Jessica Squared: SFU Ready To Rise
Jessica Wisotzki (left) had 27 points against Western Oregon, her fourth game with 26 points or more this season. All other GNAC players have combined for six such games.
Jessica Wisotzki (left) had 27 points against Western Oregon, her fourth game with 26 points or more this season. All other GNAC players have combined for six such games.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Simon Fraser was supposed to be led by a Jessica. Senior guard Jessica Jones was named the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year after she averaged 17 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 2019-20. With Jones out for the first two months of the season, however, sophomore Jessica Wisotzki stepped up to lead the team in scoring. As Jones made her return to the court on New Year’s Day against Western Oregon, it became clear that the more Jessicas, the merrier for SFU.

It was Wisotzki who led the way, scoring 27 points on 9 of 15 from the field to win her second GNAC Player of the Week award and help Simon Fraser win the game 84-71, but Jones still made a sizable impact, tallying 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal in her first live game action since March 2020. The result was a much-needed first conference win for Simon Fraser in a week that only four contests were played across the league.

Also on New Year’s Day, Alaska took the court for the first time since November 27th with an ultra-young starting lineup of four freshmen and a sophomore. Seattle Pacific spoiled the return behind 17 points and nine rebounds from Natalie Hoff, which helped the Falcons to a 67-45 win.

Central Washington took care of business in a non-conference match-up with Whitworth, defeating the Pirates 89-63 behind 26 points from Kizzah Maltezo and 22 from Kassidy Malcolm. The Wildcats have won three in a row.

Western Washington is now one of just seven remaining unbeatens in Division II. The Vikings defeated Western Oregon 72-50 on Thursday to improve to 10-0. For the first time this year, the Vikings cracked the top five of the D2SIDA Media Poll while remaining at No. 7 in the Coaches Poll. Alaska Anchorage slots in four spots behind WWU in both polls, sitting at No. 9 in the Media Poll and No. 11 in the Coaches Poll.

A full slate of 10 conference games is on the schedule for this week, starting with a Tuesday night match-up between Saint Martin’s and Alaska. Highlights from the week ahead include the I-5 rivalry between Western Washington and Seattle Pacific on Saturday, while Alaska Anchorage will need to be on their game after a three-week layoff against a Northwest Nazarene squad that leads the GNAC in rebounding. With WWU at No. 1, Alaska Anchorage at No. 2, Saint Martin’s at No. 6, Northwest Nazarene at No. 8 and Central Washington at No. 10, half of the D2SIDA West Region rankings are populated by GNAC teams.


Jessica Wisotzki
Simon Fraser
G\F • 6-2 • So. • Langley, B.C.
Wisotzki put together a big offensive night in SFU’s 84-71 win over Western Oregon on Saturday. Wisotzki led all scorers with 27 points, connecting on 9 of 15 from the field, 4 of 6 from three-point range and 5 of 7 from the free-throw line. She also had four rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block as SFU evened its conference record at 1-1.

Also Nominated: Kizzah Maltezo (Central Washington), Natalie Hoff (Seattle Pacific), Tresai McCarver (Western Oregon), Emma Duff (Western Washington)


• Alaska took the court for the first time in over a month on New Year’s Day, losing 67-45 to Seattle Pacific. Its other scheduled game against Montana State Billings was postponed.
• The Nanooks started four freshmen and a sophomore against SPU, One of those freshmen, guard Destiny Riemers, had a team-high nine points to go with seven rebounds. Riemers is seventh in the GNAC with 13.7 points per game.
• Senior Zosha Krupa, the team’s lone upperclassman, matched Reimers with seven rebounds off the bench. All nine players to suit up for UAF both scored and tallied multiple rebounds.
• Freshman Pearle Green recorded five points, four rebounds and a team-high four assists. On this occasion, Green had a rough night from deep (1-12 3 PT), but she still ranks second in the GNAC and 21st in Division II with 2.83 three-pointers made per game. Green also leads the conference with 36.4 minutes per game. She played 37 minutes against the Falcons.
Paola Perez-Mendoza recorded another three steals against SPU. The freshman guard leads the conference and ranks 11th in Division II with 3.3 steals per game. Perez-Mendoza is third in the GNAC with four assists per game.
• The Nanooks are averaging 68.2 points and 36 rebounds per game. They rank fourth in the conference with 9.8 steals per game.
• Having played a GNAC-low six games up to this point, Alaska will have a full schedule over the next few weeks to catch up. The Nanooks play three road games in the next five days: against Saint Martin’s on Tuesday, Northwest Nazarene on Thursday and Central Washington on Saturday.

