MSUB Punches Postseason Ticket, Leads WBB Into The Week
Montana State Billings became the first team to punch its ticket to the GNAC Women's Basketball Championships this season after collecting wins over Western Oregon and Saint Martin's last week.
Montana State Billings became the first team to punch its ticket to the GNAC Women's Basketball Championships this season after collecting wins over Western Oregon and Saint Martin's last week.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024
by Thomas Lal

PORTLAND, Ore. – With one spot at the GNAC Championships spoken for, the attention turns to the remaining five slots as the conference’s women’s basketball teams begin to head down the stretch this week.

Montana State Billings knows that it will be in Ellensburg for the postseason in March, the only question that remains is if it will lead the tournament field as regular season champion. The Yellowjackets will play just one game at home this week while second-place Western Washington contests its final home game of the season on Saturday against Saint Martin’s after another strong year of home court advantage. The Alaska schools will also be home this week as they host Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene in a set of games that could have key implications for the final postseason spots down the line.


GNAC Women's Basketball Schedule - Feb. 15-17
  Thursday, Feb. 15
Saturday, Feb. 17
Host Opponent Time Opponent Time
UAA NNU 7:30 p.m. CWU 7:30 p.m.
UAF CWU 5:15 p.m. NNU 12:00 p.m.
#11 MSUB Bye -- SPU 4:15 p.m.
SFU SMU 7:00 p.m. WOU 7:00 p.m.
#16 WWU WOU 7:00 p.m. SMU 7:00 p.m.

 View the complete 2023-24 GNAC women’s basketball schedule online here.

2023-24 GNAC Women's Basketball Championships

The 2023-24 GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships will be held March 7-9 at Nicholson Pavilion on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Wash. The top-six teams in the final GNAC regular-season standings will advance to the single-elimination tournament. The winner of the event will earn the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA West Region Championships.

This Week's Storylines


LOCKED IN: Montana State Billings (21-4, 12-1 GNAC) has already secured a spot in the GNAC Championships and can now turn its attention to capturing the regular season title for the remainder of the conference slate. The Yellowjackets come into the week on a four-game winning streak after taking a 67-60 win at Western Oregon last Thursday and a 57-50 win over Saint Martin’s last Saturday. The No. 11 ‘Jackets will be back in action at home this week, facing Seattle Pacific for its only game of the week.

After holding opponents to a maximum of 60 points last week, MSUB is ahead of WWU and leads the GNAC in scoring defense (58.2 ppg) while maintaining its status as one of the top-scoring teams in the conference (72.6 ppg). The Yellowjackets also have two of the top-10 scoring players in the league in Kola Bad Bear (16.8 ppg) and Dyauni Boyce (14.6 ppg). Bad Bear also leads the team on the board with 6.2 rebounds per game while Boyce pulls in 5.8 per contest.

Seattle Pacific (10-13, 7-6) has made major progress up the GNAC standings after taking a pair of wins last week to make it four victories in a row. The Falcons now have sole possession of fourth in the standings and look to keep the momentum rolling as they come into their rematch with the Yellowjackets. Seattle Pacific continues to be led by Olivia Mayer with 15.5 points and 7.7 rebounds per game while freshman guard Layne Kearns had a big week for the Falcons last time out. 

Kearns opened her week with 11 points, six rebounds, a block and a steal last Thursday against the Saints. She then closed her week with career-highs in both points (16) and rebounds (12) against Western Oregon for her first career double-double. On the season, Kearns is averaging six points and 4.3 rebounds per game.

ONE MORE SCORE: Western Washington (19-4, 11-2) will play its final home game of the regular season as it hosts Saint Martin’s (5-14, 3-9) on Saturday. The No. 16 Vikings come into the week on the heels of a 91-84 overtime win over Northwest Nazarene last Thursday and a 69-69 victory at Central Washington last Saturday. The Saints enter the week looking to end a two-game skid and remain in the fight for a postseason place.

The Vikings are led by one of the best all-around players in the country in senior forward Brooke Walling who leads the team in scoring (16.7 ppg), field goal percentage (60.9%), rebounding (9.1 rpg), blocked shots (2 bpg). Senior guard Stephanie Peterson has also been a key factor in the Vikings’ success, leading the team with 2.83 steals per game to rank 20th in Division II while also ranking second in the GNAC and 28th in the division with a +2.31 assists to turnover ratio. On the season, Peterson leads the team with 4.2 assists per game and is second only to Walling playing 30.3 minutes per game on average.

