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The Battle Begins For A Challenging GNAC Schedule
Western Washington's Tia Briggs was the last GNAC Player of the Week, averaging 18 points per game at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic.
Western Washington's Tia Briggs was the last GNAC Player of the Week, averaging 18 points per game at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK FOR DEC. 12-20
Tia Briggs
Western Washington
F • 6-1  • Sr. • Tacoma, Wash.

Briggs averaged 18 points and 12 rebounds in two games as the Vikings split at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic. She finished with a double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds to go along with two blocks against Angelo State on Saturday and then contributed 18 points and 11 rebounds in Monday’s 67-55 win over Eastern New Mexico.

Also Nominated: Lexi Tubbs (Northwest Nazarene), Jordan McPhee (Seattle Pacific), Danielle Hartzog (Concordia), Taylor Edwards (Montana State Billings), Tara Thompson (Alaska Anchorage)

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• The Nanooks went into the holiday break with a 4-6 record after playing one of the toughest schedules in the West Region. Their opponents were a combined 57-27 this season.

Kailee Skjold had 19 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to Alaska Anchorage, which was the Nanooks last game before the break. It was her fourth double-double this year, which is the most in the GNAC. She averages 14.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

• Jordan Wilson scored a team-high 23 points against the Seawolves. She has scored at least 20 points in seven of the 10 games and ranks sixth in the nation in points per game with 22.1.

• The Nanooks only took two free throws against UAA and missed them both, but Alaska is now the best free-throw shooting team in NCAA Division II, making 85.1 percent.

• Alaska returns to action on Thursday with a conference game at Montana State Billings.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• The Seawolves won three consecutive games on the Hawaiian Islands to improve to 10-1 overall at the end of non-conference play.

• Alaska Anchorage is undefeated against NCAA Division II teams with an 8-0 record. The Seawolves are one of two teams in the West Region that is undefeated against NCAA Division II teams.

• Alaska Anchorage is ranked No. 5 in the D2SIDA Media Poll and No. 1 in the West Region.

• The Seawolves are No. 1 in the nation in steals per game and No. 2 in assists per game. Kiki Robertson leads the team in both categories with 6.4 assists per game and 3.4 steals.

Autummn Williams leads the Seawolves in scoring with 18.1 points per game. She also has 34 assists and 29 rebounds in 11 games.

• Alaska Anchorage is beating its opponents on average by 32.3 points, which is the third best scoring margin in NCAA Division II.

• The Seawolves will return to action on New Year’s Eve, playing at Montana State Billings.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• The Wildcats wrapped up the first half of the season with a 5-5 record, including a perfect 3-0 in neutral site games.

• Central Washington went into the holiday break with an 82-71 victory over Cal State L.A.

Kortney Grattic led the Wildcats in scoring with 20 points. The senior got the bulk of her points from the free-throw line, making all 12 free throws she took. That is the most free throws without a miss in a single games this season.

JonNae Richardson had 10 points and a team-best seven rebounds off the bench. She was one of five players on the team that scored in double figures.

Taylor Baird recorded six rebounds to become the GNAC leader in rebounds again with 86. She also has a conference-best 8.6 rebounds per game.

• Central Washington will return with GNAC games against Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday, looking for its first GNAC victory.

CONCORDIA
• The Cavaliers earned a split in the SPU Classic with a win against Concordia-Irvine after being edged by South Region No. 1 Nova Southeastern.

• Against Nova Southeastern, Concordia led by as much as four in the fourth quarter and never trailed by double digits in the entire game, falling 60-51.

• The Cavs beat Concordia-Irvine 84-74 behind a season-high 17-point performance by Briannah Smith, while Jordyn Peacock added eight rebounds and three blocks. Peacock has a conference-best 30 blocks this season.

Danielle Hartzog has started less than half of the games but leads the team in points with 126 and steals with 29.

• The Cavaliers return to conference play with a pair of tough GNAC road games against Western Washington and Simon Fraser, which are both ranked in the top four of the D2SIDA Media Poll West Region rankings.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• The Yellowjackets beat Rocky Mountain, 78-75, to improve to 4-6 going into the break.

Tiana Hanson has picked up the mantle in the absence of GNAC Preseason Player of the Year Alisha Breen. Hanson has led the ‘Jackets in scoring in seven consecutive games and led the team in rebounding five times.

• Hanson scored 21 points against Rocky Mountain. It was the second time this year that she had scored at least 20 points in a game.

