific on Thursday and 87-80 in overtime at Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

• Junior guard Tymoryae Glover led the Nanooks with 38 points in the two games, connecting on 59.3 percent from the field and 3 of 4 from outside. Glover led all scorers at Seattle Pacific with 17 points in 15 minutes off the bench to go along with eight rebounds. He then added 21 points and five rebounds on 9 of 17 from the field at Saint Martin’s in a starting role. Glover has played in all 13 games, starting seven, and is averaging 10.2 points per game

• Junior forward Michael Kluting added 23 points and 21 rebounds on the road trip. After a quiet performance against Seattle Pacific, Kluting led the Nanooks with a double-double of 21 points and 15 rebounds, connecting on 9 of 19 from the field. Kluting is averaging 13.8 points per game and leads the GNAC with 9.2 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Alex Martin added 26 points in the two games, paced by his 17 points off the bench at Saint Martin’s. He also had four rebounds and two steals in the contest.

• Alaska enters the week averaging 74.2 points and 33 rebounds per game. The Nanooks are fourth in the GNAC in both three-point shooting (.380) and three-point defense (.343).

• Alaska returns home to the Patty Center this week, hosting Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• The Seawolves took a pair of closes losses on the road, dropping a 70-68 decision to Saint Martin’s on Thursday and an 84-72 game to Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

• Sophomore guard Brennan Rymer led the way on the trip with 28 points and eight rebounds in the two games. He led the Seawolves with 16 points and five rebounds at Saint Martin’s, making 5 of 9 from the field and 2 of 3 from three-point range. Rymer then added 12 points at Seattle to go along with three rebounds and four assists. Rymer enters the week averaging 10.1 points per game and is fourth in the GNAC with 3.64 assists per game.

• Junior guard Niko Bevens came through for 25 points in the two games. He scored 11 points at Saint Martin’s and added 14 points at Seattle Pacific to go along with seven rebounds. Bevens is averaging 12.4 points per game and is second in the GNAC with three three-pointers made per game.

• Junior guard/forward Tyler Brimhall scored 21 on the trip, led by a 14-point performance at Saint Martin’s. Brimhall continues to rank fourth in the GNAC with 16.1 points per game, seventh with 6.5 rebounds per game and fifth with 2.50 three-pointers made per game.

• Alaska Anchorage enters the week averaging 71.6 points and 32.4 rebounds per game. Individually, senior forward Brian Pearson leads the league with 1.36 blocks per game.

• Alaska Anchorage returns home to welcome Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• It was another hard-fought split for the Wildcats, scoring an 85-84 come-from-behind overtime win over Simon Fraser on Thursday before falling 73-65 to Western Washington on Saturday.

• Freshman forward Matt Poquette paced the Wildcats with 28 points in the two games. He scored 10 points and had six rebounds and two blocks against Simon Fraser. Poquette then led all scorers with 18 points against Western Washington, shooting 6 of 13 from the field and 2 of 3 from three-point range, with four rebounds. Poquette has come off the bench in all 14 games and is averaging 10 points and 4.2 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Gamaun Boykin finished with 26 points in the two contests. He led the Wildcats with 15 points and seven rebounds against Simon Fraser. Eleven of those points came in the second half on 4 of 9 from the field and 3 of 3 from the free throw line. Boykin then finished with 11 points and seven rebounds against Western Washington. Boykin is tied for ninth in the GNAC in scoring at 14.5 points per game.

• Senior guard Jackson Price also had 26 points in the two games, paced by his 14 points on 5 of 8 from the field against Western Washington. Price enters the week averaging 10.8 points per game and is ninth in the GNAC with a .456 three-point percentage.

• Central Washington leads the GNAC and is 19th in Division II in scoring at 89.7 points per game. The Wildcats also lead the GNAC and rank 24th in Division II with a .399 three-point percentage and are 27th nationally with a .492 field goal percentage.

• Central Washington heads north to Alaska this week, playing at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and Alaska on Saturday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia took a pair of road losses last week, falling 91-65 at in-state rival Western Oregon on Tuesday and 80-69 at Montana State Billings on Saturday.

• Junior guard El-roi Butler led the Cavaliers 26 points and four rebounds on the road trip. Butler connected for a season-high 15 points in 24 minutes off the bench at Western Oregon, making 6 of 8 from the field and 3 of 4 from three-point range. He then added 11 points at Montana State Billings. Butler is averaging six points per game in six games this season.

• Senior guard Jarrett Gray scored 27 points in the two games and went a perfect 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Gray scored 13 points at Western Oregon, which 6 of 6 from the free throw line. He then scored 14 points at Montana State Billings to go along with six rebounds. Gray is tied for ninth in the GNAC with 14.5 points per game, is second in the GNAC with 32.50 minutes played per game and fourth with a .909 free throw percentage (40-44). He has made 13 straight free throws dating back to Dec. 18.

• Concordia enters the week averaging 75.3 points per game and 35.6 rebounds per game. The Cavaliers are third in the GNAC in field goal defense (.443) and fifth in free throw percentage (.734).

