No.3 WWU takes to road, start and streak best in 41 years
Jan. 15, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Working on an unbeaten start and a two-season winning streak that are both the school's best in 41 years, the Western Washington University men's basketball team is on the road for two Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests this week, traveling to Western Oregon University on Thursday, Jan. 17 (7 p.m.) and to Saint Martin's University on Saturday, Jan. 19 (7 p.m.).
The games can be heard live on KBAI Radio (AM 930 - Bellingham, www.930kbai.com) with Doug Lange providing the play-by-play and Mark Scholten handling the color commentary. A video stream and live stats are available at www.wwuvikings.com.
The Vikings have won 20 straight games over the last two years, starting with six in its title run last season. The winning streak is the longest in the 12-year history of the conference and the second best in school history, trailing only a 23-game run from Feb. 20, 1971 to Feb. 15, 1972.
WWU's 14-game start without a loss also is second in school history, the record being 21-0 in 1971-72.
Last week, the Vikings won two GNAC home games, extending their winning streak at Sam Carver Gymnasium to 17 games, 7-0 this season. That is just three wins short of the school standard of 20 established during the 1970-71 and 1971-72 campaigns.
On Thursday, WWU posted a dramatic 86-85 victory over arch-rival Central Washington, winning on a layup with 2.2 seconds remaining. Two days later, the Vikings battled to a 61-49 win against Northwest Nazarene.
The Central game was televised live on ROOT Sports before a sellout crowd of 2,320.
Two weeks ago, WWU earned GNAC Team of the Week honors, posting road triumphs over No.7-rated and conference preseason favorite Seattle Pacific, 66-56, and Montana State Billings, 95-80. MSUB was the last team to beat WWU, winning 82-78 on March 2, 2012, in the GNAC tournament semifinals at Lacey.
Earlier this season, the Vikings swept two games in Hawaii, 84-78 at BYU-Hawaii and 95-80 at Chaminade, which defeated Division I Texas, 86-73, in its next game. They also edged previously unbeaten and No.14 Drury MO, 72-69, and crushed Central Oklahoma, 103-74, at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in mid-December.
The Vikings rank among the top 25 nationally in eight team categories. They are No.4 in scoring margin (20.3), No.6 in scoring offense (88.3), No.14 in rebound margin (8.9), No.16 in field-goal percentage (50.1), No.18 in blocked shots (4.9), No.21 in both assist-to-turnover ratio (1.31) and 3-point percentage defense (29.3) and No.22 in 3-point percentage defense (29.3).
WWU leads the GNAC in scoring margin, field-goal percentage and blocked shots (4.9), and is second in scoring offense.
Senior guard John Allen leads four Vikings averaging double figures in points per game at 16.9, which ranks third in the GNAC. He also is second on the team in assists at 4.0.
Allen was picked as the preseason GNAC Player of the Year and was a Division II Bulletin Super 16 selection. He has scored 1,134 career points, which ranks 16th among WWU leaders, and needs 55 more to move into 15th.
Senior forward Paul Jones, who scored a team-high 18 points against Central, including the winning basket, is averaging 15.1 points, seventh in the league, and 6.1 rebounds. He leads the GNAC in 3-point accuracy at 63.6 percent (14-of-22) and is second and 23rd nationally overall from the field at 60.6 percent (80-of-132).
Rounding out the starting lineup are junior point guard Richard Woodworth, who is averaging 10.1 points and a team-leading 4.1 assists. He is hitting 56.7 percent (17-of-30) from beyond the arc which is tied for second in the GNAC. Senior center Chris Mitchell is averaging 9.4 points and 6.4 rebounds, and junior forward Austin Bragg, a transfer from Clark CC, is averaging 8.8 points and a team-high 7.1 rebounds, sixth in the GNAC. He had 14 points, nine rebounds and five steals, all game highs, in the win over NNU.
Outstanding contributions off the bench have come from senior guard Rico Wilkins, who is averaging 10.0 points; junior guard Cameron Severson, who is averaging 8.4 points on 58.8 floor accuracy (47-of-80) and sophomore forward Anye Turner, a transfer from South Puget Sound CC, who is averaging 1.4 blocks, second in the GNAC, and making 64.3 percent (18-of-28) of his field goal attempts.
Severson has scored double-figure points in each of the last three games, totaling 42 points (14.0 avg.) on 56.3 percent (18-of-32) floor accuracy while grabbing 18 rebounds.
Western Oregon is 7-6 overall (5-2 at home) and 2-3 in conference play, losing three straight and four of its last five following a 6-2 start.
The Wolves, located in Monmouth, Ore., are led by 6-5 redshirt freshman Andy Avgi, who is averaging 17.6 points, second in the GNAC, on 61.3 percent field-goal shooting and 5.6 rebounds.
A solid transfer for second-year coach Brady Bergeson (25-16) is 6-1 junior guard Rodney Webster (10.5 ppg) from Fresno City College. Two freshmen making big contributions are 6-1 guard Devon Alexander (10.9 ppg, 28 steals lead league) and 6-6 forward Jordan Wiley (9.9 ppg)
WWU leads the series, 37-14, splitting a pair of home-and-home meetings over the last two seasons.