• Alaska Anchorage did not play last week, as both of its scheduled games against Seattle Pacific and MSUB were postponed. The Seawolves played three times in the week before the holiday break, topping Hawaii Pacific 70-55 on December 14 and Concord 69-41 on December 17 before falling 76-73 in overtime to Hawaii Hilo on December 19. That loss snapped a 24-game win streak for UAA that dated back to January 2020.
Sala Langi was UAA’s leading offensive producer for the week, averaging 10.3 points and 3.7 rebounds per game. After scoring two points against Hawaii Pacific, Langi took charge against Concord, leading all scorers with 16 points on 4 of 8 shooting while making 8 out of 10 free throws. Against Hilo, Langi tallied 13 points, eight rebounds and three assists.
Tennae Voliva carried the Seawolves against Hawaii Pacific, tallying 16 points on 4 of 8 shooting and having an 8-for-9 night at the charity stripe. Voliva ranks tied for fifth in the GNAC with a .821 free-throw percentage.
• Junior forward Kimani Fernandez, a Hawaii native, made the most of her homecoming. Fernandez scored a career-high 17 points in the loss to Hilo, making 8 of 10 from the field. Fernandez is averaging 6.3 points per game this season.
• Alaska Anchorage leads the GNAC and ranks 27th in Division II with 12 steals per game. The Seawolves’ turnover margin of +9.22 ranks seventh in Division II, and their scoring margin of +18.8 ranks 16th.
• Alaska Anchorage is currently ranked 11th in the WBCA Coaches Poll and ninth in the D2SIDA Media Poll. They remain at No. 2 in the D2SIDA West Region rankings.
• The Seawolves will look to rebound from their first setback of the season, traveling to Northwest Nazarene on Saturday and Central Washington on Monday.

• Central Washington cruised to an 89-63 non-conference win over Division III Whitworth on Thursday in its only scheduled game of the week.
• The 89 points are the fourth-most by a GNAC team this season. The Wildcats made 14 three-pointers, tied for this year’s second-highest single-game total in the GNAC. They have fired from deep early and often this season, ranking 11th in Division II in three-pointers attempted (325) and made (110).
Kizzah Maltezo led the way with 26 points to go with five assists, two steals and a rebound. The senior guard turned in by far her most efficient performance of the season, shooting 10 of 14 from the field, including 6 of 9 from three-point range. Maltezo is the GNAC’s current leading scorer at 18.8 points per game.
• Senior forward Kassidy Malcolm tallied 22 points on 8 of 13 shooting along with a team-high six rebounds. Malcolm was 4-for-5 from beyond the arc, and her .456 three-point percentage leads the GNAC and ranks 18th in Division II. She ranks fifth in the conference in scoring (16.9 points per game) and ninth in rebounding (6.9 per game).
Samantha Bowman only played 14 minutes, but still managed to shoot a perfect 6-for-6 from the field for 12 points while grabbing five rebounds and blocking three shots. Bowman is second in Division II in rebounds per game (15.5), fourth in blocks per game (3.1) and sixth nationally with eight double-doubles. Bowman’s 18.5 points per game are third-best in the GNAC.
• The Wildcats remained at No. 10 in the D2SIDA West Region rankings. They rank first in the conference free-throw percentage (.753) and second in three-point percentage (.338) and blocks per game (3.5).
• Central Washington will host Alaska on Saturday before welcoming No. 11/9 Alaska Anchorage on Monday, January 10.

• Montana State Billings did not play last week, as both of its scheduled games against Alaska and Alaska Anchorage were postponed. The Yellowjackets last played in Las Vegas, losing to West Texas A&M 59-46 on December 17 before beating Wisconsin Parkside the next day, 72-58.
• The usual suspects carried MSUB through the week, with Taryn Shelley averaging 16 points and nine rebounds over the two games. Shelley’s best performance came against West Texas A&M, when she had a 15-point, 12-rebound double-double, before scoring 17 points with six rebounds against Wisconsin Parkside. Shelley ranks eighth in the GNAC in both scoring (13.4 points per game) and rebounding (7.1 per game).
Cariann Kunkel averaged 13 points and seven rebounds, including a 15-point, 11-rebound double-double of her own against Wisconsin Parkside. Kunkel also dished out four assists. She ranks seventh in the GNAC with a .538 field goal percentage and is averaging 11.7 points and 5.4 rebounds per game this year.
• Guard Shayla Montague surged from outside against Wisconsin Parkside, making 6 of 10 three-point attempts in an 18-point, six rebound outing. Montague is making 1.6 three-pointers per game, sixth in the GNAC.
• The Yellowjackets lead the GNAC and rank 22nd in Division II with a 1.14 assist/turnover ratio. They rank second in the GNAC in free-throw percentage (.753).
• Montana State Billings received votes in the D2SIDA West Region poll for the fifth straight week.
• The Yellowjackets will host No. 7/5 Western Washington on Thursday and Simon Fraser on Saturday.

