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A Thanksgiving Feast On Ranked Opponents
Junior Daniel Honrbuckle led Western Washington with 18 points in Friday's 74-67 win over then No. 22 (D2SIDA) Point Loma.
Junior Daniel Honrbuckle led Western Washington with 18 points in Friday's 74-67 win over then No. 22 (D2SIDA) Point Loma.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

CONFERENCE PLAY BEGINS AS TEAMS DOWN TOP-25 FOES: The conference’s teams are shifting into forward motion going into the first week of conference play with four GNAC programs feasting on ranked teams over Thanksgiving weekend.

Alaska and Alaska Anchorage both posted wins over No. 19 (NABC) Hawaii Hilo during the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic. The Nanooks started the run, outscoring the Vulcans 47-39 in the second half behind an 18-point performance by Coleman Sparling for the 76-67 victory on Saturday.

The next day, Alaska Anchorage needed overtime to cool the Vulcans 100-97. Senior Oggie Pantovic led the way, scoring 28 points and accounting for eight of the Seawolves’ 12 overtime points. He was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player and the GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.

In the Lower 48, Western Washington and Seattle Pacific both emerged from the weekend with wins over No. 22 (D2SIDA) Point Loma. On Friday, four WWU players scored in double figures and made a 42-35 halftime lead stand up for a 74-67 win. Junior Daniel Hornbuckle led the Vikings with 18 points on 7 of 14 from the floor.

On Saturday, Seattle Pacific and Point Loma traded dominant scoring halves before taking the game into overtime. Senior Harry Cavell proceeded to score the final seven points for the Falcons, including 5 of 5 from the free-throw line, to secure the 99-91 victory. Sophomore Zack Paulsen led five SPU players in double figures with 26 points along with nine rebounds.

Central Washington improved to 3-1 with a pair of wins in Salt Lake City. After a week off from play, the Wildcats collected an 80-67 win over Westminster (Utah) on Friday and an 89-87 win over Fort Lewis on Saturday. Senior Marqus Gilson exploded for a 28-point performance against Westminster, shooting 11 of 17 from the floor.

Saint Martin’s went 2-1 in the Bay Area and enters conference play with a 4-2 record. The Saints posted a 72-66 win at Cal State East Bay on Wednesday and a 73-66 win at Cal State Monterey Bay on Saturday. The Saints were led by senior forward Brett Reed, who averaged a double-double of 20 points and 10.7 rebounds per game on the trip.

Conference play opens this week. Two key matchups take place on Thursday as Central Washington plays at Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage is at Saint Martin’s. Saturday’s games are highlighted by Simon Fraser visiting Western Washington and Alaska playing at Saint Martin’s.

ALL-TOURNAMENT PERFORMERS: The following GNAC players have earned all-tournament team honors during the 2021-22 season...

PacWest/GNAC Challenge (Nov. 12-13 at Honolulu): Quin Barnard (UAF), David Rowlands (UAA), Tobin Karlberg (UAA).
Chuck Randall Classic (Nov. 19-20 at Bellingham): Jalen Green (WWU, Most Valuable Player), Daniel Hornbuckle (WWU), D’Angelo Minnis (WWU), Luke Lovelady (WWU), Divant’e Moffit (SPU), Harry Cavell (SPU), Zack Paulsen (SPU).
Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic (Nov. 27 & 28, Anchorage): Oggie Pantovic (UAA, Most Outstanding Player), Tobin Karlberg (UAA), Shadeed Shabazz (UAF), Coleman Sparling (UAF), Hunter Sweet (UAA).

GNAC.TV: It is easy and free to access live streams and live stats for all 10 GNAC institutions. Visit GNAC.tv on your computer or device to access all that the conference’s digital network has to offer.

