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It's Gonna Come Down To The Final Day Of The Season
Trevor Jasinsky's 39 points and 12 rebounds helped lead Western Washington to a sweep of the Alaska road trip and put the Vikings back in contention for a GNAC Championships berth.
Trevor Jasinsky's 39 points and 12 rebounds helped lead Western Washington to a sweep of the Alaska road trip and put the Vikings back in contention for a GNAC Championships berth.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

PLENTY OF DRAMA IN THE FINAL WEEK: Four of the six teams in the GNAC Championships field are decided, but which of those four teams earn which seed and who will take the No. 5 and No. 6 spots in the tournament will come right down to the bitter end.

The race for the conference’s regular-season title will take center stage on Thursday night as Saint Martin’s plays at Northwest Nazarene. The Saints currently own first place in the GNAC at 15-3, one game ahead of both the Nighthawks and Seattle Pacific. Northwest Nazarene and the Falcons will square off on Saturday night.

Western Oregon, at 12-6 entering the week, is all but assured the No. 4 seed in next week’s championships following its sweep of NNU and Central Washington in the Wolves’ home finale. Western Oregon will close on the road with games at Western Washington and Simon Fraser.

The race for fifth and sixth flipped following sweeps by both Simon Fraser and Western Washington on the Alaska road trip. The sweep allowed the Clan and Vikings to move into a tie for fifth place at 8-9 while Alaska Anchorage and Montana State Billings slipped to seventh at 8-10.

Thanks to a weather postponement, both SFU and WWU have three games to play this week. The two teams square off against each other in Burnaby, B.C., on Tuesday, with the winner taking control in gaining one of those two remaining spots. Alaska Anchorage, meanwhile, will host Montana State Billings on Thursday in a must-win game for both teams.

PURCHASE YOUR TICKETS FOR THE GNAC CHAMPIONSHIPS: Advance tickets are available now for the 2019 GNAC Basketball Championships, which will take place at Western Washington’s Carver Gym in Bellingham, Washington from Mar 7-9. Full tournament reserved seat passes are available for $56 while general admission full tournament passes are $42 for adults and $22 for students, youth and seniors. Single session passes are also available. Tickets can be purchased online at GNACHoopTickets.com.

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
Michael Kluting
Alaska
F • 6-7 • Jr. • Palmer, Alaska

Kluting finished with 45 points and 33 rebounds in the Nanooks’ two home games, shooting 54.5 percent from the field as he registered a pair of huge double-doubles. Kluting opened the week with 17 points and 16 rebounds against Simon Fraser, shooting 7 of 13 from the field to go with an assist, a block and a steal. He then led all players with 28 points and 17 rebounds against Western Washington on Saturday, connecting on 11 of 20 from the field and 5 of 6 from the free throw line.

Also Nominated: Jarrett Gray (Concordia), Adonis Arms (Northwest Nazarene), Jordan Kitchen (Saint Martin’s), Nikhil Lizotte (Seattle Pacific), Wilfried Balata (Simon Fraser), Riley Hawken (Western Oregon), Trevor Jasinsky (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska took a pair of losses at home last week, falling 71-66 to Simon Fraser on Thursday and 85-75 to Western Washington on Saturday.

• Junior forward Michael Kluting turned in a pair of big double-doubles in the two games to earn selection as the GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week. Kluting opened with 17 points and 16 rebounds on 7 of 13 from the field against Simon Fraser. He then led all players with 28 points and 17 rebounds against Western Washington pm 11 of 20 from the field. Kluting is averaging 13.2 points per game and leads the GNAC with 9.2 rebounds per game. Kluting also leads the GNAC in both offensive rebounds (3 per game) and defensive rebounds (6.16 per game).

• Junior guard Tymoryae Glover finished with 23 points and five assists in the two games. Glover led the Nanooks with 19 points against Simon Fraser to go with six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Glover is UAF’s leading scorer at 13.4 points per game.

• Alaska enters the week averaging 70.2 points and 32.2 rebounds per game. The Nanooks are second in the GNAC in free throw percentage (.743).

• The Nanooks close the 2018-19 season with a road game at Alaska Anchorage on Tuesday and a home game against Montana State Billings on Saturday.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage is fighting for its playoff life after taking a pair of home losses. The Seawolves lost to Western Washington on Thursday, 76-66, and in overtime to Simon Fraser on Saturday, 67-63.

• With the losses, the Seawolves enter the week in a tie for seventh place with Montana State Billings, a half-game back of both Simon Fraser and Western Washington.