Anjel Galbraith is the top-scoring player for the Saints with 10.2 points per game while Lauryn Morris leads the team on the boards with 7.1 rebounds per contest. Galbraith also leads SMU with 3.6 assists and 2.2 steals per game to rank top five in both categories among league leaders. As a team, Saint Martin’s ranks third in the conference with 3.5 blocked shots per game and holds opponents to just 62.9 points on average.

THE TIE FOR FIVE: Central Washington (15-10, 6-7) and Simon Fraser (14-12, 6-7) remain tied for fifth in the GNAC standings coming into the week after meeting in Ellensburg last Thursday. The Wildcats won that particular game 70-65 before falling 60-69 to Western Washington last Saturday while the Red Leafs capped off their week with an 83-64 victory at Northwest Nazarene. Central Washington will travel to face the Alaska schools this week while Simon Fraser faces Saint Martin’s at home.

The Wildcats continue to be led by the league’s leading scorer in sophomore guard Asher Cai (20.6 ppg) who also ranks fifth in Division II in scoring. In addition to her scoring touch, Cai leads the team and ranks third in the GNAC with nine rebounds per contest. Freshman forward Capri Sims has also been making an impact for the Wildcats early in her collegiate career and leads the team with a .543 field goal percentage. Along with her efficient shooting, there is nobody better than Sims in the conference when it comes to offensive rebounds as she pulls in 3.9 per contest.

Simon Fraser has been paced by two of the top-scoring players in the league who just so happen to share a last name. Sisters Jessica and Sophia Wisotzki rank third (17.5 ppg) and fifth (16.8 ppg) in the conference in scoring, respectively. Sophia, the younger Wisotzki sister, also leads the team with 2.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 2.6 offensive rebounds per game. Junior forward Gemma Cutler is the top rebounding player for the Red Leafs overall with 7.3 boards per game while also ranking second in the conference with a .568 field goal percentage.

BATTLING ON THE FINAL FRONTIER: Alaska Anchorage (14-7, 8-4) and Alaska (4-18, 2-10) will both be home this week and will host Northwest Nazarene (8-12, 5-8) as the Nighthawks continue to push for a spot in the GNAC Championships. Northwest Nazarene and Alaska both come into the week looking to snap losing streaks while Alaska Anchorage picked up its second win in a row, 78-75, over the Nanooks last Saturday.

The Seawolves have been in strong form following the early portion of their schedule and are among the league’s top defensive teams. Alaska Anchorage is second in the conference with a .390 field goal percentage defense and ranks third in the GNAC allowing just 61 points per game on average. The Seawolves also hold opponents to just 30.2% shooting from three-point range while outrebounding the opposition an average of five boards per contest. Senya Rabouin leads the team with 13 points per game while Tori Hollingshead heads up the effort on the boards with seven rebounds per contest.

The Nanooks are paced offensively by junior guard Destiny Reimers with 10.8 points per game. Reimers has been a steady presence in the starting lineup since returning from injury in January and has notched double-digit points in five of her seven games since coming back to the hardwood. Senior forward Emma Wass remains one of the top rebounding players in the nation, pulling in an average of 9.6 boards per game to rank 30th in Division II. Wass also leads the GNAC and ranks fifth in the division with 7.8 defensive rebounds per contest.

The Nighthawks will hope that junior guard/forward Madeline Gebers keeps her hot hand as the team heads north. Gebers leads the team and ranks 10th in the conference with 13.5 points per game and has shown that she can burn opponents from anywhere on the court. She leads the GNAC with a .467 three point percentage and a .909 free throw percentage while also shooting 46.2% from the field overall. Freshman guard/forward Kendall Clark leads the team on the boards coming into the week with 4.9 rebounds per game while also chipping in 12.4 points per contest to rank second on the team.

Player to Watch


Tori Hollingshead, Alaska Anchorage

Hollingshead has been one of the best all-around players in the conference season, doing the business on both sides of the court for the Seawolves. The Orem, Utah, native is second on the team and 12th in the GNAC with 12.6 points per game this season while shooting 55.3% from the field to rank fourth in the league. Along with her solid offensive performances, Hollingshead has proven to be a defensive force for UAA, ranking ninth in the GNAC with seven rebounds per game while also checking in at No. 2 in the conference with two blocks per contest which also sees her rank No. 18 in the nation.

Hollingshead has started most of her games from the bench this season, but averages 21.7 minutes per game as one of the most reliable players for UAA. She has notched double-digit points on 15 occasions this season, including three of her last four games, and has snagged at least one rebound in all 21 of the team’s contests. Hollingshead picked up her second double-double of the season in last week’s win over the Nanooks, finishing the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds to go along with two blocks, a steal and an assist.