THIS WEEK'S GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Oggie Pantovic
Alaska Anchorage
F • 6-7 • Sr. • Kovin, Serbia

Pantovic averaged 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game while shooting 58.1 percent from the floor to be named the Most Outstanding Player at the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic. Pantovic opened the week with totals of 15 points and nine rebounds in Saturday’s 81-66 win over Quincy. He then led UAA with 28 points on 12 of 19 from the floor, including 4 of 5 in overtime, to go with six rebounds, five blocks, two steals and two assists in Sunday’s 100-97 overtime win over No. 19 Hawaii Pacific.

Also Nominated: Shadeed Shabazz (Alaska), Marqus Gilson (Central Washington), Damen Thacker (Montana State Billings), Gabriel Murphy (Northwest Nazarene), Brett Reed (Saint Martin’s), Zack Paulsen (Seattle Pacific), Jasdeep Singh (Simon Fraser), Cameron Cranston (Western Oregon), Luke Lovelady (Western Washington).

AROUND THE GNAC
ALASKA
• Alaska split its games at the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic in Anchorage, scoring a 76-67 win over No. 19 (NABC) Hawaii Hilo on Saturday before taking an 83-76 loss to Quincy on Sunday.

• Senior guard Shadeed Shabazz was named to the All-Tournament Team after he paced the UAF offense against Quincy, turning in 37 points on 15 of 26 from the field and 4 of 11 from three-point range to go with six assists and two steals. Shabazz opened the week with totals of 10 points, five rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block against Hawaii Hilo. Shabazz leads the GNAC in scoring at 20 points per game. He also leads the GNAC and ranks 10th in Division II with 3.17 steals per game.

• Senior forward Coleman Sparling also earned All-Tournament Team honors. He was the leading scorer for the Nanooks against Hawaii Hilo, finishing with 18 points on 6 of 15 from the field and 3 of 5 from three-point range. He is currently averaging 10.3 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.

• Sophomore forward Abdullahi Mohamed averaged 13 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in the two contests, paced by his 18 points and five rebounds against Quincy. He shot 8 of 13 from the field in that game. Mohamed is averaging nine points per game and is the team’s leading rebounder with 5.7 boards per game.

• Alaska enters the week averaging 77.2 points and 33.2 rebounds per game. The Nanooks are tied for first in the GNAC with 8.50 steals per game and also lead the conference while ranking 28th in Division II with a .413 three-point percentage.

• Alaska opens conference play on the road this week, traveling to Western Oregon on Thursday and Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE
• Alaska Anchorage went 2-0 in its own Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic, collecting an 81-66 win over Quincy on Saturday and a 100-97 overtime win over No. 19 (NABC) Hawaii Hilo on Sunday.

• Senior forward Oggie Pantovic was named the GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Week and the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging 21.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in the two games, shooting 58.1 percent from the field. Pantovic finished with 15 points and nine rebounds against Quincy before finishing with 28 points, six rebounds, five blocks, two steals and two assists against Hawaii Hilo. He shot 12 of 19 in the game and 4 of 5 in the overtime period. Pantovic is averaging 13.3 points per game and ranks third in the GNAC with 8.9 rebounds per game.

• Senior forward Hunter Sweet averaged 23 points and six rebounds per game to also collect All-Tournament Team honors. Sweet turned in his second 30-point performance of the season against Quincy, adding seven rebounds and two assists while shooting 8 of 15 from the field and 6 of 9 from three-point range. He then finished with 16 points and five rebounds against Hawaii Hilo. Sweet is second in the GNAC with 18.1 points per game and sixth with 6.7 rebounds per game.

• Junior guard Tobin Karlberg also earned All-Tournament Team honors after averaging 17.5 points and six rebounds per game. Karlberg turned in a pair of consistent scoring performances. He finished with 16 points against Quincy on 4 of 6 from the field and 7 of 7 from the free-throw line. Karlberg added 19 points on 8 of 17 from the field with seven assists against Hawaii Hilo. Karlberg is sixth in the GNAC with 17 points per game.

• Alaska Anchorage enters the week averaging 78.7 points and 37 rebounds per game. The Seawolves are 10th in Division II with 197 three-point attempts.

