Tournament Travel Paves The Way In Non-Conference Slate
Montana State Billings has enjoyed a strong start to the season and is one conference-leading four-game win streak heading into the week.
Montana State Billings has enjoyed a strong start to the season and is one conference-leading four-game win streak heading into the week.

Wednesday, November 15, 2023
by Thomas Lal

PORTLAND, Ore. – The non-conference schedule rolls on for all 10 GNAC women’s basketball teams this week as everyone looks to establish their form ahead of the holidays.

Eight of the 10 conference teams will be competing in tournaments across Washington and California to take on CCAA and PacWest competition. Meanwhile, Montana State Billings and Alaska will both be traveling outside of the GNAC footprint. The Nanooks will play a trio of games in Utah while the Yellowjackets start their week in Billings against Rocky Mountain College before heading to North Dakota to face Minot State.

GNAC Women's Basketball Schedule - Nov. 13-19
Tournament Location GNAC Teams Competing
Central Washington Tournament Ellensburg, Wash. CWU, NNU
Cougar Shootout Azusa, Calif. SPU, WWU
Great Alaska Shootout Anchorage, Alaska UAA
SMU Tournament Lacey, Wash. SMU, WOU
2023 Warrior Classic Turlock, Calif. SFU

This Week's Storylines

Western Oregon and Western Washington both remain undefeated heading into the third week of the regular season. The Wolves have picked up three wins to start their 2023-24 campaign, including a 50-33 victory over George Fox on Tuesday. They are set to play two more games this week against CCAA competition as they travel to Lacey for the SMU Tournament. Western Oregon will face Chico State on Friday and Sonoma State on Saturday.

The Western Oregon offense has been led by senior guard Cali McClave with an average of 16 points per game. She opened her week with 11 points, eight rebounds, five steals, three assists and a block in the win over George Fox. Meanwhile, younger sister and junior guard Ana McClave has been the top rebounding player for WOU, pulling down an average of nine boards per game.

Senior forward Brooke Walling led Western Washington to a perfect 2-0 start at the Vikings’ own WWU Veterans Day Classic. Walling was named the tournament MVP and the GNAC Player of the Week after averaging a double-double of 20.5 points and 11.5 rebounds per game against Cal State Dominguez Hills and Cal State LA. Walling had her biggest performance of the week against the Golden Eagles last Saturday, finishing with 26 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks, two steals and two assists while shooting 52.4% from the field.

The Vikings will travel to Azusa, Calif., this week for the Cougar Shootout on Friday and Saturday. They will face Cal State San Marcos to open the tournament before capping off the week against host Azusa Pacific on Saturday.

PLAYING IN THE PAVILION: Central Washington also got its week started early, facing Cal State LA on Tuesday in Ellensburg where CWU fell 90-77. The Wildcats have had an even start to the season going 3-3 through the opening stages of their non-conference schedule. They will remain home for the rest of the week to face Westmont on Saturday.

Sophomore guard Asher Cai leads not only the team but the GNAC with an average of 22 points per game and ranks second in the conference with 10.5 rebounds per contest. Cai led all players against the Golden Eagles with 28 points to go with eight rebounds and two assists while going 10 for 25 from the field and knocking down five 3-pointers.

BALLING IN BILLINGS: Montana State Billings has been one of the top teams in the GNAC through the start of non-conference play, going 4-1 to start the season, including four in a row. The Yellowjackets swept their trip to the GNAC/PacWest Crossover at Hawaii Pacific last week, defeating Hawaii Hilo 63-51 and claiming a 57-54 win over the host Sharks. This week sees MSUB face Rocky Mountain for an exhibition game on Wednesday followed by a Saturday tile at Minot State.

Senior forward Kola Bad Bear has provided an immediate boost for MSUB since transferring from Division I Montana State. Bad Bear leads the Yellowjackets and is tied for seventh in the GNAC with an average of 16 points per game while shooting 50.9% from the field. Junior forward Dyauni Boyce follows Bad Bear with 13.4 points per game and also leads the team with 1.6 steals per contest.

HOMECOURT ADVANTAGE: Northwest Nazarene picked up its first win of the season on Monday, defeating Cal Poly Humboldt 83-71 in Nampa. The Nighthawks had four players score in the double-digits led by junior Madeline Gebers with 21 points, including 5 for 7 from 3-point range. Gebers was followed by the three Clark sisters, Kendall, Emma, and Kate with 19, 15 and 10 points, respectively. The Nighthawks will be in familiar territory as they travel to Ellensburg to face Westmont on Friday in a neutral site contest before returning home to host Whitworth on Saturday.  

