Falcons Take On Surprising Stanislaus In Regional Opener
SPU teammates, from left, David Downs, Matt Borton, Ryan Todd, Mitch Penner, Corey Hutsen (34) and Will Parker celebrate Saturday's win (Photo by Dan Levine)
SPU teammates, from left, David Downs, Matt Borton, Ryan Todd, Mitch Penner, Corey Hutsen (34) and Will Parker celebrate Saturday's win (Photo by Dan Levine)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. - It's the newbies against the seasoned veterans.

Second-seed Seattle Pacific will be making its 10th consecutive appearance - the longest streak in Division II - in the NCAA West Regional Friday at San Bernardino, Calif., against CCAA champion Cal State Stanislaus which is appearing in the regional for the first time.

The seventh-seeded Warriors did play in five Division III regional tournaments between 1981 and 1989, but are participating in the Division II tournament for the first time.

The two teams will play the second game of the tournament Friday at 2:30 p.m. in Coussoulis Arena. 

The opening contest at noon will match third-seed Cal Poly Pomona (21-6) against sixth-seed Dixie State (21-6).  Dixie was 4-0 against the GNAC this season including a 90-88 overtime win at Seattle Pacific on Nov. 16.

The second half of the bracket will send fourth-seed Chico State (22-7) up against fifth-seed Cal Baptist (24-3) at 5 p.m. and host Cal State San Bernadino (23-4) against PacWest champion and eighth-seed Chaminade (19-12) at 7:30 p.m. 

Among Chico's wins was a 73-70 homecourt victory against SPU on Nov. 30.

Cal State Stanislaus comes into Friday's game riding a seven-game win streak (the Falcons have won four in a row and 15 of 16) after defeating Cal State L.A. (58-52), Cal State San Bernardino (72-67) and Chico State (82-70) in the CCAA tournament.

The Warriors, who defeated Simon Fraser 85-72 Nov. 9 in their only game against a GNAC opponent, were led by 5-8 point guard Sam Marcus in the CCAA tournament.  Marcus scored 19 points in the championship game and was named the MVP.

On the season, Marcus averages 8.5 points and 4.4 assists per game. Marcus Bell, a 6-9 center, leads CSUS averaging a double-double (17.7 points, 10.6 rebounds).  Also averaging in double figures is 6-4 guard Chris Read.  He contributes 13.5 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.

The Falcons, who defeated Western Oregon 73-57 and Western Washington 65-62 in the GNAC tournament and are ranked 11th in this week's NABC national poll, are led by GNAC two-time Tournament MVP and GNAC Player of the Year David Downs, who ranks third in the conference in scoring, averaging 20.2 points per game.  He also ranks fifth nationally in three-point percentage (47.3).

Downs scored 44 points in the GNAC tournament, including 26 in the championship game.  He also had nine rebounds and seven assists in leading SPU to its second straight GNAC post-season tournament championship. 

Patrick Simon, Division II's leading three-point shooter (50.1), contributes 16.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, and Cory Hutsen averages 10.7 per contest.

As a team, the Falcons rank second nationally in both three-point percentage (42.4) and fewest turnovers (9.0).  They also rank eighth in field goal percentage (50.4) and ninth in assist/turnover ratio  (1.58).

SPU is the GNAC’s lone representative in the regional.  Previously the conference, which provided both finalists in each of the past two regionals, has never had fewer than two and has averaged three per season (36 in the previous 12 tournaments).

NCAA West Regional (Mar. 14-17 at San Bernardino): Friday - #3 Cal Poly Pomona (21-6) vs. #6 Dixie State (21-6), noon; #2 Seattle Pacific (26-5) vs. #7 Cal State Stanislaus (21-8), 2:30 p.m.; #4 Chico State (22-7) vs. #5 Cal Baptist (24-3), 5 p.m.; #1 Cal State San Bernardino (23-4) vs. #8 Chaminade (19-12), 7:30 p.m.  Saturday - Semifinals at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.  Monday - Championship game at 7 p.m. 

ELITE 8 AT EVANSVILLE: The winner of the regional tournament will advance to the NCAA Elite 8 at the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana.  The national quarterfinals begin March 26. The championship game on March 29 will be televised by CBS.  SPU’s has made one Elite 8 appearance as a member of the GNAC losing in the 2006 semifinals.  

INDIVIDUAL SINGLE-GAME RECORDS: Western Oregon’s Jordan Wiley set conference tournament records for three-pointers made (7) and attempted (12) in the Wolves 94-88 win over Alaska Anchorage. WOU’s Rodney Webster set a record in the same game making 12 total field goals.

TEAM RECORDS: Western Oregon set team tournament records for most points (94),  three-pointers made (13) and attempted (26), all against Alaska Anchorage.  UAA also made 13 treys in that game and had a tournament-record 34 total field goals.  Western Washington tied its own tournament record, pulling down 43 rebounds against Alaska Fairbanks.  Its 21-point win over the Nanooks was the largest victory margin in the four-year history of the tournament.


Alaska Anchorage: Kyle Fossman led the Seawolves with 27 points in its opening round loss to Western Oregon, connecting on 6-of-11 three-pointers.  UAA also got 18 points from Teancum Stafford, who made 5-of-8 three-pointers.  Travis Thompson added 17 points making 2-of-3 treys as the Seawolves connected on 13-of-24 from the arc.

Alaska Fairbanks:  Ronnie Baker had team-highs for points (26), assists (8) and steals (7) as the Nanooks split two tournament games.  Sergej Pucar had 24 points, Andrew Kelly added 22 points and 15 rebounds and Stefan Tica had 21 points and 10 rebounds.  Pucar finished his career ranked 65th in GNAC history with 958 points and Tica ended up 71st with 934 points ... UAF shot just 37.4 percent and was outrebounded 70-59 in its two games.  Its opponents made 49.0 percent of their shots. 