• Concordia returns home after a four-game road swing, hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings split a pair of home games, falling 81-65 to Western Oregon on Thursday before scoring an 80-69 win over Concordia on Saturday that snapped a three-game losing streak.

• Junior guard Tyler Green led the Yellowjackets as he scored 35 points in the two games, making 10 of 13 from the free throw line. Green was limited to 12 points against Western Oregon, but bounced back to score 23 points against Concordia on 6 of 13 from the field and 7 of 9 from the free throw line. Green is fifth in the GNAC with 15.8 points per game. One of the top outside threats in the league, Grene is 11th in Division II with 3.57 three-pointers made per game, 14th with a .481 three-point percentage and 22nd with 50 three-pointers made.

• Junior forward Melvin Newbern, Jr., added 27 points and had 16 rebounds in the two contests. He led the Yellowjackets with 21 points and eight rebounds against Western Oregon, connecting on 9 of 13 from the field. Newbern was quieter against Concordia, finishing with six points and eight rebounds. Newbern is averaging 13.5 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 8.4 rebounds per game. Newbern also ranks 25th in Division II with a .605 field goal percentage (78-129).

• Freshman forward Brendan Howard dropped in 25 points in the homestand, paced by his 13 points and five rebounds against Concordia. Howard is averaging 13.1 points per game in 14 games, including four starts.

• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 79 points and 34.9 rebounds per game.

• Montana State Billings hits the road for a pair this week, playing at Western Washington on Thursday and at Simon Fraser on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene made it four wins a row to close out a four-game homestand, beating Western Washington on Thursday, 82-74, and Simon Fraser on Saturday, 88-72.

• Junior guard Adonis Arms poured in 47 points in the two games, connecting on of 61.5 percent from the field. He blistered Western Washington for 34 points and seven rebounds, making 11 of 17 from the field and 9 of 11 from the free throw line. Arms then added 13 points in 20 minutes against Simon Fraser, making 5 of 9 from the field. Arms leads the GNAC and is 28th in Division II with 21.6 points per game. He is also fourth in the GNAC with a .617 field goal percentage and 15th in Division II with 2.50 steals per game.

• Senior guard Obi Megwa finished with 38 points, nine rebounds, six assists and seven steals over the week. Megwa opened with 14 points and four steals against Western Washington before finishing with 24 points, seven rebounds, four assists and three steals against Simon Fraser. Megwa is third in the GNAC with 18.6 points per game and 3.67 assists per game.

• Freshman guard James Nelson came through for 26 points, most of which came in a 22-point performance against Simon Fraser. He connected on 9 of 14 from the field to go with six rebounds, two steals and two blocks in 18 minutes off the bench. Nelson is averaging 6.9 points per game.

• Northwest Nazarene is second in the GNAC and 30th in Division II with 86.1 points per game and also rank second in the GNAC 38.7 rebounds per contest. The Nighthawks lead the GNAC and are sixth in Division II with a .516 field goal percentage.

• The Nighthawks head north for a pair of road games, playing at Alaska on Thursday and at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• After losing to Western Washington last Saturday, Saint Martin’s returned to the win column with a 70-68 win over Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and an 87-80 overtime win over Alaska on Saturday.

• Senior guard Luke Chavez was named the GNAC Player of the Week after finishing with 40 points in the two wins, making 61 percent of his shots from the field. He opened the week by scoring 15 points against Alaska Anchorage, connecting on 4 of 8 from the field and 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Chavez then led all scorers with 25 points against Alaska, connecting on 10 of 15 from the field and 5 of 10 from three-point range to go with seven rebounds. Chavez enters the week averaging 12.3 points per game and has seen his playing time limited due to injuries.

• Senior guard Chandler Redix added 28 points in the games. He scored 11 points against Alaska Anchorage, which included 5 of 6 from the free throw line and two blocks, and then scored 17 points against Alaska, which also included 9 of 11 from the line. He also had four rebounds and three assists. Redix leads the Saints with 12.6 points per game.

• Senior forward Jared Matthews led the Saints against Alaska Anchorage with 18 points in 12 minutes off the bench, making 8 of 10 from the field with two rebounds and two assists.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week averaging 81.7 points and 33.8 rebounds per game. The Saints lead the GNAC and rank 22nd in Division II with 10.9 three-pointers made per game.

• Saint Martin’s re-emerged in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll after a week’s absence, moving up to No. 23. The Saints moved up three spots to No. 15 in the D2SIDA Media Poll.

• Saint Martin’s hits the Oregon Trail for two games this week, playing at Western Oregon on Thursday and at Concordia on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific made it a six-game win streak with a 79-62 win over Alaska on Thursday and an 84-72 defeat of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

• Junior guard Gavin Long led the way in victory with 31 points and 11 rebounds, shooting 63 percent from the field in the two games. Long finished with 14 points against Alaska, connecting on 5 of 6 from the field. His best effort came against Alaska Anchorage, leading the Falcons with 17 points and nine rebounds and three assists. Long is sixth in the GNAC in scoring, averaging 15.1 points per game.