• Junior guard/forward Tyler Brimhall once again paced UAA with 44 points and 12 rebounds in the two games. He led all scorers with 31 points against Western Washington, shooting 11 of 24 from the field and 6 of 13 from three-point range. He added six rebounds, an assist and two blocks. Brimhall finished with 13 points and six rebounds against Simon Fraser, adding two assists and a steal. Brimhall is fourth in the GNAC with 18.3 points per game and sixth with 6.7 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Niko Bevens added 30 points in the two games, shooting 11 of 26 from the field and 7 of 18 from three-point range. Bevens did most of his damage against Simon Fraser, leading all scorers with 24 points on 9 of 18 from the field and 5 of 12 from three-point range to go with five rebounds. Bevens enters the week averaging 12.6 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 3.04 three-pointers made per game.

• Junior forward Sjur Berg had 16 rebounds in the two games, capped by a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds against Simon Fraser. Berg is 10th in the GNAC with 6.1 rebounds per game and third with a .609 field goal percentage

• Alaska Anchorage is averaging 72.5 points and 32.7 rebounds per game. The Seawolves lead the GNAC and rank 27th in Division II with 16.8 assists per game. They also rank second in the GNAC in rebounding defense (32.6 per game).

• Alaska Anchorage will play its final two regular season games at home. The Seawolves host Alaska on Tuesday and Montana State Billings on Thursday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington split on its final road trip of the season, beating Concordia 79-73 on Thursday before falling 77-62 to Western Oregon on Saturday.

• Junior guard Jeryn Lucas led the Wildcats with 41 points in the two contests, making 44.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range. Lucas led all scorers with 19 points against Concordia, which included a 4 for 7 effort from outside. He then scored 22 points at Western Oregon as he made 8 of 17 from the field. Lucas is averaging 11.7 points per game.

• Freshman forward Matt Poquette finished with 15 points at Concordia, connecting on 6 of 9 from the field and 3 of 4 from the free throw line to go with four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. Poquette is averaging 9.8 points per game and is 10th in the GNAC with a .556 field goal percentage.

• Junior guard Gamaun Boykin added 13 points against Concordia, making 6 of 6 from the field to go with five rebounds. Freshman forward Zellie Hudson connected for 10 points and seven rebounds against Western Oregon as he made 4 of 6 from the field.

• Central Washington is third in the GNAC in scoring at 81.1 points per game and is averaging 33.5 rebounds per contest. The Wildcats are third in the GNAC with a .471 field goal percentage, 3.35 blocked shots per game and 15.77 assists per game.

• Central Washington concludes its 2018-19 season at home, hosting Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia closed its 2018-19 home schedule with a pair of close losses, falling 79-73 to Central Washington on Thursday and 79-78 in overtime to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

• Senior guard Jarrett Gray closed out at home well, finishing with 39 points and 13 rebounds in the two games. He led the Cavaliers with 17 points against Central Washington to go with four rebounds, four assists and two steals. Gray then led all scorers with 22 points against Northwest Nazarene to go with nine rebounds and six assists. Gray enters the week tied for sixth in the GNAC with 15.4 points per game and is fifth with a .875 free throw percentage.

• Junior forward Dakota Ayala finished with 25 points in the two games off the bench. He scored 13 points on 5 of 9 from the field in 18 minutes against Central Washington and then scored 12 points on 6 of 9 from the field against Northwest Nazarene. Ayala is averaging 6.7 points per game.

• Senior guard Cory Starr added 17 points and 15 assists in the two contests. He just missed a double-double with eight points and eight assists against Central Washington, adding four steals, and then finished with nine points and seven rebounds against Northwest Nazarene. Starr is averaging 9.3 points per game and is third in the GNAC with 4.23 assists per game.

• Concordia enters the week averaging 72.8 points per game and 34.3 rebounds per game.  

• The Cavaliers close the 2018-19 season on the road, playing at Simon Fraser on Thursday and at Western Washington on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings continues to fight for a GNAC Championships berth after two road losses last week, falling 76-67 at Seattle Pacific on Thursday and 73-56 at Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

• Freshman forward Brendan Howard led MSUB with 29 points and 12 rebounds in the two games, making 50 percent of his shots from the field. Howard scored 16 points at Seattle Pacific, making 7 of 11 from the field to go along with six rebounds. He then scored 13 at Saint Martin’s to go with six rebounds and a block. Howard is tied for sixth in the GNAC with 15.4 points per game.

• Junior guard Tyler Green scored 28 points in a pair of contests. Green led all scorers with 18 points at Seattle Pacific, connecting on 5 of 11 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free throw line. Green then added 10 points at Saint Martin’s with four rebounds. Green is fifth in the GNAC with 16.4 points per game. He leads the GNAC and ranks 11th in Division II with 3.50 three-pointers made per game. He is also ninth in Division II with 91 three-pointers made.

• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 79.5 points and 35.5 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets are fourth in the GNAC with 3.15 blocked shots per game.

• The Yellowjackets enters the week tied for seventh in the GNAC with Alaska Anchorage at 8-10, a game behind Simon Fraser and Western Washington. Montana State Billings will play at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and at Alaska on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• The Nighthawks stayed in the regular-season title conversation with a split last week, taking an 81-66 loss at Western Oregon on Thursday before edging out Concordia in overtime on Saturday, 79-78.

• With the split, Northwest Nazarene is tied for second place at 14-4 with Seattle Pacific and sits one game behind Saint Martin’s at 15-3.

• Junior guard Adonis Arms led NNU with 40 points and 17 rebounds in the two games, shooting 46.8 percent from the field to go with 10 assists. Arms led all players with a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds at Western Oregon, shooting 9 of 17 from the field. Arms finished with 15 points, seven rebounds and eight assists to go with two steals and two blocks at Concordia. Arms leads the GNAC with 20.6 points per game, ranks second with two steals per game and is sixth with a .575 field goal percentage.

• Senior guard Obi Megwa finished with 28 points in the two games. Most of those came at Concordia where Megwa led the Nighthawks with 18 points. Megwa is third in the GNAC in scoring at 18.6 points per game and third with 1.46 steals per game.

• Freshman guard James Nelson provided a pair of consistent performances off the bench, finishing with 11 points and five rebounds at Western Oregon and 13 points and six rebounds at Concordia. Nelson is averaging eight points and 3.8 rebounds per game.

• Northwest Nazarene leads the GNAC with 85 points and 37.9 rebounds per game. The Nighthawks are 29th in Division II with 28.29 defensive rebounds per game and 30th with 4.3 blocked shots per game.

• Northwest Nazarene dropped out of the NABC Division II Coaches Poll, but continues to receive votes with five this week. The Nighthawks were fourth in the first NCAA Division II West Region Rankings of the season.

• The Nighthawks will control their own championship destiny, hosting Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s controls its own destiny in the quest for its first GNAC regular-season championship. The Saints fell 67-63 to Seattle Pacific on Tuesday before beating Montana State Billings 73-56 on Saturday.

• At 15-3, the Saints own a one-game lead over both Northwest Nazarene and Seattle Pacific. Saint Martin’s will play at Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and at Central Washington on Saturday.

• Senior guard EJ Boyce led the Saints with 35 points in last week’s games. He scored 23 points at Seattle Pacific, making 6 of 13 from the field, 4 of 9 from three-point range 7 of 7 from the free throw line. Boyce then contributed 12 points on 5 of 11 from the field against Montana State Billings. Boyce leads the Saints with 13.2 points per game and is third in the GNAC with 2.96 three-pointers made per game.

• Senior guard Chandler Redix added 26 points in the two contests. After finishing with 11 points at Seattle Pacific, Redix scored 15 points against MSUB on 6 of 16 from the floor. Redix enters the week averaging 11.8 points per game.

• Senior forward Jordan Kitchen had 21 rebounds and four blocks last week, paced by his eight points, 14 rebounds and three blocks against MSUB.

• Saint Martin’s enters the week averaging 76.8 points and 34.1 rebounds per game. The Saints are 20th in Division II in three-point defense (.316), 26th in three-pointers made per game (10.5) and 28th in three-point attempts (740).

• Saint Martin’s dropped five spots to No. 17 in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll, but gained one spot to No. 10 in the D2SIDA Media Poll. The Saints were ranked No. 1 in the first NCAA Division II West Region Rankings, which will ultimately decide playoff selection.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific is on an eight-game win streak and in the GNAC regular-season championship conversation after beating Saint Martin’s 67-63 on Tuesday and Montana State Billings 76-67 on Thursday.

• The Falcons are tied with Northwest Nazarene for second in the GNAC at 14-4. Seattle Pacific closes the regular season at Central Washington on Thursday and at Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

• Senior guard Nikhil Lizotte led the Falcons with 40 points in the two games, shooting 44 percent from both the field and the three-point line. Lizotte led all scorers with 26 points against Saint Martin’s, making 6 of 10 from outside and 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He then scored 14 points with four rebounds and three assists against MSUB. Lizotte is averaging 12.9 points per game and is third in the GNAC with a .879 free throw percentage.

• Junior guard Gavin Long had 36 points last week, shooting 71.4 percent from the field and 84.2 percent from the free throw line. Long scored 16 in a starting role against Saint Martin’s and then came off the bench to lead SPU with 20 points against MSUB, making 6 of 9 from the field and 8 of 9 from the free throw line. Long is SPU’s leading scorer at 13 points per game and is ninth in the GNAC with a .560 field goal percentage.