• Northwest Nazarene did not have a scheduled game last week. They had a 2-0 week immediately before the holiday break, earning a rivalry win over College of Idaho, 76-61 on December 14 before blowing out Lincoln (Calif.) 99-47 on December 17.
Teagan Thurman was the Nighthawks’ best player in those two games, averaging 19 points and 16 rebounds over the two games. She scored 17 points and 16 rebounds against C of I before recording 21 points with another 16 rebounds against Lincoln. She shot 54 percent from the field and 83 percent from the line for the week. Thurman ranks second in the GNAC with 9.5 rebounds per game and is averaging 11.7 points per game.
Nyalam Thabach averaged nine points and 8.5 rebounds, led by an 11-point, 10-rebound double-double against C of I. Thabach is sixth in the GNAC with 7.2 rebounds per game and eighth with a .528 field goal percentage.
• Guard Cami Knishka averaged eight assists, including a career-high 12 against Lincoln that is this year’s GNAC single-game high. Also setting a single-game mark for the conference against Lincoln was Ashlynn Sylve, who came away with six steals against the Oaklanders. Sylve ranks fourth in the conference with two steals per game and fifth with a .563 field goal percentage.
• Thurman (21 points), Kate Clark (13 points) and Analynn Bohner (10 points) all scored season-highs against Lincoln.
• Northwest Nazarene moved up a spot to No. 8 in the D2SIDA West Region rankings. They lead the conference by pulling down 42.5 rebounds per game.
• The Nighthawks will host Alaska on Thursday and No. 11/9 Alaska Anchorage on Saturday.

• Saint Martin’s did not play last week, as both of its scheduled games against Simon Fraser and Western Washington were postponed. The Saints last played on December 16 and 17, defeating Pacific (Ore.) 71-49 and Simpson (Calif.) 76-65.  
 • In an interesting quirk, the Saints had two wins in a 24-hour period and had a 24-point leading scorer in each game. Against Pacific, it was freshman Rian Clear, who topped 17 points for the third straight game in her breakout season. Clear also had eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks to help bury the Boxers, who were up a point at halftime but couldn’t stop the Saints’ surge in the second half.
• Against Simpson, it was Claire Dingus’ turn to lead the team with 24 points, while adding five assists, four rebounds and five steals. Dingus scored 15 points with seven rebounds against Pacific. She ranks second in the conference in scoring with 18.5 points per game and ranks third with 2.1 steals per game.   
Tierney DeDonatis maintained her season average of five assists per game this week, led by seven against Simpson. She leads the conference and ranks 24th in Division II with her five assists per game. DeDonatis also had five steals against Simpson.
 • Center Emily Nelson averaged 11.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game, paced by 15 points and seven rebounds against Simpson.
• Saint Martin’s leads the GNAC and is ninth in Division II with 17.4 assists per game. They rank second in the GNAC with a .433 field goal percentage.
• The Saints held steady at No. 6 in the D2SIDA West Region rankings.
• Saint Martin’s will host Alaska on Tuesday in a makeup game from December 4. Then, the Saints will travel to Monmouth for a Saturday showdown at Western Oregon.

• Seattle Pacific improved to 2-1 in GNAC play with a 67-45 road win over Alaska on Saturday. The Falcons’ other scheduled game against Alaska Anchorage was postponed.
• Senior forward Natalie Hoff just missed out on her third double-double of the season, tallying 18 points and nine rebounds. Hoff shot 7-for-11 from the field and also blocked two shots. She ranks seventh in the GNAC with 7.1 rebounds per game.
Ashley Alter had 13 points and six rebounds, including three offensive boards. Alter is averaging a team-high 11.7 points per game with 3.6 rebounds per game.
• Guard Anna Eddy was the third and final Falcon in double figures with 10 points on 4 of 6 shooting, including 2 of 4 on three-pointers. Eddy also contributed five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
• Seattle Pacific has the third-best scoring defense in the GNAC, holding opponents to 58.5 points per game. Opponents are shooting only 34 percent from the field against SPU on the year, second-best in the GNAC. The Falcons were especially suffocating against the Nanooks, holding UAF to 24 percent from the field and 14 percent from three-point range.
• Seattle Pacific will play at home twice this week. They face Simon Fraser on Thursday before a tough rivalry test against No. 7/5 Western Washington on Saturday.