Rylee Kane has a team-best 62 assists, which ranks 11th in NCAA Division II and manages the offense with the fourth least turnovers given up this year.

• The ‘Jackets will host the two GNAC teams from Alaska when conference play resumes after the break.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• The Crusaders dropped both games at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic, falling to Eastern New Mexico, 71-66, and to Angelo State, 96-80.

Cate Cryderman led NNU against Eastern New Mexico with 18 points, on 7 of 15 from the field. She was one of NNU players scoring in double figures. She is NNU’s leading scorer at 12.3 points per game and is sixth in three-oint shooting (.464)

Carly Parker led the way against Angelo State with 15 points on 6 of 11 from the field.

Colette Gail is fourth in the GNAC in free throw shooting at 88.2 percent (15 of 17). Marina Valles is seventh in the league in steals with 2.4 per game.

• Northwest Nazarene returns to conference play at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and at Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• The Saints performed well in a tough road trip to two of the best teams in the West Region. Saint Martin’s took Cal State San Marcos to double overtime and led California Baptist throughout much of the first half before falling in both games.

Baylee Olsen played 41 minutes in the double overtime game and led all scorers with 21 points, making 9 of 18 shots from the field.

Shelbie Drey tallied 12 points and seven rebounds against California Baptist off the bench, leading the team in rebounds.

• Saint Martin’s will open its home schedule on Thursday against Northwest Nazarene and then host Central Washington on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific was named Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week after winning both games in the SPU Classic. The Falcons defeated South Region No. 1 Nova Southeastern after claiming a win over Concordia-Irvine the previous night.

• Head coach Julie Heisey got her 400th career win against Concordia-Irvine and her 155th at Seattle Pacific.

• The Falcons have the No. 1 defense in NCAA Division II allowing only 48.8 points per game this year.

• The Falcons are the last remaining undefeated team in the GNAC and are ranked No. 2 in the D2SIDA West Region Media Poll. Nationally, the Falcons are No. 8 in the D2SIDA Media Poll and No. 13 in the WBCA Poll.

• The Falcons will look to continue their undefeated start to the season on Thursday, hosting Central Washington before hosting Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• The Clan defeated South Region No. 1 Nova Southeastern, 76-56, on Monday to become the third 10-win team in the GNAC this year.

Ellen Kett came as close as anyone has this year to getting a triple-double with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in the win over Nova Southeastern.

• The Clan has eight players with at least 70 points this year led by Meg Wilson with 164 after scoring 19 against NSU.

• Simon Fraser is 3-0 at home this year, beating three teams with winning records.

• For the second time this year, Simon Fraser is receiving votes in the WBCA Poll and is ranked No. 4 in the D2SIDA West Region Media Poll.

• The Clan will host Western Oregon on Thursday and Concordia on Saturday when conference play resumes around the GNAC.

WESTERN OREGON
• The Wolves wrapped up the non-conference schedule with a 69-60 win over Humboldt State to improve to 5-4 on the season and 3-1 against CCAA schools.

Shelby Snook scored 23 points and tallied nine rebounds in the victory, while making 5 of 8 shots from beyond the arc. It was Snook’s third time scoring at least 20 points in a game this season.

• Snook is the conference leader in 3-point percentage at 52 percent, making 26 of 50.

Jasmine Miller has a team-high 7.0 rebounds per game along with 10.7 points per game.

• Western Oregon will head north this weekend to face Western Washington and Simon Fraser, which are ranked No. 3 and No. 4 respectively in the D2SIDA West Region Media Poll.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• The Vikings earned a split in Las Vegas, Nev. at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic beating Eastern New Mexico after narrowly falling to No. 7 Angelo State.

• Western Washington led Angelo State by five with two minutes left in regulation but allowed a 6-0 run for just the Vikings’ third loss this year.

• Western Washington bounced back two days later with a 67-55 win over Eastern New Mexico, which entered the game with a 7-2 record.

Taylor Peacocke had 25 points in the win for her eighth 20-point game this season.

Tia Briggs earned GNAC Player of the Week honors for Dec. 12-20 with 36 points and 24 rebounds in the tournament, making 57.7 percent of her field goals.

• The Vikings dropped two spots in the D2SIDA Media Poll to No. 23 in the nation and remained No. 3 in the West Region Rankings.

• Western Washington will host Concordia and Western Oregon when conference play resumes on Dec. 29.

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