4 Earn GNAC Basketball Player of the Week Honors
Momir Gataric (25) scored 45 points as MSU Billings split a pair of games last weekend.
Momir Gataric (25) scored 45 points as MSU Billings split a pair of games last weekend.

Monday, January 12, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. - Momir Gataric of Montana State Billings, Andy Avgi of Western Oregon, Benissa Bulaya of Alaska and Taylor Peacocke of Western Washington have been selected GNAC Men's and Women's Basketball Players of the Week for the Week of Jan. 5-11.

Following is a recap of their accomplishments and a listing of honorable mention selections.

Men’s Basketball -  Momir Gataric, MSU Billings (F, 6-5, Jr., Sunnyvale, CA – West Valley College) and Andy Avgi, Western Oregon (F, 6-6, Jr., Woodburn, OR) … Gatoric scored 45 points and shot 72.7 percent from the floor (16-of-22) as the Yellowjackets split two games defeating Simon Fraser 111-104 Saturday for their first conference win of the season.  He had 25 points on 10 of 14 shooting in a 88-68 loss to Western Washington before contributing 20 points, five assists and four assists against the Clan …  Avgi scored 41 points as the Wolves defeated Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington to extend their home win streak to eight and take over sole possession of first place in the GNAC.  Avgi made 17 of 29 shots, including a key tip-in with 23 seconds remaining in the win against NNU.

Honorable Mention – Travis Thompson, Alaska Anchorage (G, 6-1, Sr., Anchorage, AK – Dimond); Joseph Stroud, Central Washington (F, 6-8, Jr., Seattle, WA – Highline CC); Alex Birketoft, Northwest Nazarene (F, 6-8, Fr., Oelstykke, Denmark); Riley Carel, Saint Martin’s (G, 6-3, Sr., Enumclaw, WA); Mitch Penner, Seattle Pacific (F, 6-5, Jr., Seattle, WA – Kennedy); Sango Niang, Simon Fraser (G, 6-0, Sr., Paris, France – Chaffey CC); Mac Johnson, Western Washington (C, 6-8, Jr., Spokane, WA – Mt. Hood).

Women's Basketball - Benissa Bulaya, Alaska (G, 5-6, Sr., Sacramento, CA) and Taylor Peacocke, Western Washington (G, 5-9, So., Kenmore, WA) ... Bulaya scored 33 points and also had 13 assists, 13 rebounds and six steals in the Nanooks' second GNAC road sweep in school history and the first since 2005. Her 21 points in Saturday’s 74-65 win over Western Oregon led the team. Bulaya also put up game highs in assists in both Saturday’s game and Thursday’s 85-77 overtime win against Saint Martin’s.    "We owe a lot of our success to the play of Benissa," said head coach Cody Bench. "She works so hard on both ends of the court, forces steals and makes crafty moves to the basket. She played well and was the difference maker." ... Peacocke had a team-high 41 points, and also contributed 10 assists, 10 rebounds and five steals in road wins at Central Washington (76-68) and Northwest Nazarene (85-66). She shot 70.8 percent in the two games converting on 17 of 24.

Honorable Mention -  Megan Mullings, Alaska Anchorage (F, 6-1, Jr., Glendale, AZ); Jasmin Edwards, Central Washington (G, 5-5, Fr., Lynnwood, WA); CoCo Gall, Northwest Nazarene (G/F, 5-11, Fr., Pasco, WA); Erin Chambers, Simon Fraser (G/F, 6-1, Sr., Mission, BC); Sami Osborne, Western Oregon (G/F, 6-1, Fr., Eugene, OR).