• Senior forward Sam Simpson added 28 points in the two contests, scoring 14 points in both games. Against Alaska, Simpson went 5 of 7 from the field in 21 minutes off the bench. Against UAA, Simpson did most of his scoring on 8 of 8 made at the free throw line. Simpson is averaging 8.7 points per game and is third in the GNAC with a .917 free throw percentage (22-24).

• Senior guard Nikhil Lizotte made both free throws attempted last week to run his streak of consecutive free throws made to 20. The streak dates back to Nov. 29. Lizotte leads the GNAC with a .964 free throw percentage (27-28), but has fallen under the minimum of 2.5 made per game to qualify for the NCAA statistics.

• Seattle Pacific is averaging 82.7 points and is third in the GNAC with 36.4 rebounds per game. The Falcons are second in the GNAC and 13th in Division II with a .505 field goal percentage. Additionally, SPU is sixth in Division II in fewest turnovers (129) and 11th in fewest fouls (189).

• The Falcons is on the road for a pair this week, traveling to Concordia on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser dropped a pair of road contests last week, losing 85-84 in overtime at Central Washington on Thursday and 88-72 at Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

• Sophomore forward Jasdeep Singh led the Clan with his 31 points and 12 rebounds in the two games off the bench. He just missed a double-double at Central Washington with 17 points and nine rebounds, making 6 of 9 from the field and 2 of 2 from three-point range. Singh then finished with 14 points at Northwest Nazarene. Singh is averaging 9.1 points per game in 14 games in a reserve role.

• Sophomore center Julian Roche added 29 points in the two contests as he made 64.7 percent of his shots on the road trip. Roche had most of his scoring at Central Washington, leading all scorers with 23 points on 9 of 11 from the field. He also had six rebounds and three blocks. Roche leads the Clan with 13.8 points per game and is 10th in the GNAC with 6.1 rebounds per game.

• Freshman guard Wilfried Balata just missed a double-double in both games, finishing with 16 points and eight rebounds at Central Washington and nine points and eight rebounds at Northwest Nazarene. Balata enters the week averaging 12.9 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

• Simon Fraser enters the week ranked fourth in the GNAC with 83.4 points per game and is averaging 35.9 rebounds per game. The Clan is second in the GNAC and is 27th in Division II with 16.9 assists per game. Individually, junior guard Michael Provenzano leads the league with 5.21 assists per game.

• The Clan plays at Western Washington on Tuesday before returning home to host Montana State Billings on Saturday.

WESTERN OREGON
• The Wolves have now won three straight games after a weekend sweep, scoring a 91-65 victory over Concordia on Tuesday and an 81-65 win at Montana State Billings on Thursday.

• Senior forward Kaleb Warner led Western Oregon with 25 points and 13 rebounds in the two games. After scoring 10 points and pulling down six rebounds against Concordia, Warner finished with 15 points and seven rebounds at Montana State Billings. Warner is averaging 10.5 points and 3.9 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Riley Hawken led all scorers against Concordia with 25 points as he connected on 8 of 9 from the field and 6 of 7 from three-point range. He followed that up with seven points at Montana State Billings, making 3 of 5 from the field. Hawken leads the Wolves with 13.7 points per game and is sixth in the GNAC with 6.5 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Dalven Brushier was Western Oregon’s leading scorer at Montana State Billings, finishing with 19 points on 8 of 13 from the field and 3 of 6 from three-point range. He was one of four WOU players to finish scoring in double figures. Brushier enters the week averaging 10.4 points per game.

• Western Oregon enters the week averaging 80.8 points per game and is fourth in the GNAC with 36 rebounds per game. The Wolves lead the GNAC in scoring defense (64.1 points allowed per game) and field goal defense (.408). Western is sixth in Division II with just 9.7 turnovers per game and 10th in fewest turnovers (146).

• Western Oregon enjoys a weekend of games at home, hosting Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington picked up its third straight split in GNAC weeks, dropping an 82-74 decision at Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and beating Central Washington on Saturday, 73-65.

• Junior guard Leif Anderson paced the Vikings with 31 points in the two games, shooting 11 of 21 from the field and 7 of 15 from three-point range. He scored a career-high 21 points at Northwest Nazarene, connecting on 7 of 12 from the field and 5 of 9 from outside to go with six rebounds and two assists. Anderson then added 10 points at Central Washington to go with three rebounds and five assists. Anderson is averaging 7.2 points per game.

• Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky added 29 points and 15 rebounds in the two contests. He opened the week with 14 points and seven rebounds at Northwest Nazarene and then led the Vikings with 15 points and eight rebounds at Central Washington. Jasinsky enters the week second in the GNAC with 19.1 points per game and fourth with 7.2 rebounds per game. He is one of two players in the GNAC top-10 in both categories. Jasinsky is also ninth in Division II with 92 free throws made and 26th with 103 attempted.

• Western Washington enters the week third in the GNAC with 85.6 points per game and leads the GNAC with 39.4 rebounds per game. The Vikings also lead the league and rank 13th in Division II in free throw percentage (.785). Western also leads the GNAC and is 24th in Division II with 4.4 blocks per game.

• Western Washington opens a four-game homestand this week, hosting border rival Simon Fraser on Tuesday and Montana State Billings on Thursday.

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