• The conference season begins on the road for Alaska Anchorage, playing at Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Western Oregon on Saturday.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON
• Central Washington improved to 3-1 on the season with a pair of wins in Salt Lake City. The Wildcats collected an 80-67 win over Westminster (Utah) on Friday and an 89-87 neutral-site win over Fort Lewis on Saturday.

• Senior forward Marqus Gilson averaged 25 points and six rebounds in the two games, shooting 66.7 percent from the field. Gilson finished with 28 points, including 19 in the second half, against Westminster on 11 of 17 from the field and 6 of 8 from the free-throw line. He then added 22 points on 9 of 13 from the field against Fort Lewis. Gilson is fifth in the GNAC with 17.3 points per game and third with a .659 field goal percentage.

• Senior guard Xavier Smith averaged 14 points per game in the Wasatch Basin. He contributed 14 points against Westminster before adding 17 points on 7 of 12 from the field and 3 of 4 from the free-throw line against Fort Lewis. Smith is averaging 13.8 points per game.

• Senior guard David Thompson averaged 10.5 points per game, scoring 10 points against Westminster and 11 points against Fort Lewis. Thompson is averaging 13.3 points per game and is eighth in the GNAC with a .813 free-throw percentage.

• Central Washington is second in the GNAC in scoring at 79.2 points per game while also averaging 34 rebounds per game. The Wildcats are ninth in Division II in three-point percentage defense (.250).

• Central Washington is on the road to open conference play, traveling to Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Montana State Billings on Saturday.

MONTANA STATE BILLINGS
• Montana State Billings split a pair of home non-conference games over Thanksgiving week, taking an 81-69 win over Black Hills State on Wednesday before falling 60-51 to South Dakota Mines on Saturday.

• Junior guard Carrington Wiggins averaged 16 points per game to lead the MSUB offense. Wiggins led five MSUB players in double figures with 19 points against Black Hills State to go with six rebounds and four assists. He then finished with 13 points against South Dakota Mines while adding six steals, three assists and two rebounds. Wiggins is tied for eighth in the GNAC with 16 points per game.

• Senior transfer guard Damen Thacker averaged 14 points per game. He opened the week with nine points, seven assists and three steals against Black Hills State before leading the Yellowjackets with 19 points against South Dakota Mines with six steals and three assists. Thacker is averaging 12.5 points per game. He is second in the GNAC with 2.33 steals per game and is 30th in Division II with 14 total steals.

• Junior forward Bilal Shabazz averaged 11 points and 6.5 rebounds per game. He finished with 11 points in each game and had a weekly high of seven rebounds against South Dakota Mines. Shabazz is averaging 5.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game.

• Montana State Billings enters the week averaging 64.8 points and 33.3 rebounds per game. The Yellowjackets are third in the GNAC in scoring defense, allowing 70 points per game.

• Montana State Billings continues a seven-game homestand with its first two conference games of the season, hosting Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

NORTHWEST NAZARENE
• Northwest Nazarene lost its only game of Thanksgiving week, a 78-71 decision at Azusa Pacific on Friday.

• Sophomore guard George Reidy led the Nighthawks in the loss with 16 points, going 6 of 18 from the field and 4 of 5 from the free-throw line. He also had five rebounds and two steals. Reidy enters the week averaging 8.5 points per game.

• Sophomore forward Gabriel Murphy finished with a double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, connecting on 5 of 11 from the field. His 12 boards included six on the offensive glass. Murphy is averaging 12.5 points per game. He leads the GNAC and is seventh in Division II with 11.5 rebounds per game. Murphy also leads the conference and ranks third in Division II with five offensive rebounds per game.

• Freshman forward Christian Rose added 11 points and seven rebounds in the loss, which included five offensive rebounds. Rose is averaging 10.3 points per game.

• Northwest Nazarene enters the week averaging 73.8 points per game and leads the conference with 41 rebounds per game. The Nighthawks lead the GNAC and are ranked 19th in Division II with 14.75 offensive rebounds per game.

