Thanksgiving Tourneys Lead Into Conference Season
After starting 0-3, Simon Fraser responded with two road wins heading into conference season.
After starting 0-3, Simon Fraser responded with two road wins heading into conference season.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

UNDEFEATED STREAK REACHES DOUBLE DIGITS: Alaska Anchorage continued its undefeated season with a perfect 3-0 trip to Hawaii, defeating Hawaii Pacific once and Hawaii Hilo twice. The Seawolves beat Hawaii Hilo 92-39 on Thursday and 80-33 on Friday extend their winning streak to 10 games.

The Seawolves are the lone GNAC team to remain undefeated despite playing twice as many games as their conference rivals. Alaska Anchorage has dominated opponents so far, leading Division II in scoring margin average (41.9). The Seawolves are also ranked fourth in Division II in scoring offense (91.6) and ninth in scoring defense (49.7).

Senior forward Megan Mullings was named the Player of the Week after shooting 75 percent from the field with 36 total points. The GNAC Preseason Player of the Year is ranked second in the conference with 17.8 points per game while averaging 5.6 rebounds per game.

The Seawolves moved up one spot to No. 3 in the Women’s Basketball Division II Media Poll, sponsored by D2SIDA. They received three first place votes and remain ranked No. 1 in the West Region.

Alaska Anchorage hosts the GCI Great Alaska Shootout which features three Division I opponents. The Seawolves will play Pepperdine on Tuesday and, depending on the results of the games, will play either George Mason or Western Kentucky on Wednesday in the third-place or championship game.

CLAN REBOUND: After dropping its first three games of the season, Simon Fraser responded with back-to-back road victories over Cal Poly Pomona and Cal State Los Angeles. The Clan defeated Cal Poly Pomona 77-74 in a tight contest behind Meg Wilson’s 23 points. Ellen Kett also had a strong game with a double-double, scoring 10 points and dishing out 14 assists. The Clan had four scorers in double-digits, including Alisha Roberts’ 12 and Elisa Homer’s 11.

After picking up its first win over Cal Poly Pomona, Simon Fraser continued to roll with a 71-60 victory over Cal State Los Angeles. Homer led the way with 26 points, Roberts put up 18 and Kett scored 15 while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.

The Clan will be off until conference season begins apart from an exhibition game against their alumni. Simon Fraser will be met with a tough challenge in its first conference game, hosting Alaska Anchorage on Thurs, Dec. 3.

ALASKA’S DOMINANCE ON THE ISLANDS: Like its instate rival Alaska Anchorage, Alaska took the trip to Hawaii for three road contests. Also like the Seawolves, the Nanooks enjoyed a successful excursion, winning two of three games. Alaska fell to BYU-Hawaii 76-71 in its opening game of the road trip, but followed it up with an 82-63 victory over Chaminade and an 87-55 win over Hawaii Hilo.

The Nanooks are one of three teams in the GNAC above .500 to start the season. They are 3-2 overall and will return home to host their North Star Invitational.

TURKEY TIME: Alaska and Western Washington will compete on Thanksgiving Day, while numerous teams will play over the weekend. Alaska hosts the North Star Invitational and will take on Sonoma State on Thursday, followed by Northwood on Saturday. Western Washington will in Honolulu, Hawaii on Thanksgiving, playing Chaminade in the Oahu Thanksgiving Classic. They will then play Hawaii Pacific on Saturday.

Continuing over the weekend, Western Oregon will be at the Colorado Mines Thanksgiving Tournament in Golden, Colo. They play Regis on Friday and Colorado School of Mines on Saturday.

Northwest Nazarene plays one game in Salt Lake City, Utah against Westminster on Friday. Saint Martin’s will be at the UCCS Thanksgiving Basketball Tournament in Colorado Springs, Colo. They face UC Colorado Springs on Friday and Fort Lewis on Saturday.

Concordia travels to Denver, Colo. for the Metro State Tournament. They play Metro State on Friday and CSU Pueblo on Saturday. Montana State Billings hosts Chadron State on Friday and Great Falls on Saturday, while Central Washington will play its final game before conference play on Wednesday, hosting Division III Whitworth. Seattle Pacific plays its last game at Point Loma Nazarene on Tuesday and Simon Fraser will be off until the conference season begins.

DECEMBER BRINGS GNAC BASKETBALL: The conference season begins in one week on Tues., Dec. 1, with Central Washington hosting Northwest Nazarene. Thursday will then mark the first full night of GNAC competition with five games taking place. Western Washington hosts Alaska, Simon Fraser welcomes Alaska Anchorage, Central Washington travels to Montana State Billings, Concordia will be at Saint Martin’s and Seattle Pacific hosts Western Oregon.

PRESEASON POLLS: Alaska Anchorage, the preseason favorites to win the GNAC for a second straight season, is living up to the expectations with a 10-0 start, but the other top teams have run into some early season struggles.

After being picked to place second in the coaches poll, Western Washington has started the season 1-3 in non-conference play. The Vikings have played in two competitive tournaments in California, facing top teams from the PacWest and California Collegiate Athletic Conference. Last week, the Vikings fell to Azusa Pacific 91-67 and to UC San Diego 79-56.

Seattle Pacific was picked third in the preseason poll and has started the year similarly to the Vikings, joining them in California. After an excellent showing in week one with victories over Humboldt State and Fresno Pacific, the Falcons fell twice to UC San Diego and Azusa Pacific.

Central Washington, picked fourth in the preseason poll, has had one of the best starts for a GNAC team with a 3-1 record. After sweeping the field at their own CWU Crossover, the Wildcats split a pair of contests at the NDNU Tournament in Belmont, Calif. The Wildcats defeated Notre Dame de Namur 80-49 on Friday, but fell to Academy of Art 76-68 on Saturday.

TOP PERFORMANCES: Alaska center Stephanie Toumson had back-to-back 20 point outings against Chaminade and Hawaii Hilo. Toumson had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds against Chaminade and 24 points with nine rebounds against Hawaii Hilo… Montana State Billings’ forward Vanessa Stavish scored 26 points between two games last weekend off the bench. She shot 5 of 6 from behind the arc against Cal Poly Pomona, leading the team with 15 points… Northwest Nazarene’s Lexi Tubbs had 31 points and 10 rebounds between two games on the road in California. She had a team-high 19 points against No. 3 ranked Cal Baptist… Western Oregon guard Jordan Mottershaw averaged 14 points in two games at the WOU/Hampton Inn D2 Shootout. She led the Wolves to their first win of the season with two free throws in the final seconds of overtime against Evergreen State… Saint Martin’s Krista Stabler recorded 43 points and 13 rebounds between three games with 22 points against Chico State.


Megan Mullings, Alaska Anchorage
F • 6-0 • Senior • Glendale, Ariz.

Mullings scored 36 points and connected on 75 percent from the field (24-32) in victories in Hawaii over defending PacWest champ Hawaii Pacific and Hawaii Hilo. She scored 24 points on 11 of 14 from the field and had three assists in the win over the Vulcans and had 12 win the win over Hawaii Pacific. Also nominated: Bailey Cartwright (Concordia), Jordan Mottershaw (Western Oregon), Krista Stabler (Saint Martin’s), Vanessa Stavish (Montana State Billings), Stephanie Toumson (Alaska), Lexi Tubbs (Northwest Nazarene).