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Simon Fraser Puts Wrinkle In Men's Hoop Picture
Julian Roche scored 23 points against Saint Martin's, including the game-winning lay-in with five seconds left.
Julian Roche scored 23 points against Saint Martin's, including the game-winning lay-in with five seconds left.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

SIMON FRASER TIGHTENS UP THE TITLE RACE: With eight games to go in the regular season, it will take a big win streak for Simon Fraser to earn a spot in the GNAC Championships. That fact, however, has not kept the Clan from making their say in who might take the regular-season championship.

The Clan pulled off what might be the upset of the season on Saturday, scoring a 63-61 victory at league-leading Saint Martin’s. Simon Fraser rebounded from a 13-point deficit with 8:10 left in the first half to tie it at 27-27 at the half. The Saints built the lead back to seven points on EJ Boyce’s three-pointer with 5:33 to go, but the Clan proceeded to outscore the Saints 15-6 the rest of the way. Julian Roche closed the game out with the game-winning layup with five seconds left. Roche led the way for the Clan with 23 points and 10 rebounds, going 10 of 15 from the field.

No one was happier about Simon Fraser’s win than Northwest Nazarene as it allowed the Nighthawks to pull back into a first-place tie with the Saints. But it took an incredible comeback, however, for NNU to even be in that position.

The Nighthawks found themselves down 44-29 at halftime against Montana State Billings on Saturday and appeared to be headed to defeat when the Yellowjackets pulled out to a 67-40 lead with 10:38 left. It was at that point, though, that NNU went on a spirited 30-3 run over the next six minutes, culminating when Adonis Arms’ dunk with 4:27 left tied the game at 70-70. The Nighthawks battled back again, using back-to-back Jayden Bezzant three-pointers to tie it at 80-80 at the end of regulation.

Northwest Nazarene went on to outscore Montana State Billings 12-9 in the extra period to come away with the 92-89 victory.

While Saint Martin’s and Northwest Nazarene sit tied for first, Western Oregon is just a game back with a 9-3 conference mark with Seattle Pacific two games back at 8-4. Both teams swept their games last week.

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
Darius Lubom
Western Oregon
G • 6-1 • So. • Kent, Wash.

Lubom led the Wolves to a weekend sweep with 46 points in the two games, shooting 64.2 percent from the field, 3 of 6 from three-point range and 7 of 8 from the free throw line to go with 10 assists. Lubom finished with 16 points in Thursday’s 94-78 win over Alaska, connecting on 7 of 12 from the field to go along with eight assists. He then led all scorers with 30 points in Saturday’s 81-61 win over Alaska Anchorage. He connected on 11 of 17 from the field and went 3 of 6 from the free throw line to go with two assists and two steals as the Wolves snapped the Seawolves’ five-game win streak.

Also Nominated: Tymoryae Glover (Alaska), Tyler Brimhall (Alaska Anchorage), Jeryn Lucas (Central Washington), Cody Starr (Concordia), Melvin Newbern, Jr. (Montana State Billings), Jayden Bezzant (Northwest Nazarene), EJ Boyce (Saint Martin’s), Coleman Wooten (Seattle Pacific), Julian Roche (Simon Fraser), Trevor Jasinsky (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• After dropping a 94-78 decision at Western Oregon on Thursday, Alaska snapped a nine-game losing streak with a close 63-61 victory at Concordia on Saturday.

• Junior guard Tymoryae Glover had another impressive week for the Nanooks, scoring 51 points in the two games while shooting 60 percent from the field and 93 percent from the free throw line. Glover finished with 20 points at Western Oregon, making 6 of 13 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free throw line. He then led all scorers with 31 points at Concordia, making 12 of 17 from the field and 7 of 7 from the line. Glover leads UAF and is 11th in the GNAC with 13.6 points per game.

• Junior guard Spencer Sweet added 33 points and had 13 rebounds on the road trip. He led all scorers at Western Oregon with 25 points to go with seven rebounds, making 7 of 12 from the field, 4 of 5 from three-point range and 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Sweet then finished with eight points and six rebounds at Concordia. Sweet is averaging 12.5 points per game and is tied for 16th in Division II with a .900 free throw percentage.

• Alaska enters the week averaging 71.3 points and 32.2 rebounds per game. The Nanooks are second in the GNAC in free throw percentage (.746).

• The Nanooks return home for the first time in three weeks, hosting Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage made it five wins in a row with a 99-94 overtime win over Concordia on Thursday before seeing the win streak end with an 81-61 loss at Western Oregon on Saturday.