• Simon Fraser notched its first conference win by defeating Western Oregon 84-71 on Saturday. Its other scheduled game against Saint Martin’s was postponed.
• The Jessica Wisotzki show was in full effect against the Wolves. The sophomore scored 27 points, hitting 9 of 15 from the field and 4 of 6 three-point attempts, while adding four rebounds and an assist. The performance earned Wisotzki her second GNAC Player of the Week award of the season.
• Wisotzki has four games with 26 or more points this season. All other GNAC players have combined for six such games. Wisotzki is averaging 17.5 points per game, ranking fourth in the conference.
• GNAC Preseason Player of the Year Jessica Jones appeared in her first game of the season and made her presence felt with 12 points, five assists, four rebounds and a steal in 25 minutes. Jones averaged 17 points and 4.3 rebounds per game in 2019-20 to earn her preseason accolade.
• Forward Claudia Hart scored 14 points and dished out three assists. Hart is averaging 9.8 points and 4.3 rebounds this season.
 • Forward Gemma Cutler grabbed three rebounds and made her only field goal attempt of the game. She leads the GNAC with a .633 field goal percentage (39-60). Emma Kramer ranks tenth with a .500 field goal percentage (41-82). Kramer is averaging 8.8 points per game.
• Simon Fraser tops the conference in scoring with 73.3 points per game. They make the second-most three-pointers per game in the GNAC (8.2) with the third-highest percentage (.324).
• At 5-6 overall and 1-1 in the GNAC, Simon Fraser will look to inch above .500 when they visit Seattle Pacific on Thursday and Montana State Billings on Saturday.

• Western Oregon, the GNAC’s only team to play twice last week, suffered a pair of defeats: 70-52 to No. 7/5 Western Washington on Thursday and 84-71 to Simon Fraser on Saturday.
Cali McClave carried the bulk of the Wolves’ offense against WWU, scoring 16 points on 5 of 12 shooting, which included a 3-for-6 performance from beyond the arc. McClave set season-highs in points, minutes and field goal attempts against the Vikings. She did not play against Simon Fraser.
Tresai McCarver was WOU’s top scorer for the week to appear in both games, averaging 11 points, four rebounds and five assists per contest. After scoring seven points and grabbing five rebounds against WWU, McCarver scored 15 points with eight assists against Simon Fraser. McCarver is second in the GNAC with 4.1 assists per game.  
Meadow Aragon continued to play her brand of physical basketball, hauling in a game-high eight rebounds and blocking two shots against the Vikings before recording 17 points, seven rebounds and a block against SFU. Aragon is averaging 12.7 points per game this season. She ranks fourth in the GNAC with 7.7 rebounds per game, and second in the GNAC and 12th in Division II with 2.4 blocks per game.
• Junior Kaelin Williams-Kennedy scored 11 points, shooting 4 of 7 from the field and 3 of 3 from the line. Williams-Kennedy was one point off her career-high since transferring to WOU from Pierce Community College.
• Western Oregon is third in the GNAC in rebounding (40.4 per game) and first in blocks (5.4 per game). Unfortunately for the Wolves, they aren’t holding onto the ball when they get it, recording 43 turnovers in their last two games.
• Western Oregon plays only once this week, hosting Saint Martin’s on Saturday to kick off a run of four straight home games for the Wolves.

• Western Washington maintained their perfect record, moving to 10-0 with a 70-52 victory over Western Oregon on Thursday. The Vikings’ other scheduled game against Saint Martin’s was postponed.
Emma Duff had nine points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocks. In the process, she passed 1,000 points for her career, becoming the 28th player to do so in Vikings program history. Duff ranks sixth in the GNAC in scoring (14 points per game) and fifth in rebounding (7.5 per game).
• Guard Mollie Olson was the Vikings’ leading scorer against WOU, sinking 4 of 5 from the field for 12 points. Center Carley Zaragoza continued her efficient season off the bench, shooting 5 of 8 from the field on her way to 11 points and five rebounds, three of which were offensive boards.
Dani Iwami tallied seven points and had a game-high five assists. Iwami went 1-for-4 from three-point range against Western Oregon, but is making 45.5 percent of her threes this season, the second-highest percentage in the conference.
• The Vikings shot 48 percent from the field while holding WOU to 30.5 percent. For the season, opponents are shooting only 31.5 percent against Western Washington, which ranks fifth in Division II. Nationally, the Vikings also rank third in overall scoring defense (49.7 points per game) and fifth in three-point defense (20.5 percent). Their own field goal percentage of 47.5 percent is the sixth-highest in Division II, and their scoring margin of +22.1 is seventh-highest.
• Western Washington rose one slot to No. 5 in the D2SIDA Media Poll and remained at No. 7 in the WBCA Coaches Poll. For the second straight week, the Vikings were No. 1 in the D2SIDA West Regional rankings. They are one of seven remaining unbeaten teams in Division II.
• The Vikings will host Western Oregon on Thursday before welcoming hot-starting Saint Martin’s on Saturday.

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