• Seattle Pacific is averaging 78.7 points per game and is third in the GNAC with 37.5 rebounds per game. The Falcons 11th in Division II with a 7.6 rebound margin and 26th with a .492 field goal percentage (second in the GNAC).

• Seattle Pacific was ranked No. 5 in the first NCAA Division II West Region Rankings of the season. The Falcons also received two votes in the NABC Division II Coaches Poll, their first votes since Jan. 15.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser played itself into the GNAC Championships picture with a sweep of the Alaska road trip. The Clan beat Alaska on Thursday, 71-66, before going overtime on Saturday to beat Alaska Anchorage for the first time, 67-63.

• With three games to go, Simon Fraser is tied with Western Washington for fifth in the GNAC at 8-9. The Clan and Vikings square off on Tuesday before hosting Concordia on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday.

• Freshman guard Wilfried Balata led the Clan with 31 points and 19 rebounds in the two victories. After coming off the bench for 13 points and seven rebounds at Alaska, Balata scored a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds in a starting role at Alaska Anchorage. Balata is averaging 12.9 points and six rebounds per game.

• Sophomore center Julian Roche finished with 26 points and 17 rebounds in the two contests. He opened with a 15-point performance against Alaska before adding a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds against at Alaska Anchorage. Roche is eighth in the GNAC with 14.2 points per game and fourth with 6.9 rebounds per contest.

• Junior guard Othniel Spence added 24 points and 10 rebounds on the trip, topped by his 17 points and six rebounds at Alaska.

• Simon Fraser enters the week fourth in the GNAC at 79.9 points and 36.5 rebounds per game. The Clan leads the GNAC with a .390 three-point percentage and is second in rebounding margin (+3.2) and assists (16.04 per game).

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon secured its eighth trip to the GNAC Championships with an 81-66 win over Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and a 77-62 win over Central Washington on Saturday.

• Junior forward Riley Hawken led the Wolves with 29 points and 12 rebounds in the two games, shooting 50 percent from the field. Hawken led WOU with 20 points and six rebounds against Northwest Nazarene to go with six assists and four steals. He made 8 of 14 from the field and 4 of 9 from three-point range. Hawken then scored nine and had six rebounds against Central Washington. Hawken leads the Wolves with 12.2 points per game and is eighth in the GNAC with 6.5 rebounds per game.

• Senior forward Kaleb Warner finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds in the two contests. Warner scored 13 points against Northwest Nazarene to go with seven rebounds and finished with eight points and five rebounds against Central Washington. Warner enters the week averaging 11.2 points per game.

• Senior guard Brandell Evans led WOU in the win over Central Washington with 15 points, shooting 5 of 9 from the field, to go with four rebounds and five assists.

• Western Oregon enters the week averaging 78.4 points and 35.7 rebounds per game. The Wolves lead the GNAC and rank 11th in Division II in scoring defense (65.6 points allowed per game) while ranking 18th in Division II in scoring margin (12.9) and eighth in turnovers per game (10.0).

• Western Oregon was ranked No. 9 in the first NCAA Division II West Region Rankings of the year.

• Western Oregon closes the regular season on the road, playing at Western Washington on Thursday and at Simon Fraser on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington went from the outside looking in to being right in the middle of the GNAC Championships conversation thanks to a sweep of the Alaska schools. The Vikings scored a 76-66 win at Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and an 85-75 win at Alaska on Saturday.

• With both WWU and Simon Fraser sweeping the road trip, the two teams moved into a tie for fifth place at 8-9. The two teams square off on Tuesday before the Vikings close the regular season at home against Western Oregon on Thursday and Concordia on Saturday.

• Junior forward Trevor Jasinsky led the Vikings on the Alaska road trip with 39 points and 12 rebounds, shooting 51.7 percent from the field. Jasinsky scored 14 points and had five rebounds at Alaska Anchorage, which included 6 of 7 from the free throw line. He then led WWU with 25 points and seven rebounds at Alaska, connecting on 11 of 19 from the field. Jasinsky enters the week second in the GNAC with 19.7 points per game and fifth with 6.9 rebounds per game. He is also 23rd in Division II with 136 free throws made.

• Freshman guard/forward Jalen Green added 25 points and shot 58.8 percent from the field and 62.5 percent from three-point range in the two games. Green had most of his offense at Alaska, finishing with 23 points on 9 of 14 from the field and 5 of 8 from three-point range. He enters the week averaging 8.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

• Western Washington enters the week second in the GNAC with 81.9 points per game and 37.7 rebounds per game. The Vikings lead the GNAC and are 15th in Division II with 4.5 blocked shots per game. They also lead the league and rank 22nd in Division II with a .780 free throw percentage.

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