• Junior guard/forward Tyler Brimhall led the Seawolves once again with 49 points and 18 rebounds in the two game. Brimhall led all scorers with 34 points and 10 rebounds at Concordia, connecting on 12 of 22 from the field and 6 of 7 from the free throw line. He then led UAA with 15 points at Western Oregon to go along with eight rebounds. Brimhall is fourth in the GNAC with 18 points per game and sixth with 6.8 rebounds per game. He is also fifth in the GNAC with 2.80 three-pointers made per game.

• Junior guard Niko Bevens scored 30 points on the road trip as he connected on 9 of 16 from the field and 8 of 13 from three-point range. Bevens finished with 19 points at Concordia on a night where he made 5 of 8 from three-point range. He then added 11 points at Western Oregon. Bevens is averaging 12.8 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 3.10 three-pointers made per game and third with 32.20 minutes played per game.

• The Seawolves saw all five starters score in double figures against Concordia. Junior guard Jack Macdonald finished with 17 points. Sophomore guard Brennan Rymer finished just short of a double-double with 11 points and eight rebounds and junior forward Sjur Berg finished with 10 points and seven rebounds.

• Alaska Anchorage enters the week averaging 73.5 points and 32.8 rebounds per game. The Seawolves lead the GNAC and rank 30th in Division II with 16.6 assists per game. Alaska Anchorage also leads the GNAC with a .391 three-point percentage.

• Alaska Anchorage returns home after a four-game road trip, hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington saw its losing streak extend to four games with a 93-93 home loss to Northwest Nazarene on Tuesday and an 87-47 road loss at Montana State Billings on Thursday.

• Junior guard Jeryn Lucas paced the Wildcats with 35 points in the two games. He led all scorers with 28 points against Northwest Nazarene, connecting on 12 of 21 from the field and 4 of 6 from three-point range to go with five rebounds. Lucas then added seven points at Montana State Billings. Lucas is averaging 11.4 points per game and has started all 20 games this season.

• Freshman forward Matt Poquette contributed 23 points last week. He scored 17 points against Northwest Nazarene, making 5 of 12 from the field and 7 of 7 from the free throw line. He came back to add six points at Montana State Billings. Poquette enters the week averaging 10.2 points per game.

• Freshman forward Zellie Hudson was the only CWU player to score double figures at Montana State Billings, finishing with 10 points on 4 of 6 from the field to go with three rebounds. Hudson is averaging 6.6 points per game and is one of the top free throw shooters on the team at 76.5 percent.

• Central Washington is second in the GNAC in scoring at 82.3 points per game and is averaging 34.6 rebounds per contest. The Wildcats are also third in the GNAC with a .377 three-point percentage, 3.55 blocked shots per game and 15.95 assists per game.

• The Wildcats are on the road for their next two games, playing at Western Washington on Thursday and at Simon Fraser on Saturday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia took a pair of close losses to the Alaska schools at home, dropping a 99-94 overtime battle with Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and a 63-61 decision to Alaska on Saturday.

• Senior guard Cody Starr stepped up off the bench, leading the Cavaliers with 37 points and 17 rebounds in the two games. Starr led Concordia with a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds against Alaska Anchorage, making 5 of 11 from the field and 4 of 9 from three-point range. He led the Cavaliers again with 18 points against Alaska on 7 of 14 from the field to go with five rebounds and six assists. Starr is averaging 10 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 4.35 assists per game.

• Senior guard Jarrett Gray finished with 31 points in the two games, making 50 percent of his shots from the field and 60 percent from three-point range. Gray finished with 18 points against Alaska Anchorage on 6 of 11 from the field before adding 13 points against Alaska. He also went 6 for 6 from the free throw line in the games. Gray is sixth in the GNAC with 15.3 points per game. He leads the GNAC and is tied for 16th in Division II with a .900 free throw percentage.

• Sophomore guard/forward Hunter Sweet provided for 28 points, with his week paced by 16 points on 7 of 11 from the field against Alaska Anchorage. Sweet enters the week averaging 11 points per game.

• Concordia enters the week averaging 75.1 points per game and 34.8 rebounds per game.

• Concordia continues a four-game homestand by welcoming Western Oregon on Tuesday and Montana State Billings on Thursday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• It was a tale of two games for the Yellowjackets last week, scoring an 87-47 blowout over Central Washington on Thursday before taking a 92-89 overtime loss to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

• Junior guard Tyler Green led MSUB with 35 points in the two games. He opened with a 16-point performance against Central Washington with five rebounds and four assists, shooting 6 of 11 from the field and 3 of 8 from three-point range. Green followed with a 19-point night against Northwest Nazarene. Green is fifth in the GNAC in scoring at 17.1 points per game. He leads the GNAC and is fifth in Division II with 3.75 three-pointers made per game. Green is also fifth in Division II in three-pointers made (75), 19th in three-point attempts (167) and 26th in three-point percentage (.449).

