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GNAC Squads Get Hot Start In Women's Hoops
Concordia is one of eight teams in the GNAC with a perfect record after the first full week of the season.
Concordia is one of eight teams in the GNAC with a perfect record after the first full week of the season.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The 2016-17 women's basketball season got off to a hot start for the GNAC with the top 10 teams in the conference standings, combining for a 21-2 record in non-conference play.

Central Washington leads the way with a 3-0 record, while seven other teams remain undefeated, including Western Oregon which started a season with two wins for the first time since 2004. Overall, the GNAC is 11-3 against all CCAA schools and 6-1 against the PacWest.

The one GNAC team without a winning record is Montana State Billings, which scheduled a tough opening weekend after reaching the NCAA West Regional tournament last year as the No. 8 seed. The Yellowjackets, however, are without GNAC Preseason Player of the Year Alysha Breen, who will miss the entire season after tearing her ACL in a preseason exhibition.

Alaska was named Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week after starting the season at home with a pair of victories. The Nannoks beat Academy of Art and Cal State L.A.

Western Washington's Taylor Peacocke was named GNAC Player of the Week after scoring 50 points in the first weekend of the season. She drained 10 treys and now leads the nation in three-pointers made per game. She has also scored at least 10 points in 31 consecutive games and ranks 11th in WWU history in career points.

Concordia is among the teams that is undefeated this season and Jordyn Peacock had 12 blocks in the two victories to become NCAA Division II's leader in blocks per game.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Taylor Peacocke
Western Washington
G • 5-9  • Sr. • Kenmore, Wash.

Peacocke was named the Most Valuable Player of the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic after she scored 50 points and averaged 4.0 assists and 5.5 rebounds per game in the Vikings’ wins over Humboldt State and Fresno Pacific. She recorded 28 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the floor and 6 of 9 from three-point range in the 91-49 win over the Lumberjacks. Peacocke also tallied 22 points, making 6 of 9 field goals and 4 of 6 three-pointers in a 68-39 win over Fresno State.

Also Nominated: Bailey Cartwright (Concordia), Ellen Kett (Simon Fraser), Rylee Kane (Montana State Billings), Taylor Baird (Central Washington), Shelby Snook (Western Oregon), Autumn Williams (Alaska Anchorage), Lexi Tubbs (Northwest Nazarene).

AROUND THE GNAC

ALASKA
• The Nanooks were named Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week after starting the season with wins over Academy of Art and Cal State Los Angeles.
• The Nanooks are picked ninth in the GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll.
• Academy of Art was picked third in the PacWest poll before the Nanooks defeated the Urban Knights 93-69.
• In Alaska, the Nanooks beat Cal State Los Angeles, coached by WNBA legend Cheryl Miller, 75-59.
• Jaylee Mays made 9 of 12 field goals in the two games to lead the GNAC in field goal percentage. Keilee Skjold talled 24 defensive rebounds and now leads Division II in defensive rebounds per game.
• It’s the third time in four years that the Nanooks have won their first two games of the season. In 2014, Alaska started the season with five consecutive wins.
• The Nanooks will play at CSU Pueblo and Western State next week.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
•  The Seawolves cruised against Cal State L.A. and Academy of Art in the first weekend of the season, winning the two games by an average margin of 40 points.
• Alaska Anchorage tallied a Division II-best 39 steals in the two games and each of the top three players in the conference in steals are Seawolves. Kiki Robertson had nine, while Yazmeen Goo and Alysha Devine each recorded eight.
• The Seawolves finished national tournament as runner-up in the 2015-16 season and are ranked No. 10 in the WBCA preseason poll.
• All 11 players that have played this year have scored multiple field goals. Autummn Williams has the most with 12 for 32 points on the season to go along with 10 assists and four steals.
• Alaska Anchorage will host Post in consecutive games on Thursday and Friday and then host Division-I Portland on Tuesday to start the Great Alaska Shootout.
CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington is the first team in the GNAC to win its first three games after posting a 64-40 win in Hawaii against Chaminade.
• The Wildcats are picked seventh in the GNAC in the preseason coaches poll and beat Stanislaus State, which was picked No. 2 in the CCAA poll.
• Central Washington defeated Cal State Monterey Bay 55-48 on Saturday.
• Against Cal State Monterey Bay, Taylor Baird recorded her first double-double of the season with 19 points and 11 rebounds.
• The Wildcats will wrap up their trip to Hawaii against BYU-Hawaii and Hawaii Hilo on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