Gebers leads NNU on the season with 19.3 points per game and a .625 3-point percentage. Freshman Kendall Clark has had a strong start to her collegiate career, also averaging double-digit scoring with 13.3 points per game. Kendall also leads the team with a .577 field goal percentage and is third for NNU with 4.3 rebounds per contest.

FROZEN FACEOFF: After opening the regular season 2-1, Alaska Anchorage will host the ASRC/ConocoPhillips Great Alaska Shootout this week on Saturday and Sunday. The Seawolves will face one of the top teams in Division II to open the tournament as it takes on No. 4 Utah State on Saturday. On Sunday, UAA will face either Eastern Kentucky or the University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers.

Junior guard Jazzpher Evans has lived up to her preseason all-conference selection and leads the Seawolves with 15.7 points per game while shooting 52.9% from the field. Evans was also named the MVP of the GNAC/PacWest Crossover in Hawaii after leading the team to a 2-0 performance at the tournament.

CALIFORNIA DREAMING: Seattle Pacific and Simon Fraser both hit the road for California to play in tournaments this week. The Falcons will compete in the Cougar Shootout in Azusa, Calif., where they will take on host Azusa Pacific on Friday and Cal State San Marcos on Saturday. The Red Leafs will head to Turlock, Calif., where they will face Cal State East Bay and host Stanislaus State in the 2023 Warrior Classic.

Seattle Pacific has been led by junior forward Olivia Mayer with an average of 14 points per game while shooting 51.9% from the field. Mayer also pulls down an average of 9.5 rebounds per game and leads the team with 5.5 defensive boards per contest.

The Red Leafs’ offense has been spearheaded by senior guard Jessica Wisotzki with 17.4 points per game. Wisotzki has also played a role on the boards, pulling in an average of five rebounds per contest while playing a team-leading 33.6 minutes per game.

TOURNAMENT TIME: Saint Martin’s will host its own tournament this week as it faces Sonoma State on Friday and Chico State on Saturday. The Saints are still looking for the first win of their young season after opening the non-conference slate against Westmont and Academy of Art last week. Sophomore forward Sarah Lamet has been the driving force in the SMU offense to start the year, ranking third in the GNAC with an average of 19.5 points per game. Lamet has also been one of the most efficient shooters in the conference to start the season, ranking third with a .613 field goal percentage.

THREE ON THE ROAD: Alaska is also looking to put itself in the win column for the first time this season and will have three opportunities to do so this week. The Nanooks open their week on Wednesday at Division I Southern Utah before heading to Salt Lake City for a pair of games against Westminster (Utah). Junior guard Destiny Reimers has been the leading scorer for UAF, ranking 19th in the GNAC with 11.6 points per game while senior forward Emma Wass is tied for fourth in the conference with nine rebounds per game.

Player to Watch


Kola Bad Bear - Montana State Billings

A veteran transfer from Division I Montana State, Bad Bear figures to be among the best players in the GNAC this season and has set the tone through MSUB’s first five non-conference games. Bad Bear leads the Yellowjackets and ranks seventh in the conference with 16 points per game while shooting 50.9% from the field and pulling in an average of five rebounds per contest.

Bad Bear notched the first double-double of her MSUB career against Hawaii Hilo last Friday, finishing with 21 points and 11 rebounds to go along with a block and a steal. The Yellowjackets will hope to see many more performances like that down the line after being picked as regular season champions in the preseason coaches poll. The road to that ultimate goal continues on this week as Bad Bear and the Yellowjackets face Minot State on Saturday.

GNAC in the National & Regional Rankings

The WBCA Division II preseason rankings came out on Oct. 31 with Montana State Billings ranked No. 15 after being predicted to win the GNAC regular season title. Western Washington also received votes as it comes into the season on the back of its own championship.

The first D2SCS rankings came out on Nov. 14 with both the Vikings and Yellowjackets ranked in the Division II top 25. Western Washington led the way at No. 10 followed by Montana State Billings at No. 21. Four of the conference’s 10 teams made in appearance in the regional rankings, led by WWU at No. 1 with two first-place votes. Montana State Billings is No. 3 with two first-place votes of its own while No. 7 Alaska Anchorage and No. 9 Central Washington also made the top 10 in the west.

WBCA National Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Preseason 15. MSUB RV WWU -- --
D2CSC National Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Nov. 14 10. WWU 21. MSUB -- --
D2CSC West Region Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Nov. 14 1. WWU 3. MSUB 7. UAA 9. CWU

GNAC Women's Basketball in the NCAA Statistical Rankings

Through games on Nov. 13.

