Seawolves Stay Undefeated With GNAC Games On Horizon
Alaska Anchorage is one of two undefeated team in the GNAC heading into the conference schedule with a 5-0 record. The Seawolves took a pair of wins over regional rival Biola last week.
Alaska Anchorage is one of two undefeated team in the GNAC heading into the conference schedule with a 5-0 record. The Seawolves took a pair of wins over regional rival Biola last week.

Monday, November 28, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. –  Black Friday kicked off a quartet of two-day tournaments around the GNAC with Northwest Nazarene hosting the NNU Thanksgiving Classic, Western Washington hosting rounds of the Lynda Goodrich Classic and Alaka holding the Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational while Seattle Pacific and Central Washington traveled to Denver to compete in the Regis Thanksgiving Classic.

BALLING IN BELLINGHAM: Western Washington continued its strong opening of the season with a pair of wins to earn GNAC Team of the Week honors. The Vikings defeated Dominican (Calif.) 84-40 on Friday and followed that up with a 68-50 win over Bemidji State on Saturday. Junior forward Brooke Walling featured heavily for WWU with a double-double of 21 points and 17 rebounds on Saturday against the Beavers to go along with seven points and 11 rebounds from Friday.

The Vikings lead the GNAC and Division II with an average of 7.2 blocks per game and also lead the conference while ranked No. 3 in the division with a +15.5 rebound margin. Walling leads the GNAC and ranks ninth in Division II with 12 blocks individually while also ranking in the top 10 of the division in blocks per game, double-doubles, defensive rebounds and rebounds per game.

Saint Martin’s also took part in the Lynda Goodrich Classic, dropping its game against Bemidji State 67-46 on Friday before bouncing back with a 79-69 win over Dominican the next day. On Saturday, the Saints were lifted to victory by freshman guard Kiana Rios, who erupted for 31 points. She was one of three SMU players to score in the double-digits. Anjel Galbraith put up 21 and Lauryn Morris chipped in for 15.

NAMPA NOTABLES: Northwest Nazarene split its tournament at home with a 70-48 win over Concordia on Friday before narrowly falling 71-69 to Point Loma in overtime on Saturday. Senior guard Jordan Pinson led the way for the Nighthawks, averaging 14.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game while adding five assists and four steals over the tournament. Pinson led the team at the free-throw line, putting down nine of her 10 attempts.

Simon Fraser made its first trip of the season to Nampa for the NNU Thanksgiving Classic, dropping a pair of close games.The Red Leafs fell 68-65 to Point Loma on Friday and 90-86 to Concordia in overtime on Saturday. Despite the final scores, junior guard/forward Jessica Wisotzki had a strong week for the Red Leafs, averaging 29.5 points while shooting 47% from the field, 58% from beyond the three-point arc and knocking down 14 of her 19 attempts from the free-throw line.

Wisotzki leads the conference and ranks fourth in Division II with a 25.5 points per game average and a 70.6 three-point percentage. She’s not the only Red Leafs player to be dangerous from long range as SFU ranks No. 36 in the division with an average of 8.2 three-pointers per game.

SUNNY START FOR WILDCATS: Central Washington is 5-1 to start the season after splitting its weekend at the Regis Thanksgiving Classic. The Wildcats dropped their game against No. 21 Colorado Mines, 72-53, on Friday before bouncing back with a resounding 90-66 win over Regis the following day. The holiday weekend was highlighted by Valerie “Sunshine” Huerta, who put up a 23-point performance on Friday and a 22-point performance on Saturday.

Huerta’s 22.5 points per game average paced CWU as she shot 52% from the field and 50% from three-point range. Huerta’s 48 field goals made in the young season lead the GNAC and ranks fourth in Division II while her 21 points per game average is second in the conference and 19th in the division.

Central Washington has been an offensive powerhouse early on, leading the conference in scoring, field goal percentage, three-point percentage and three-pointers made. The Wildcats also rank third in the GNAC in assists and fourth in offensive rebounds.

SEATTLE SPLITS IN DENVER: Seattle Pacific also split its trip to the Regis Thanksgiving Classic with a 66-63 win over Regis on Friday before falling to Colorado Mines, 65-54, on Saturday. The Falcons were led to victory on Friday by senior guard/forward Ashley Alter who put up 29 points while shooting 61% from the field, 66% from three-point range and went a perfect 5 for 5 from the charity stripe. Alter also added six rebounds, four assists and two steals against the Rangers.

UP NORTH: Alaska Anchorage hosted regional rival Biola for a pair of games. The Seawolves came out on top in both hard-fought contests with a 77-68 win on Friday and an 86-79 victory the next day. Senior guard Vishe’ Rabb had a career week for UAA, averaging 23 points and 9.5 rebounds per game while shooting 46% from the field and 42% from three-point range. She also added eight assists and five steals across the two games. Rabb posted back-to-back career highs in scoring with 22 points on Friday and 24 points on Saturday en route to being named the GNAC Player of the Week.

The Seawolves lead the conference and rank second in Division II with a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio and also rank fifth in the division with 19 assists per game to lead the conference.

DUB NUMBER ONE: Alaska head coach Amy Donovan earned her first win for the Nanooks at the Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational in Fairbanks on Saturday. Alaska took its first win of the 2022-23 campaign with an 80-64 victory over Salem (W.Va) led by Emma McKenney’s 25-point night. The junior guard shot 58% from the field and 60% from three-point range while also adding five rebounds and an assist.

HIGH RANKING: Western Washington is ranked No. 13 in the WBCA Division II Coaches Poll that released on Nov. 15, followed by Alaska Anchorage at No. 15 who previously received votes. Central Washington also received votes in that poll.

Four GNAC programs feature in the top five of this week’s D2SIDA West Region Media Poll, led by Alaska Anchorage in first with five first-place votes. Western Washington ranks No. 2, Central Washington No. 4 and Montana State Billings is No. 5. Western Oregon also remains ranked No. 10 in the region.

CONFERENCE SCHEDULE INBOUND: The GNAC slate opens this week with Alaska hosting Montana State Billings on Monday. Western Washington will play a non-conference game at Point Loma on Tuesday before eight of the 10 GNAC programs hit the court for conference contests on Thursday with four more games on Saturday.