Land & Sea: Wolves Share Team Of The Week Award
Devon Alexander and Kiki Robertson were named the Most Valuable Players after their respective teams' tournament victories.
Devon Alexander and Kiki Robertson were named the Most Valuable Players after their respective teams' tournament victories.

Monday, March 7, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – Regular season champions, tournament champions, NCAA Division II West Regional berths and now Red Lion Teams of the Week.

Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball and Western Oregon men’s basketball have followed similar paths this season, and, after each winning the GNAC Championships last weekend, share the Team of the Week award.

Alaska Anchorage won the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships for the second year in a row after defeating Simon Fraser 82-47 in the semifinal round and Montana State Billings in the finals, 77-57, in Lacey, Wash.

“Montana State Billings is a good team and with the way they shoot the three-pointer, we never really felt comfortable until there was about two minutes left in the game,” said head coach Ryan McCarthy.

Junior guard Kiki Robertson was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player after tying the tournament record for the second year in a row with nine assists in the finals game. She also chipped in with five points and five rebounds.

“Kiki is a pretty special player,” McCarthy said. “She is probably the best ball handler in women’s basketball I have seen since I have started coaching. To have a point guard like her, it makes plays a lot easier to run and she makes her teammates look good at times.”

After the tournament, the Seawolves were revealed as the No. 2 seed in the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball West Regional. They travel to Azusa, Calif. for the first round of the national tournament, playing No. 7 seed Cal State Dominguez Hills.

Like Alaska Anchorage, Western Oregon was the No. 1 seed in the GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships after winning the regular season and capped it off with their first tournament championship in program history. The Wolves played in two much closer games, however, defeating Seattle Pacific 58-57 and Alaska 78-71.

“We talk about the season being a journey and each day is a part of the process of that journey,” said head coach Jim Shaw. “Every time you have an opportunity, you need to make sure you are prepared to do your best. I thought our guys approached the game with the right mindset and took advantage of the opportunity they had.”

Senior guard Devon Alexander received the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, recording a double-double in the finals game with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He also had five assists and made a late three-pointer with a minute left in the game to put the Wolves up by seven points.

“Devon is a very clutch player, that is part of his identity,” said Shaw. “Around the nine minute mark, I took him out for a couple minutes because I wanted him to have a punch down the stretch.”

Western Oregon was also selected as the No. 1 seed and host institution for the NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball West Regional for the first time in program history. They face the California Collegiate Athletic Association tournament champions Humboldt State in the first round of national tournament.

Both men’s and women’s tournaments begin on Fri., Mar. 11. Alaska Anchorage will play at 2:30 p.m. Pacific time and Western Oregon will play at 7:30 p.m.