• Junior forward Melvin Newbern, Jr., finished with 22 points and 22 rebounds in the two games. After scoring 15 points and grabbing six rebounds against Central Washington, Newberg finished with seven points and 16 rebounds against Northwest Nazarene. Newbern enters the week leading the GNAC with 8.8 rebounds per game and is averaging 11.8 points per game.

• The overtime game was the fourth for MSUB this season, with the Yellowjackets going 1-3 in those contests. It is the most overtime games for the team since the 2013-14 season.

• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 81.8 points and 36.8 rebounds per game, ranking fourth in the GNAC in both categories.

• The Yellowjackets hit the road this week, playing at Concordia on Thursday and at Western Oregon on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene extended its win streak to four games with a pair of close wins, beating Central Washington 96-93 on Thursday before roaring back to beat Montana State Billings in overtime on Saturday, 92-89.

• At MSUB, the Nighthawks trailed 44-29 at halftime and trailed 67-40 with 10:38 left in the second before tying the game at 70-70 with 4:27 left to close out a 30-3 run that eventually forced the extra period. Northwest Nazarene outscored MSUB 51-36 in the second half and shot 60 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three-point range.

• Junior guard Jayden Bezzant led the Nighthawks with 46 points in the two games off the bench, shooting 65.3 percent from the field and 75 percent from three-point range. He opened with 16 points at Central Washington, making 7 of 10 from the field, before leading all scorers with 30 points on 10 of 16 from the field and 6 of 8 from three-point range. Bezzant enters the week averaging 12.7 points per game and is 10th in the GNAC with a .549 field goal percentage.

• Senior guard Obi Megwa added 41 points on the road trip, paced by his 24 points on 10 of 20 from the field at Central Washington. He also had five rebounds and eight assists in the game. Megwa is third in the GNAC with 18.2 points per game.

• Northwest Nazarene leads the GNAC in scoring at 85.4 points per game. The Nighthawks also lead the league and are seventh in Division II with a .511 field goal percentage. They also lead the GNAC and are 24th in Division II with 28.44 defensive rebounds per game. In the individual stats, junior guard Adonis Arms continues to lead the GNAC with 21.1 points and 2.22 steals per game.

• Northwest Nazarene has emerged at No. 24 in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll and No. 25 in the D2SIDA Media Poll, its first top-25 rankings of the season.

• The Nighthawks continue a four-game road trip this week, playing at Simon Fraser on Thursday and at Western Washington on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• After picking up the 57-53 win over Western Washington on Thursday, Saint Martin’s saw its seven-game win streak come to an abrupt halt with a 61-59 home loss to Simon Fraser on Saturday.

• Senior guard EJ Boyce led the Saints with 33 points in the two games, shooting 42.8 percent from the field. Boyce finished with 10 points against Western Washington and then led SMU with 23 points against Simon Fraser, making 8 of 19 from the field with six three-pointers. Boyce is averaging 12.7 points per game and is 24th in Division II with 162 three-point attempts.

• Sophomore guard/forward Tavian Henderson came off the bench for 18 points and 11 rebounds in the games. Most of that production came against Western Washington where Henderson had 10 points and seven rebounds on 5 of 6 from the field. Henderson is averaging 8.1 points per game and leads the Saints with 5.6 rebounds per contest.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week averaging 78.4 points and 33.8 rebounds per game. The Saints lead the GNAC and are 26th in Division II with 10.70 three-pointers made per game. They also lead the GNAC with 8.30 steals per game.

• With the loss, Saint Martin’s dropped seven spots to No. 19 in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll and into a tie for 18th in the D2SIDA Media Poll.

• Saint Martin’s heads north to Alaska this week, playing at Alaska on Thursday and at Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific posted a pair of solid wins at home last week, collecting a 92-76 win over Simon Fraser on Thursday and a 91-75 victory over Western Washington on Saturday.

• Senior forward Coleman Wooten led the Falcons with 35 points and 17 rebounds in the two games, making 64 percent from the field. Wooten finished with a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds against Simon Fraser, making 11 of 15 from the field, before scoring 12 points to go with seven rebounds against Western Washington. Wooten is averaging 11.5 points per game and ranks third in the GNAC with 7.8 rebounds per game.

• Freshman guard Divant’e Moffitt had a big week off the bench, finishing with 34 points and 11 rebounds while shooting 61.1 percent from the field. Most of his offense came against Simon Fraser where he scored 21 points on 6 of 9 from the field and 9 of 12 from the free throw line. Moffitt is averaging 8.5 points per game in 17 games in a reserve role.

• Senior guard Nikhil Lizotte also scored 34 points last week and went a perfect 11 of 11 from the free throw line. He was the Falcons’ leading scorer against Western Washington, connecting for 20 points on 5 of 12 from the field and 8 of 8 from the free throw line. Lizotte is averaging 13 points per game and is fourth in the GNAC with a .885 free throw percentage.