GNAC in the National & Regional Rankings

The WBCA Division II rankings and the D2CSC rankings are released every Tuesday throughout the season and are the two leading polls nationally. The WBCA top-25 is voted on by a panel of coaches, while the D2CSC top-25 is a poll constructed by sports information directors at Division II schools.

Overall it was business as usual for the GNAC in this week’s polls. Both Montana State Billings and Western Washington remain in the top 25 of both national rankings with MSUB checking in at No. 11 in the WBCA poll and No. 17 in the D2CSC poll while WWU isn’t far behind at No. 16 in the coaches voting and is No. 22 in the media poll. The trend remains true in the D2CSC regional rankings where the ‘Jackets and Vikings stayed put at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Alaska Anchorage also moved up to No. 8 while Central Washington made a return to the top 10.

WBCA National Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Preseason 15. MSUB RV WWU -- --
Nov. 21 10. MSUB 21. WWU -- --
Nov. 28 15. WWU 17. MSUB -- --
Dec. 5 13. WWU 16. MSUB -- --
Dec. 12 13. WWU 16. MSUB -- --
Dec. 19 20. WWU 21. MSUB -- --
Jan. 2 14. WWU 17. MSUB -- --
Jan. 9 14. MSUB 21. WWU -- --
Jan. 16 12. MSUB 21. WWU -- --
Jan. 23 9. MSUB 17. WWU -- --
Jan. 30 13. WWU 17. MSUB -- --
Feb. 6 14. MSUB 19.WWU -- --
Feb. 13 11. MSUB 16. WWU -- --
D2CSC National Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4
Nov. 14 10. WWU 21. MSUB -- --
Nov. 21 14. MSUB 17. WWU -- --
Nov. 28 12. WWU 17. MSUB -- --
Dec. 4 9. WWU 15. MSUB --  --
Dec. 12 9. WWU 15. MSUB -- --
Dec. 18 15. MSUB 19. WWU -- --
Jan. 8 9. MSUB 16. WWU -- --
Jan. 17 8. MSUB 14. WWU -- --
Jan. 23 7. MSUB 15. WWU -- --
Jan. 30 11. WWU 19. MSUB -- --
Feb. 6 17. MSUB 23. WWU -- --
Feb. 13 17. MSUB 22. WWU -- --
D2CSC West Region Rankings
Poll Team 1 Team 2 Team 3 Team 4 Team 5
Nov. 14 1. WWU 3. MSUB 7. UAA 9. CWU --
Nov. 21 1. MSUB 2. WWU 7. UAA RV CWU --
Nov. 28 1. WWU 2. MSUB 8. CWU 9. SFU RV UAA
Dec. 4 1. WWU 2. MSUB 7. CWU RV SFU --
Dec. 11 1. WWU 2. MSUB 5. CWU -- --
Dec. 18 1. MSUB 2. WWU 6. CWU -- --
Jan. 8 1. MSUB 2. WWU 6. CWU -- --
Jan. 16 1. MSUB 2. WWU 7. CWU RV UAA --
Jan. 22 1. MSUB 2. WWU 6. UAA 7. CWU --
Jan. 29 1. WWU 3. MSUB 9.UAA 10. CWU --
Feb. 5 2. MSUB 3. WWU 9. UAA RV CWU --
Feb. 12 2. MSUB 3. WWU 8. UAA 10. CWU --

GNAC Women's Basketball in the NCAA Statistical Rankings

Through games on Feb. 11.

Team Rankings (Top-30)

Assist/Turnover Ratio: 4. MSUB, 1.27; 9. WOU, 1.23; 20, WWU, 1.09
Assists Per Game: 4. WWU, 18.6; 17. MSUB, 16.6; 26. WOU, 15.8
Bench Points Per Game: 14. UAA, 29.4
Blocks Per Game: 4. SFU, 5.7; 9. WWU, 5.1
Field Goal Percentage: 3. WWU, 47.2
Fouls Per Game: 23. MSUB, 14.4
Free Throw Percentage: 3. MSUB, 80.4; 11. CWU, 77.8
Free Throws Made Per Game: 19. MSUB, 15.60
Rebound Margin: 25. MSUB, 6.9
Defensive Rebounds Per Game: 16. UAF, 29.5
Offensive Rebounds Per Game: 20. UAA, 15.4
Scoring Margin: 15. MSUB, 14.5; 22. WWU, 13.4
Steals Per Game: 9. UAA, 13.9
Three Point Attempts Per Game: 29. CWU, 23.7
Three Point Percentage: 23. WWU, 36.6; 24. CWU, 34.6; 27. MSUB, 34.5
Three Pointers Per Game: 16. CWU, 8.2; 28. MSUB, 7.6; 30. WWU, 7.5
Turnover Margin: 20. UAA, 5.14
Turnovers Forced Per Game: 18. UAA, 22.43
Fewest Turnovers Per Game: 9. WOU, 12.9; 12. MSUB, 13.0
Winning Percentage: 20. MSUB, 84.0; 24. WWU, 82.6

