GNACSports.com
Stepping Up: Stepney Leads Player Of Week Honorees
Jawan Stepney's 45 points at Concordia is the seventh best single game scoring performance in GNAC history and second on the CWU all-time list.
Jawan Stepney's 45 points at Concordia is the seventh best single game scoring performance in GNAC history and second on the CWU all-time list.

Monday, January 22, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. – Central Washington’s Jawan Stepney came up with a near-record scoring performance just when the Wildcats needed it, earning the senior guard selection as the GNAC Co-Men’s Basketball Player of the Week.

Stepney poured in 45 points in the Wildcats’ 111-100 overtime road win over Concordia on Saturday, finishing one short of the CWU single-game scoring record. In 39 minutes, Stepney connecting on 13 of 21 from the field, 4 of 7 from three-point range and 15 of 18 from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds and seven assists. In addition to his spot on CWU’s all-time list, the 45-point performance is seventh on the GNAC’s all-time single-game scoring list.

Stepney shared this week’s award with Saint Martin’s guard Luke Chavez, who averaged 21 points, 6.5 rebounds, five assists and four steals per game in two wins over Seattle Pacific and Montana State Billings. Chavez led all scorers with 27 points in Tuesday’s 80-73 win at Seattle Pacific, connecting on 10 of 19 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds, three steals and three assists. He then led SMU with 15 points in Saturday’s 75-69 win over Montana State Billings, supplementing his scoring with nine rebounds, seven assists and five steals.

Seattle Pacific Rachel Shim was named the Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for her role in the Falcons’ 66-48 home win over Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. Shim led all scorers with a career-high 23 points on 8 of 13 from the field and 5 of 6 from three-point range. Shim also pulled down a career-high eight rebounds along with an assist, two steals and a block as SPU handed UAA its first conference loss of the season and ended the Seawolves’ 33-game GNAC win streak.

Concordia picked up two of the four track and field weekly honors. Senior Christina MacDonald was named the Women’s Field Athlete of the Week for the second consecutive week after she smashed the GNAC record in the weight throw. A week after tying the record, MacDonald won the event at Saturday’s Bronco Invite with a mark of 61 feet, 8.25 inches, bettering the former record set by Western Oregon’s Kristin Hepler in 2004 by over three feet. The mark ranks MacDonald eighth in Division II this season. MacDonald also finished third in the shot put, bettering her lifetime best with a mark of 47 feet, 11.75 inches.

Senior Carlos Ortiz earned Men’s Track Athlete of the Week honors for his top-two finishes in the sprints at the Bronco Invite. Ortiz won the 200 meters in a time of 21.95 seconds, a performance that just missed the NCAA Championships provisional qualifying mark of 21.77 seconds. Ortiz also placed second in the 60-meter dash with a time of 6.91 seconds, a thousandth of a second off his season and lifetime best.

Northwest Nazarene freshman Elijah Castro was selected as the Men’s Field Athlete of the Week for his school-record performance in the long jump at the Bronco Invite. Castro finished second against Division I competition with a mark of 23 feet, 8.75 inches. That more than bettered the previous record of 23 feet set in 2015 by teammate Payton Lewis. The mark is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, is 15th best in Division II this season and No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time Best List.

Montana State Billings sophomore Nikki Aiken earned Women’s Track Athlete of the Week honors for her personal best of 11:04.99 in the 3,000 meters, placing sixth at the South Dakota State Division II Invitational.

GNAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK SELECTIONS – WEEK 21
MEN’S BASKETBALL
Jawan Stepney
(Central Washington, G, 6-4, Sr., Kent, Wash. – Cochise Coll.): Stepney put together the second-best scoring performance in CWU history and the seventh best in GNAC history as he poured in 45 points in the Wildcats’ 111-100 overtime win over Concordia on Saturday. He finished the night shooting 13 of 21 from the field, 4 of 7 from three-point range and 15 of 18 from the free throw line to go along with four rebounds and seven assists. Stepney finished the week averaging 26.5 points per game in two home contests and shot 48.5 percent from the field.

Luke Chavez (Saint Martin’s, G, 6-4, Jr., Woodacre, Calif. – South Puget Sound CC): Chavez averaged 21 points, 6.5 rebounds, five assists as the Saints scored two wins to close the first half of the GNAC schedule. He led all scorers with 27 points in Tuesday’s 80-73 win at Seattle Pacific, making 10 of 19 from the field and 6 of 6 from the free throw line to go with four rebounds, three assists and three steals. He then scored 15 in Saturday’s 75-69 win over Montana State Billings to go along with nine rebounds, seven assists, five steals and a block. Also Nominated: Jarrett Gray (Concordia), Zack Rollins (Montana State Billings), JJ Chirnside (Western Oregon), Trey Drechsel (Western Washington).

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
Rachel Shim
(Seattle Pacific, G, 5-7, Sr., Sammamish, Wash. – Skyline): Shim posted a pair of career highs in scoring and rebounding to lead the Falcons to a 66-48 upset of Alaska Anchorage on Saturday. She led all scorers with a career-high 23 points on 8 of 13 from the field and 5 of 6 from three-point range to go along with a career-high eight rebounds. The performance helped the Falcons hand the Seawolves their first GNAC loss of the season and ended UAA’s 33-game GNAC win streak. Also Nominated: Taylor Baird (Central Washington), Danielle Hartzog (Concordia), Rylee Kane (Montana State Billings), Danielle Jardine (Northwest Nazarene), Saniah Simpson-Patu (Saint Martin’s), Sydney Azorr (Western Oregon), Hannah Stipanovich (Western Washington).

MEN’S TRACK
Carlos Ortiz
(Concordia, Sr., Salem, Ore. – North Salem) Ortiz scored a pair of top-two finishes at the Bronco Invite. Ortiz won the 200 meters in a season-best time of 21.95 seconds. The mark just missed the provisional qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships. Ortiz also finished second in the 60 meters with a time of 6.91 seconds, a performance just short of his lifetime best of 6.90 seconds. Also Nominated: Jorey Egeland (Montana State Billings).

MEN’S FIELD
Elijah Castro
(Northwest Nazarene, Fr., Grants Pass, Ore. – Hidden Valley) Competing in his third collegiate meet, Castro set the Northwest Nazarene indoor school record in the long jump at the Bronco Invite. Castro placed second in the Division I-laden field with a mark of 23 feet, 8.75 inches. The mark is an NCAA Championships provisional qualifier, ranks 15th in Division II this season and is No. 4 on the GNAC All-Time Top-10 List. Also Nominated: Josh Koch (Concordia), Isaiah Girard (Montana State Billings).

WOMEN’S TRACK
Nikki Aiken
(Montana State Billings, So., Belgrade, Mont. – Manhattan Christian) Aiken ran a personal-best in the indoor 3,000 meters at the South Dakota State Division II Invitational, placing sixth in a time of 11:04.99.

WOMEN’S FIELD
Christina MacDonald
(Concordia, Sr., Myrtle Creek, Ore. – Oregon State Univ.) A week after tying the GNAC record in the weight throw, MacDonald blew the mark away at the Bronco Invite. MacDonald won with a mark of 61 feet, 8.25 inches, which bettered the previous GNAC record set by Kristin Hepler of Western Oregon by over three feet. The performance ranks eighth in Division II this season and is No. 2 on Concordia’s all-time list.

Copyright ©2020 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved. GNACSports.com