GNAC Teams Off and Running in First Week of the Season
Alaska guard Benissa Bulaya drives past a Holy Names defender in the Nanooks 94-48 win on Saturday. (Photo by Paul McCarthy)
Alaska guard Benissa Bulaya drives past a Holy Names defender in the Nanooks 94-48 win on Saturday. (Photo by Paul McCarthy)

Friday, November 21, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. – The 2014-15 women’s basketball season is only one week old and GNAC teams have already played in a combined 24 games and six different tournaments.

Seattle Pacific won the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic with an overtime win against Humboldt State and an impressive showing against Fresno Pacific.

Alaska dominated in its three games, winning by an average of 30.3 points while scoring 94.3 points per game.

Alaska Anchorage and Simon Fraser have also crushed its competition in two matches.

UAA has put up 92.5 points each contest while outscoring its opponents 185-92. SFU won two games against PacWest opponents on the road with GNAC pre-season Player of the Year Erin Chambers putting up 61 combined points.

Four GNAC teams went 1-1 in tournaments last weekend, including Central Washington, Saint Martin’s and Montana State Billings.

The 21st ranked team in the USA Today coaches poll, Western Washington, was surprised in the first round of the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic against a Humboldt State team that took SPU into overtime. The Vikings bounced back the next day however with an 88-42 romping of Fresno Pacific.

Through the first week of the season, seven GNAC teams are averaging at least 80 points per game while seven are giving up less than 65.5 per game.

The WWU Crossover Classic in Bellingham will highlight this weekend’s games with WWU and SPU participating. Alaska will travel to Utah for the Dixie State Thanksgiving Classic as well.

Simon Fraser will get its first true test of the year on Sunday hosting second-ranked Cal Poly Pomona with March implications possibly on the line.

The GCI Great Alaskan Shootout starts next Tuesday as host Alaska Anchorage will play Division I Yale at 8 p.m. The Seawolves will play either Long Beach State or Boise State on Thursday depending on the outcome of the first round.

Other Notes:

  • Three GNAC players are averaging at least 20 points per game. Courtney Johnson of CWU and Lexi Tubbs of NNU are just over 20 points per game while SFU’s Chambers is earning 30.5 each contest.
  • Four players were named to all-tournament teams this weekend. The Falcons Suzanna Ohlsen was named the MVP of the Sodexo Tip-Off Classic while SPU teammate Aubree Callen also made the team. WWU’s Taylor Peacocke was named this team as well. MSUB’s Alisha Breen was named to CSU-Pueblo Al Kaly Tournament team after averaging 18 points in the event.
  • Three GNAC teams were selected in the first ever Women's Basketball Division II Media Poll sponsored by D2SIDA on Tuesday. Simon Fraser was the top GNAC team, ranked third, while Seattle Pacific and Western Washington were ranked fifth and sixth respectively. Alaska Anchorage and Montana State Billings were in the "Others Considered" category. 
  • Leah Bonner of Alaska Anchorage was chosen as GNAC Player of the Week after scoring 25 points and pulling down 29 boards in two games this weekend. Sixteen of her 29 rebounds were on the offensive end.