• The Nighthawks hit the road to start the conference season, playing at Montana State Billings on Thursday and Seattle Pacific on Saturday.

SAINT MARTIN’S
• Saint Martin’s went 2-1 in three games in the Bay Area last week. The Saints scored a 72-66 win at Cal State East Bay on Wednesday, fell 90-78 at Academy of Art on Friday and won 73-66 at Cal St. Monterey Bay on Saturday.

• Against Cal St. Monterey Bay, Saint Martin’s rebounded from a 14-3 deficit in the first three minutes to take a 33-28 halftime lead en route to the win.

• Senior forward Brett Reed averaged 20 points and 10.7 rebounds per game in the three games. He had a double-double of 16 points and 13 rebounds at Cal State East Bay before doing it again with 23 points and 12 rebounds at Academy of Art. Reed finished the trip with 21 points and seven rebounds at Cal St. Monterey Bay. Reed is fourth in the GNAC with 17.5 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. He is also second in the GNAC with a .667 field goal percentage.

• Sophomore guard Alex Schumacher averaged 15.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in the three games with 10 assists and eight steals. After opening the trip with 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists at Cal State East Bay, Schumacher scored 21 points at Academy of Art on 7 of 15 from the field. He closed the week with 13 points and four rebounds at Cal St. Monterey Bay. Schumacher is averaging 12.2 points and 4.5 rebounds per game.

• In addition to the rebounding by Reed and Schumacher, senior center Marky Adams averaged 5.7 boards per game in the three games while sophomore guard Tyke Thompson averaged 5.3 rebounds per game.

• Saint Martin’s leads the conference in scoring with 79.3 points per game. The Saints are second in the GNAC with a .479 field goal percentage.

• The Saints open the conference season at home, hosting Alaska Anchorage on Thursday and Alaska on Saturday.

SEATTLE PACIFIC
• Seattle Pacific was a winner in its only game last week, going overtime to beat No. 22 (D2SIDA) Point Loma 99-91 on Saturday.

• Sophomore guard Zack Paulsen led the Falcons with 26 points and nine rebounds, connecting on 9 of 11 from the field, 3 of 5 from three-point range and 5 of 5 from the free-throw line. Paulsen is averaging 11.4 points per game and ranks second in the GNAC with a .895 free-throw percentage (17-19).

• Senior guard Divant’e Moffitt turned in 22 points and nine rebounds in the win to go with six rebounds and two steals. He connected on 8 of 16 from the field, 2 of 4 from three-point range and 4 of 6 from the free-throw line. Moffitt is third in the GNAC with 18 points per game. He is fourth in Division II in free throws attempted (49) and eighth in free throws made (36).

• Five players scored in double figures in the win, including 15 points for junior forward Shaw Anderson, 14 points for senior guard Harry Cavell and 10 points for sophomore forward Kelton Samore.

• Seattle Pacific is averaging 76.6 points and 32.7 rebounds per game. The Falcons rank 10th in Division II with 155 free throws attempted and seventh with 118 made.

• The Falcons continue a four-game homestand this week, opening conference play by welcoming Central Washington on Thursday and Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

SIMON FRASER
• Simon Fraser split a pair of games at the Holiday Inn-Comfort Inn Thanksgiving Classic in Mesa, Colorado. They opened with a 73-63 over Western Colorado on Friday before taking an 80-56 loss to host Colorado Mesa on Saturday.

• Senior forward Jasdeep Singh led SFU by averaging 17 points and nine rebounds per game in the tournament. Singh led all players with a double-double of 25 points and 12 rebounds against Western Colorado, shooting 10 of 16 from the field and 3 of 5 from three-point range. He then scored nine points to go with six rebounds against Colorado Mesa. Singh is 10th in the GNAC with 14.8 points per game.

• Junior guard Wilfried Balata averaged 11.5 points per game and shot 50 percent from the field. After a nine-point performance against Western Colorado, Balata scored 14 points in 11 minutes off the bench on 5 of 8 from the field against Colorado Mesa. Balata is averaging 11.5 points per game.