Team Rankings (Top-30)
Assist/Turnover Ratio: 8. MSUB, 1.47; 16. WOU, 1.29
Assists Per Game: 6. WOU, 22.0; 14. WWU, 19.0
Blocks Per Game: 2. WWU, 10.0; 24. SFU, 5.4
Field Goal Percentage: 14. WOU, 48.9
Field Goal Percentage Defense: 11. WWU, 30.0
Fewest Fouls Per Game: 9. SMU, 12.0
Free Throw Percentage: 8. WWU, 89.7; 12. CWU, 87.8
Rebound Margin: 19. WOU, 14.0
Defensive Rebounds Per Game: 6. WWU, 35.5
Offensive Rebounds Per Game: 24. WOU, 17.5
Scoring Offense: 14. WOU, 85.0
Steals Per Game: 29. UAA, 13.5
Three Point Percentage: 25. NNU, 40.7
Turnover Margin: 28. UAA, 8.00
Turnovers Forced Per Game: 29. UAA, 24.50
Fewest Turnovers Per Game: 11. MSUB, 10.8
Winning Percentage: 1. WOU, 100.0; 1. WWU, 100.0

Individual Rankings (Top-30)
Assist/Turnover Ratio: 5. Ally Harman, WOU, 7.00; 11. Aspen Giese, MSUB, 6.00
Assists: 5. Aspen Giese, MSUB, 18; 11. Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 16; 17. Makenna Gardner, SFU, 15. 17. Destiny Reimers, UAF, 15; 23. Riley
Dykstra, WWU, 14; 23. Anjel Galbraith, SMU, 14
Assists Per Game: 9. Riley Dykstra, WWU, 7.0; 9. Anjel Galbraith, SMU, 7.0
Blocks: 1. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 17; 2. Brooke Walling, WWU, 12; 21. Aliyah Finch, CWU, 5
Blocks Per Game: 1. Brooke Walling, WWU, 6.00; 11. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 3.40
Double-Doubles: 2. Asher Cai, CWU, 2; 2. Brooke Walling, WWU, 2; 21. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 1; 21. Capri Sims, CWU, 1; 21. Emma Wass, UAF, 1; 21. Olivia Mayer, SPU, 1; 21. Triniti Youngblood, WOU, 1
Field Goal Attempts: 1. Asher Cai, CWU, 106; 2. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 81; 4. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 67; 13. Destiny Reimers, UAF, 58. 13.
Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 58; 22. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 51
Field Goals: 4. Asher Cai, CWU, 32; 5. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 30; 5. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 30; 10. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 27; 19. Dyauni
Boyce, MSUB, 22; 22. Destiny Reimers, UAF, 21; 22. Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 21
Free Throw Attempts: 7. Asher Cai, CWU, 31; 7. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 31; 11. Kortney Nelson, MSUB, 28; 15. Kola Bad Bear, MSUB, 24; 20. Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 23; 22. Ellen Silva, UAF, 22; 26. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 21
Free Throw Percentage: 1. Mason Oberg, WWU, 100.0; 1. Hunter Beirne, SPU, 100.0
Free Throws: 5. Asher Cai, CWU, 28; 8. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 24; 13. Kortney Nelson, MSUB, 22; 20. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 19; 22. Kola Bad Bear, MSUB, 18; 27. Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 16
Minutes Per Game: 10. Asher Cai, CWU, 39.58; 11. Anjel Galbraith, SMU, 39.48; 20. Brooke Walling, WWU, 38.63
Rebounds: 2. Asher Cai, CWU, 55; 3. Emma Wass, UAF, 45; 5. Ellen Silva, UAF, 39; 7. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 38; 7. Capri Sims, CWU, 38. 19. Destiny Reimers, UAF, 30
Defensive Rebounds Per Game: 4. Brooke Walling, WWU, 10.5; 22. Asher Cai, CWU, 8.4
Rebounds Per Game: 23. Brooke Walling, WWU, 11.5; 30. Asher Cai, CWU, 11.0
Steals: 27. Dyauni Boyce, MSUB, 8; 27. Asher Cai, CWU, 8; 27. Capri Sims, CWU, 8
Three Point Attempts: 1. Asher Cai, CWU, 48; 3. Emma McKenney, UAF, 31. 3. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 31; 11. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 27; Shayla Montague, MSUB, 27; 19. Grace Killins, SFU, 25; 27. Destiny Reimers, UAF, 23
Three Points Percentage: 23. Kiana Rios, SMU, 70.0
Three Pointers: 1. Shayla Montague, MSUB, 13; 3. Asher Cai, CWU, 12; 10. Madeline Gebers, NNU, 10; 16. Emma McKenney, UAF, 9; 16. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 9; 29. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 8