Montana State Billings: Austin Hudson paced the Yellowjackets with 14 points and nine rebounds in their loss to Alaska Fairbanks.  Jonathan Mesghna had 13 points and Kalob Hatcher had 12 points and eight assists.  Also in double figures was Devon Wallace with 11 points.

Seattle Pacific: The Falcons' No. 11 national ranking is the best of any team in the tournament.  Cal State San Bernardino is ranked 16th and Cal Poly Pomona is ranked 24th ... Downs has made 49 of his last 51 free throw attempts dating back to SPU’s home game Feb. 22 against MSU Billings.  He was 12-of-12 in the tournament, extending his current streak to 35 ... Patrick Simon had 31 points, despite an uncharacteristic 5-of-17 from the three-point line.  However, he still managed to hold on to his national lead in three-point percentage (51.0) though he did fall to second on the GNAC All-Time career three-point percentage list (48.6).

Western Oregon: Rodney Webster had 30 of his 39 points in the Wolves 94-88 win over Alaska Anchorage joining Central Washington’s Mark McLaughlin (32 versus Alaska Anchorage last year) as the only players in tournament history to score 30 or more points.  Jordan Wiley had 28 points and Devon Alexander had 20.

Western Washington:  Freshman Jeffrey Parker had 35 points and 14 rebounds, shooting 7-of-11 from the arc.  The Vikings also got 28 points from Austin Bragg.  Anye Turner had a team-high 17 rebounds and matched Robert Harris for most assists with seven.  Parker and Bragg each had 14 rebounds.  WWU, which came into the conference tournament ranked seventh in the region, missed out on a regional playoff berth when ninth-ranked Cal State Stanislaus and unranked Chaminade earned automatic berths by winning the CCAA and PacWest tournaments.

McLaughlin, Simon Among National Leaders

Seattle Pacific's Patrick Simon and Mark McLaughlin of Central Washington are among seven GNAC players ranked in the Top 10 in the latest NCAA national statistical report.

Simon's 51.0 three-point percentage is 1.6 points ahead of Carson Konrade of Fort Hays State (49.4). McLaughlin has a 2.2 point lead in the national scoring race (27.1 to 24.9) with Roderick Perkins of Erskine.

Other GNAC players ranked in the Top 10 include Montana State Billings guard Kalob Hatcher who ranks third in assists (7.7); Alaska Anchorage's Kyle Fossman (3.77) and the Seawolves' Travis Thompson (3.63), who rank fourth and sixth, respectively, in three-pointers made; SPU's David Downs, fifth in three-point percentage (47.3) and the Falcons' Riley Stockton who is fifth in assist/turnover ratio (3.63).

Alaska Anchorage is the only GNAC team ranked No. 1 in a team category.  They are first in fewest turnovers (8.5).  UAA is also ranked second in three-pointers made (13.0), free throw percentage (79.6) and assist/turnover ratio (2.10).

Seattle Pacific is second second in three-point percentage (42.4) and fewest turnovers (9.0).


Team:  Scoring – 19. Western Washington 85.9; 20. Alaska Anchorage 85.7. Scoring Defense – 20. Seattle Pacific 66.0; 29. Alaska Fairbanks 67.3.  Scoring Margin – 16. Seattle Pacific 12.5.  Field Goal PCT. – 8. Seattle Pacific 50.4; 21. Western Washington 49.3. Three-Pointers – 2. Alaska Anchorage 13.0; 15. Northwest Nazarene 9.8. Three-Point PCT. – 2. Seattle Pacific 42.4; 7. Alaska Anchorage 41.3. Three-Point PCT. Defense – 9. Western Washington 29.6.  Free Throw PCT. – 2. Alaska Anchorage 79.6; 17. Central Washington 76.5; 28, MSU Billings 75.4.  Assists – 6. Alaska Anchorage 17.9.  Rebound Margin – 28. Seattle Pacific 5.9. Assist/TO Ratio – 2. Alaska Anchorage 2.10; 9. Seattle Pacific 1.58; 25. MSU Billings 1.38.  Blocked Shots – 6. Western Washington 5.5.  Steals – 11. Western Oregon 9.1.  Fewest Turnovers – 1. Alaska Anchorage 8.5; 2. Seattle Pacific 9.0. Turnover Margin – 17. Alaska Fairbanks 3.9; 28. Alaska Anchorage 3.4. Fewest Fouls – 9. Alaska Fairbanks 15.1; 14. Seattle Pacific 15.7.  

Individuals: Scoring – 1. Mark McLaughlin, CWU, 27.1; 22. Travis Thompson, UAA, 21.3.  Field Goal PCT. – 15. JB Pillard, CWU, 63.4; 17. Andrew Kelly, UAF, 62.4. Three-Point FGs – 4. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 3.77; 6. Travis Thompson, UAA, 3.63; 22. Jonathan Mesghna, MSUB, 2.96.  Three-Point PCT. – 1. Patrick Simon, SPU, 51.0; 5. David Downs, SPU, 47.3; 16. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 44.8.  Free Throw PCT. – 18. Travis Thompson, UAA, 89.2; 23. David Downs, SPU, 88.4. Assists – 3. Kalob Hatcher, MSUB, 7.7; 20. Brian McGill, UAA, 5.9; 28. Sango Niang, SFU, 5.6. Blocks – 23. Kevin Davis, CWU, 2.33.  Assist/TO Ratio – 5. Riley Stockton, SPU, 3.63; 21. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 2.89; 22. Kalob Hatcher, 2.86.  Double-Doubles – 27. Austin Bragg, WWU, 11.