• Seattle Pacific is averaging 80.6 points per game and is third in the GNAC with 37.6 rebounds per game. The Falcons are second in the GNAC and 20th in Division II with a .493 field goal percentage. Seattle Pacific is also 17th in Division II in fewest turnovers (215) and 29th in fewest fouls (302).

• Seattle Pacific heads to the 49th state this week for games at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and at Alaska on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser took a 92-76 loss at Seattle Pacific on Thursday, but scored the upset of the season on Saturday with a 61-59 win at Saint Martin’s.

• Sophomore center Julian Roche was the catalyst in the win at Saint Martin’s, notching a double-double of 23 points and 10 rebounds on 10 of 15 from the field and connected on the game-winning basket with five seconds left. Roche finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds in the two games. He is eighth in the GNAC with 14.9 points per game and fifth with 6.9 rebounds per game. Roche also ranks fifth in the GNAC and is 26th in Division II with a .594 field goal percentage.

• Junior guard Othniel Spence led the Clan in the two games with 34 points. He was Simon Fraser’s leading scorer at Seattle Pacific with 26 points on 9 of 17 from the field with four three-pointers. Spence is ninth in the GNAC with 14.6 points per game and fourth with 2.82 three-pointers made per game.

• Junior guard Michael Provenzano added 25 points in the two games along with eight assists to his league-leading total, paced by his 15 points and four assists at Saint Martin’s. Provenzano leads the GNAC with 4.80 assists per game while averaging 11.1 points per contest.

• Simon Fraser enters the week ranked third in the GNAC with 81.9 points per game and is averaging 36.1 rebounds per game. The Clan is second in the GNAC with a .385 three-point percentage and 16.50 assists per game.

• Simon Fraser returns home for its next three games, hosting Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon has now won four of its last five games with a 91-78 victory over Alaska on Thursday and an 81-61 win over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

• Sophomore guard Darius Lubom was named the GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for his 46 points in the two games, shooting 64.2 percent from the field, to go along with 10 assists. Lubom finished with 16 points against Alaska, connecting on 7 of 12 from the field to go along with eight assists. He then led all scorers with 30 points against Alaska Anchorage. He connected on 11 of 17 from the field and went 3 of 6 from the free throw line to go with two assists and two steals. Lubom is averaging 11 points per game.

• Junior guard Dalven Brushier was not far behind Lubom with 42 points in the victories, shooting 68.1 percent from the field and 54.5 percent from three-point range. Brushier led the Wolves with 22 points against Alaska, making 9 of 12 from the field and 3 of 5 from three-point range. He then added 20 points on 6 of 10 from the field and 3 of 6 from outside against Alaska Anchorage. Brushier is averaging 11.3 points per game.

• Western Oregon enters the week averaging 79.9 points and 36.3 rebounds per game. The Wolves lead the GNAC and rank 10th in Division II in scoring margin (14.7) while ranking 14th nationally in scoring defense (65.2 points allowed per game) and 18th in assist/turnover ratio (1.50).

• Western Oregon travels to Portland to take on Concordia on Tuesday before hosting Montana State Billings on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington has now lost three straight after taking a 57-53 loss at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and a 91-75 loss to Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

• Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky was once again the Vikings’ offensive leader, scoring 33 points with 13 rebounds on the road trip. After scoring five points with five rebounds at Saint Martin’s, Jasinsky led the Vikings with 28 points and seven rebounds at Seattle Pacific while playing all 40 minutes. Jasinsky is second in the GNAC with 19.3 points per game, ranks fourth with 7.2 rebounds per game and fifth with a .876 free throw percentage. Jasinsky is also ranked 19th in Division II with 113 free throws made.

• Freshman guard/forward Jalen Green contributed 25 points and 11 rebounds in the two games. He scored 14 points and had six rebounds at Saint Martin’s before putting up 11 points and five rebounds at Seattle Pacific. Green is averaging eight points per game for the Vikings.

• Sophomore forward Luke Lovelady and junior guard Tucker Eenigenberg each scored 17 points over the week. Lovelady scored all 17 to lead the Vikings at Saint Martin’s, hitting on 6 of 8 from the field to go with 10 rebounds. Eenigenberg had 12 of his 17 at Seattle Pacific on 5 of 10 from the field. Lovelady is second in the GNAC with a .636 field goal percentage while Eenigenberg leads the league with a .480 three-point percentage.

• Western Washington enters the week averaging 81.4 points per game and leads the GNAC with 38.6 rebounds per game. The Vikings lead the GNAC and are 22nd in Division II with 4.4 blocked shots per game and also lead the league and rank 25th in Division II with a .773 free throw percentage.

• The Vikings are home for their next two games, hosting Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

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