Individual Rankings (Top-30)

Assist To Turnover Ratio: 2. Shayla Montague, MSUB, 3.31; 28. Stephanie Peterson, WWU, 2.31
Blocks: 4. Gemma Cutler,  SFU, 68; 16. Brooke Walling, WWU, 47; 24. Tori Hollingshead, UAA, 43
Blocks Per Game: 6. Gemma Cutler, SFU, 2.83; 18. Tori Hollingshead, UAA, 2.05; 19. Brooke Walling, WWU, 2.04
Double-Doubles: 10. Brooke Walling, WWU, 11
Field Goal Attempts: 1. Cali McClave, WOU, 425; 2. Sunny Huerta , CWU, 421; 3. Asher Cai, CWU, 413; 7. Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 367
Field Goal Percentage: 6. Brooke Walling, WWU, 60.9; 26. Tori Hollingshead, UAA, 54.7
Field Goals: 7. Asher Cai, CWU, 175; 8. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 168; 10. Brooke Walling, WWU, 162; 15. Cali McClave, WOU, 156; 21. Sophia Wisotzki, SFU, 152
Free Throw Attempts: 30. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 132
Free Throw Percentage: 20. Asher Cai, CWU, 87. ; 24. Dyauni Boyce, MSUB, 86.9
Free Throws: 20. Jessica Wisotzki, SFU, 111; 29. Kola Bad Bear, MSUB, 102
Minutes Per Game: 22. Anjel Galbraith, SMU, 36.37
Points Per Game: 5. Asher Cai, CWU, 20.6; 30. Sunny Huerta, CWU, 18.1
Rebounds: 22. Asher Cai, CWU, 224
Defensive Rebounds Per Game: 5. Emma Wass, UAF, 7.8; 13. Asher Cai, CWU, 7.4
Offensive Rebounds Per Game: 18. Capri Sims, CWU, 3.9; 24. Tori Hollingshead, UAA, 3.8
Rebounds Per Game: 30. Emma Wass, UAF, 9.6
Steals: 14. Stephanie Peterson, WWU, 65
Steals Per Game: 20. Stephanie Peterson, WWU, 2.83
Three Point Attempts: 8. Asher Cai, CWU, 182; 25. Grace Killins, SFU, 165
Three Point Percentage: 4. Madeline Gebers, NNU, 46.7; 23. Mason Oberg, WWU, 40.6
Three Pointers: 7. Asher Cai, CWU, 67
Three Pointers Per Game: 26. Asher Cai, CWU, 2.68

GNAC Women's Basketball Players of the Week
Date Offensive Player of the Week
Nov. 6 Asher Cai, Central Washington
Nov. 13 Brooke Walling, Western Washington
Nov. 20 Asher Cai, Central Washington
Nov. 27 Sunny Huerta, Central Washington
Dec. 4 Dyauni Boyce, Montana State Billings
Dec. 11 Kola Bad Bear, Montana State Billings
Dec. 20 Brooke Walling, Western Washington
Jan. 8 Senya Rabouin, Alaska Anchorage
Jan. 15 Riley Dykstra, Western Washington
Jan. 22 Tori Hollingshead, Alaska Anchorage
Jan. 29 Stephanie Peterson, Western Washington
Feb. 5 Olivia Mayer, Seattle Pacific
Feb. 12 Riley Dykstra, Western Washington

Player of the Week - Riley Dykstra, Western Washington

Second-career player of the week – second this season.

Dykstra put together another stellar all-around performance, and led WWU to a pair of victories headlined by an average of 23.5 points per game. The junior averaged 4.5 assists per game, 5.0 rebounds per game and committed just two turnovers in 73 minutes on the floor. Dykstra had the GNAC’s eighth 30-point game of the season in Saturday’s 69-60 win at Central Washington, connecting on 11 of 16 field goals and contributing four assists. That came after 17 points and eight rebounds in WWU’s 91-84, overtime win at Northwest Nazarene. Dykstra made all 13 of her free throws on the week and added a pair of steals to her stat line.