GNAC Women's Basketball Players of the Week
Date Offensive Player of the Week
Nov. 6 Asher Cai, Central Washington
Nov. 13 Brooke Walling, Western Washington

2023-24 GNAC Women's Basketball Championships

The 2023-24 GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships will be held March 7-9 at Nicholson Pavilion on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. The top-six teams in the final GNAC regular-season standings will advance to the single-elimination tournament. The winner of the event will earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA West Region Championships.

2023-24 All-Tournament Selections

2023 CCA Canadian Tip-Off Classic
Nov. 3-5 at Langley, B.C. (Simon Fraser, Host)
Alaska: Ellen Silva, F
Central Washington: Asher Cai, G; Sunny Huerta, G
Simon Fraser: Jessica Wisotzki, G

D2CCAA Tipoff Classic at the Trailhead
Nov. 3-5 at Billings, Mont. (Montana State Billings, Host)
Montana State Billings: Kola Bad Bear, F; Dyauni Boyce, F

GNAC/PacWest Crossover
Nov. 10-11 at Honolulu, Hawaii (Hawaii Pacific, Host)
Alaska Anchorage: Jazzpher Evans, G (MVP); Tori Hollingshead, F
Montana State Billings: Chloe Williams, G; Kola Bad Bear, F

WWU Veterans Day Classic
Nov. 10-11 at Bellingham, Wash. (Western Washington, Host)
Seattle Pacific: Olivia Mayer, F
Western Washington: Brooke Walling, F (MVP); Aspen Garrison, F; Riley Dykstra, G

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) 2022-23 GNAC Record (Finish) Points
1. Montana State BIllings (5) 25-8 14-4 (2nd) 94
2. Western Washington (4) 24-4 16-2 (1st) 91
3. Alaska Anchorage (1) 18-10 10-8 (4th) 75
4. Simon Fraser 10-13 8-10 (6th) 68
5. Central Washington 21-9 12-6 (3rd) 66
6. Seattle Pacific 15-13 9-9 (5th) 51
7. Northwest Nazarene 11-15 7-11 (T7th) 42
8. Saint Martin's 10-16 6-12 (9th) 27
9. Western Oregon 13-13 7-11 (T7th) 19
10. Alaska 4-21 1-17 (10th) 17

 Points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Preseason Player of the Year: Brooke Walling, Western Washington

Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
*!$ Brooke Walling Western Washington F 6-3 Sr. Vancouver, Wash.
*!# Jessica Wisotzki Simon Fraser G/F 6-2 Sr. Langley, B.C.
*! Sunny Huerta Central Washington G 5-4 Jr. Whittier, Calif
*!+ Vishe' Rabb Alaska Anchorage F 5-9 Sr. Springfield, Minn.
%$ Kortney Nelson Montana State Billings G 5-8 Sr. Scobey, Mont.
*% Anjel Galbraith Saint Martin's G 5-5 Sr. Vallejo, Calif.
*&@ Asher Cai Central Washington G 5-9 So. Colfax, Wash.
^$ Riley Dykstra Western Washington G 5-10 Jr. Everson, Wash.
*@ Gemma Cutler Simon Fraser F 6-2 Jr. North Vancouver, B.C.
* Jazzpher Evans Alaska Anchorage G 5-6 Jr. Shorewood, Ill.
Schuyler Berry Seattle Pacific C 6-3 Jr. Portland, Ore.
*% Cali McClave Western Oregon G 5-9 Jr. Corvallis, Ore.
@ Shayla Montague Montana State Billings G 5-11 Sr. Billings, Mont.
@ Dyauni Boyce Montana State Billings F 5-11 Jr. Winifred, Mont.
Mason Oberg Western Washington G 5-5 So. Vancouver, Wash.

*Unanimous Selection | &-2022-23 GNAC Freshman of the Year | +-2022-23 GNAC Newcomer of the Year| !-2022-23 First Team All-GNAC | %-2022-23 Second Team All-GNAC | @-2022-23 Honorable Mention All-GNAC | ^-2021-22 GNAC Freshman of the Year | #-2021-22 Second Team All-GNAC | $-2021-22 Honorable Mention All-GNAC