CONCORDIA
• Concordia blew out Stanislaus State, 70-52, after beating Cal State Monterey Bay, 62-51, the night before.
• Concordia is picked to take eighth in the GNAC in the 2016-17 season, while Stanislaus State was picked second in the CCAA.
• The Cavaliers are one of seven teams in the GNAC with a 2-0 record after the first week.
• Concordia has the second-best field goal defense in the conference, holding opponents to 38 field goals made on 122 attempts.
• The Cavaliers lead the conference and Division II in blocks with 18 after the first two contests, including 12 by Jordan Peacock, which also leads Division II. The Concordia defense has also forced 50 turnovers, which ranks 17th in Division II.
• Bailey Cartwright is second in the conference in rebounds with 9.5 per game, including 12 against Stanislaus State.
• This weekend, the Cavs will host Westminster (Utah) on Friday and Metro State on Saturday.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene won its season-opener against Westminster 84-68 on Saturday. It was the fourth time in five years that NNU won its season opener.
• Katrina Cryderman made four three-point field goals to rank 14th in Division II in three-pointers made per game. As a team, the Crusaders shot .517 from the field for Division II’s fourth-best field goal percentage.
• The Crusaders will play College of Idaho on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• The Yellowjackets dropped their first three contests of the year, playing two regionally ranked teams and No. 17 nationally UC San Diego.
• The Yellowjackets were picked fourth in the GNAC Preseason Coaches Poll and senior Alysha Breen was selected as the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year, but tore her ACL in a preseason exhibition and is out for the year.
• Montana State Billings has allowed 10 turnovers per game this year, which is the least in the GNAC and fifth-best in NCAA Division II.
• This weekend, MSUB will host Northern State and Cal Poly Pomona.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• The Saints lost to Cal State East Bay in their season opener, but bounced back the next night with a 66-62 win over San Francisco State.
• Elin Johansson tallied 34 points and 16 rebounds in the two games and made 15 of 22 field-goal attempts.
• Shelbie Drey had a team-best four steals to go along with 13 points and 13 rebounds in 48 minutes of play.
• Seattle Pacific will head to Portland, Ore. for the Concordia Classic over the weekend, playing against Metro State and Westminster.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific cruised against Humboldt State and Fresno State at the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic to move up to No. 7 in the West Region Rankings.
• The Falcons won both games by an average margin of 41, which is the best winning margin in the GNAC and the eighth best in Division II.
• The Falcons allowed just 75 points in the two games for the third-best scoring defense in the nation.
• The Falcons boast the 14th-best field goal percentage after the first full week of the season led by Courtney Hollander, who has made 10 of 16 shots from the field, including 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Jaylee Albert is also 4 of 6 from three-point territory.
• Fourteen different players have at least four points for SPU after two games.
• Seattle Pacific will travel to Bellingham for the West Region Crossover, where the Falcons will play Azusa Pacific, ranked No. 6 in the West Region, and No. 1 UC San Diego.


SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser gots its season off to an early start at the CCA Tip-Off Classic. After dropping the season opener to No. 2 California Baptist, the Clan has bounced back with four wins in a row, beating Augustana, Colorado Mines, Colorado Mesa and Dixie State.
• Simon Fraser has taken more shots from beyond the arc than any team in Division II with 126. Tia Tsang has taken 17 of those and made nine of them.
• Ellen Kett leads the team in both assists (36) and rebounds (39) to go along with 49 points and nine steals.
• Meg Wilson made a strong return with 17.4 points per game to start the season after missing most of last season with an injury. She also has a team-best 11 steals and has made 30 of 59 field goals.
• The Clan will go down to northern California this weekend for a pair of games.

WESTERN OREGON
• The Wolves opened the season with two wins against CCAA schools in the WOU/Hampton Inn D2 Shootout. The Wolves defeated San Francisco State and Cal State East Bay.
• The Wolves are picked 10th in the GNAC, but defeated CSUEB, which was picked fifth in the CCAA.
• It is the team’s first 2-0 start to a season since the 2004-05 season.
• Shelby Snook leads the team in scoring with 34 points in the two games. Savannah Heugly added 27 points, nine rebounds and four steals. Snook went 5 for 7 from three-point territory, which gives her the 16th-best three-point percentage in the nation and second-best in the GNAC.
• The Wolves will go to Chico, Calif. this weekend to play against Chico State and Sonoma State in the Chico State Coslet Classic.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• The Vikings won both games at the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic. Taylor Peacocke was named tournament MVP with 50 points, 11 rebounds, eight assists and four steals.
• Kiana Gandy was named to the all-tournament team with 37 points, including 26 in the 91-49 win over Humboldt State.
• Peacocke made 10 three-point field goals to lead Division II in three-point field goals made per game.
• The Vikings outrebounded their opponents 90-52 in the two games to earn the ninth-best rebounding margin in Division II.
• Peacocke ranks 11th all-time in WWU program history in points scored with 1245. The GNAC Player of the Week has scored at least 10 points in each of her last 31 games played dating back to her sophomore season.
• It is the first time since 2012 that the Vikings have defeated their first two opponents to start a since. In 2012, the Vikings beat UC San Diego and Azusa Pacific, which coincidentally are the Vikings’ next two opponents at the West Region Crossover that will be hosted by WWU this weekend.

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