Also Nominated: Tori Hollingshead, UAA; Emma Wass, UAF; Asher Cai, CWU; Dyauni Boyce, MSUB; Shalyse Smith, SMU; Layne Kearns, SPU; Sophia Wisotzki, SFU.

2023-24 All-Tournament Selections

2023 CCA Canadian Tip-Off Classic
Nov. 3-5 at Langley, B.C. (Simon Fraser, Host)
Alaska: Ellen Silva, F
Central Washington: Asher Cai, G; Sunny Huerta, G
Simon Fraser: Jessica Wisotzki, G

D2CCAA Tipoff Classic at the Trailhead
Nov. 3-5 at Billings, Mont. (Montana State Billings, Host)
Montana State Billings: Kola Bad Bear, F; Dyauni Boyce, F

GNAC/PacWest Crossover
Nov. 10-11 at Honolulu, Hawaii (Hawaii Pacific, Host)
Alaska Anchorage: Jazzpher Evans, G (MVP); Tori Hollingshead, F
Montana State Billings: Chloe Williams, G; Kola Bad Bear, F

WWU Veterans Day Classic
Nov. 10-11 at Bellingham, Wash. (Western Washington, Host)
Seattle Pacific: Olivia Mayer, F
Western Washington: Brooke Walling, F (MVP); Aspen Garrison, F; Riley Dykstra, G

2023 Warrior Classic
Nov. 17-18 at Turlock, Calif. (Stanislaus State, Host)
Simon Fraser: Makenna Gardner, G (MVP); Jessica Wisotzki, G/F; Sophia Wisotzki, G

Lynda Goodrich Classic
Nov. 24-25 at Bellingham, Wash. (Western Washington, Host)
Central Washington: Sunny Huerta, G (MVP); Asher Cai, G
Western Washington: Brooke Walling, F; Stephanie Peterson, G; Riley Dykstra, G; Mason Oberg, G

2023 Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational
Nov. 24-25 at Fairbanks, Alaska (Alaska, Host)
Alaska: Ellen Silva, F; Emma Wass, F

WEST REGION SUCCESS: With non-conference action in the rearview mirror, the Great Northwest Athletic Conference solidified its place in the region with strong showings against regional competition from the CCAA and PacWest. Among the conference’s 10 teams, the GNAC went 18-11 against CCAA opponents and 14-12 against opponents from the PacWest. Western Washington and Simon Fraser combined for 14 of those 32 wins, with each team going 7-2.

Rank Team (1st Place Votes) 2022-23 GNAC Record (Finish) Points
1. Montana State Billings (5) 25-8 14-4 (2nd) 94
2. Western Washington (4) 24-4 16-2 (1st) 91
3. Alaska Anchorage (1) 18-10 10-8 (4th) 75
4. Simon Fraser 10-13 8-10 (6th) 68
5. Central Washington 21-9 12-6 (3rd) 66
6. Seattle Pacific 15-13 9-9 (5th) 51
7. Northwest Nazarene 11-15 7-11 (T7th) 42
8. Saint Martin's 10-16 6-12 (9th) 27
9. Western Oregon 13-13 7-11 (T7th) 19
10. Alaska 4-21 1-17 (10th) 17

 Points awarded on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.

Preseason Player of the Year: Brooke Walling, Western Washington

Name School Pos. Ht. Yr. Hometown
*!$ Brooke Walling Western Washington F 6-3 Sr. Vancouver, Wash.
*!# Jessica Wisotzki Simon Fraser G/F 6-2 Sr. Langley, B.C.
*! Sunny Huerta Central Washington G 5-4 Jr. Whittier, Calif
*!+ Vishe' Rabb Alaska Anchorage F 5-9 Sr. Springfield, Minn.
%$ Kortney Nelson Montana State Billings G 5-8 Sr. Scobey, Mont.
*% Anjel Galbraith Saint Martin's G 5-5 Sr. Vallejo, Calif.
*&@ Asher Cai Central Washington G 5-9 So. Colfax, Wash.
^$ Riley Dykstra Western Washington G 5-10 Jr. Everson, Wash.
*@ Gemma Cutler Simon Fraser F 6-2 Jr. North Vancouver, B.C.
* Jazzpher Evans Alaska Anchorage G 5-6 Jr. Shorewood, Ill.
Schuyler Berry Seattle Pacific C 6-3 Jr. Portland, Ore.
*% Cali McClave Western Oregon G 5-9 Jr. Corvallis, Ore.
@ Shayla Montague Montana State Billings G 5-11 Sr. Billings, Mont.
@ Dyauni Boyce Montana State Billings F 5-11