• Senior forward Julian Roche averaged 10.5 points and 12 rebounds per game. In the win over Western Colorado, Roche finished with nine points and nine rebounds with three assists and two blocks. He then posted a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds against Colorado Mesa. Roche is second in the GNAC with 9.4 rebounds per game while ranking 11th in Division II with 4.43 offensive boards per game.

• Simon Fraser is averaging 76.7 points per game and is second in the GNAC with 38.6 rebounds per game. Simon Fraser also ranks second in the GNAC and 26th in Division II with 14 offensive rebounds per game.

• Simon Fraser opens GNAC play with just one game this week, playing at Western Washington on Saturday. After that, SFU does not play again until conference action resumes on December 30.

WESTERN OREGON
• Western Oregon dropped a pair of close contests in Salt Lake City last week, losing 89-83 to Fort Lewis on Friday and 70-62 to Westminster (Utah) on Saturday. The Wolves opened the week with a 75-67 loss at Humboldt State on Tuesday.

• Junior guard Cameron Cranston paced the WOU offense once again, averaging 12.7 points and 6.3 rebounds per game over the three games. Cranston led all scorers at Humboldt State with 23 points, shooting 7 of 14 from the field and 4 of 5 from three-point range. After a quiet five-point performance against Fort Lewis, Cranston just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds against Westminster. Cranston is seventh in the GNAC with 16.9 points per game, tied for eighth with 6.1 rebounds per game and third with 2.71 three-pointers made per game, which also ranks 29th in Division II.

• Senior forward Tyreek Price averaged 11.3 points per game while shooting 50 percent from the floor. Price opened the week with 11 points at Humboldt State. He added 14 points against Fort Lewis on 5 of 9 from the field and 4 of 7 from three-point range before scoring nine against Westminster. Price enters the week averaging 7.9 points per game.

• Junior forward John Morrill-Keeler led WOU on the boards, averaging six per game over the three contests. His week was topped by a near double-double of 14 points and nine rebounds against Fort Lewis. He ranks 12th in the GNAC with 5.7 rebounds per game.

• Western Oregon is averaging 68.4 points and 35.3 rebounds per game. The Wolves rank second in the GNAC with 26.71 defensive rebounds per game and 9.29 three-pointers made per game.

• Western Oregon opens the conference season at home, hosting Alaska on Thursday and Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

WESTERN WASHINGTON
• Western Washington improved to 4-2 on the season with two home wins, knocking off No. 22 (D2SIDA) Point Loma 74-67 on Friday and UT Permian Basin 70-64 on Saturday.

• Junior guard Daniel Hornbuckle averaged 15 points per game to lead the Vikings offensively. He led the Vikings with 18 points against Point Loma, connecting on 7 of 14 from the field and 4 of 9 from three-point range. Hornbuckle added 12 points against UT Permian Basin, all on three-pointers. Hornbuckle is 11th in the GNAC with 14.2 points per game and seventh with a .476 three-point percentage.

• Senior forward Luke Lovelady averaged 12 points and 9.5 rebounds in the two victories. He just missed a double-double in both games, finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds against Point Loma and 15 points and nine rebounds against UT Permian Basin. He shot 61.1 percent from the field for the week. Lovelady is averaging 12.5 points per game, ranks fourth with a .646 field goal percentage and ranks seventh with 6.7 rebounds per game.

• Sophomore guard D’Angelo Minnis averaged 11.5 points per game, topped by a 15-point performance against Point Loma. Junior forward Jalen Green also had 15 points against Point Loma in his only game of the week.

• Western Washington enters the week averaging 73.8 points and 37.3 rebounds per game. The Vikings lead the GNAC and rank 19th in Division II with a .514 field goal percentage.

• Western Washington hosts Northwest Indian for a non-conference game on Tuesday before opening conference play on Saturday against Simon Fraser.

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