Saint Martin's is 5-8 overall (2-2 at home, Jan. 17 host Simon Fraser) and 1-4 in league play. The Saints, located in Lacey, have dropped six of their last eight games after winning three of their first five.
Coach Keith Cooper (10th year, 111-150) has two returning starters, 6-5 senior forward Roger O'Neill (14.9 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 2.6 apg, 969 career points) and 5-10 senior guard Brady Bomber (7.8 ppg, 4.5 apg), a graduate of Lynden High School. Another solid player back is 6-2 senior guard Eric Taylor (11.5 ppg).
Two top SMU transfers are 5-10 junior guard Evan Coulter (11.5 ppg) from Whatcom CC and 6-8 junior center Rei Jensen (10.3 ppg,7.4 rpg, 1.2 bpg) from Mount Hood CC.
WWU leads the series, 122-6, winning the last five meetings.
TOUGH ROAD TRIP: Last year, WWU swept its road trip to Saint Martin's and Western Oregon for the first time in five seasons. The Vikings split that junket the three previous campaigns and lost both games in 2007-08. During that five-year stretch, WWU has won three of five games at Saint Martin's and two of five contests at Western Oregon.
FIVE UNBEATENS LEFT: WWU is one of five remaining unbeaten Division II teams in the country. The others are Indianapolis, Kentucky Wesleyan, Metro State and West Liberty.
STREAKS: The Vikings are working on a GNAC-record 20-game winning streak over the last two seasons. The string is the second longest in school history with the school record of 23 being from Feb. 20, 1971 to Feb. 15, 1972 ... WWU also has won 17 straight home games (7-0 this season) with the school standard being 20 (1970-72) ... The Vikings' unbeaten start of 14-0 ranks second in school history, the school best being 21-0 in 1971-72.
THREE-DOT NOTES: Jones has shot 50 percent or better in 13 of 14 games this season and has not been below that figure from 3-point range in any contest that he has attempted a trey ... Jones and Allen have each had 11 double-figure point games and Woodworth nine ... Allen was named Most Valuable Player at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic and he and Woodworth were co-MVPs at the WWU Chuck Randall Thanksgiving Classic ... Also picked all-tournament at the SPHHC was Mitchell ... Allen and Jones have both earned GNAC POW recognition this season ... The Vikings received one first-place vote in the NABC Preseason Top 25 while being picked No.6 ... WWU was tabbed No.8 nationally in the Division II Bulletin preseason poll ... The Vikings will host Simon Fraser, the NCAA's first international member, in a nationally televised game on the CBS Sports Network (CBSSports.com) on March 2 (7 p.m.) ... WWU, which is the GNAC's defending regular season champion, was picked second behind Seattle Pacific in the league's preseason coaches' poll. WWU tied for the GNAC title in 2002 and 2005, won it outright in 2009 and took the regular-season crown in 2012.
ALLEN 1,000 AND BEYOND: John Allen became the 23rd Viking to reach the 1,000 plateau in career scoring, and just the fifth who did not play four seasons at WWU to accomplish that feat, on Dec. 8 vs. Quest BC. Allen currently ranks 16th at 1,134.
PRE-SEASON HONORS: John Allen was picked as the preseason GNAC Player of the Year and was a Division II Bulletin Super 16 pick. Besides Allen, Paul Jones and Richard Woodworth were named to the GNAC preseason all-conference team.
COACH DOMINGUEZ: Tony Dominguez (14-0) is in his first season as head coach at WWU after being an associate head coach the previous two seasons and an assistant 17 years overall, all at WWU. During that stretch, the Vikings posted a 317-165 (.658) record, made six regional appearances and won five conference championships. WWU took the NCAA II national crown in 2012, winning a school record 31 games, and reached the national semifinals in 2001. As an assistant, Dominguez was responsible for recruiting, scouting, coordinating scheduling, and budgeting. He played a major role in the recruiting classes of past 12 seasons. Those teams had a winning percentage of .711 (246-100).
TOUGH EXHIBITIONS: The Vikings accounted well for themselves in a pair of road exhibition games against NCAA I opponents. They lost 88-78 at Washington on Oct. 24 and fell 105-87 at Duke, currently ranked No.1 in the AP Poll, on Oct. 27. WWU trailed by just two points, 74-72, against Washington with 4:30 to play, and versus Duke was within 11, 69-58, with 13:58 to go and 14, 99-85, with 2:13 remaining. The 18-point margin was the closest any defending DII national championship team had gotten to Duke since the Blue Devils began inviting those squads for exhibitions six years ago. In the combined second half of the games with Washington and Duke, the Vikings trailed by just four points. John Allen and Chris Mitchell each scored a team-high 17 points against Washington and Paul Jones added 15. Jones led the Vikings versus Duke with 20 points, 14 in the second half. Allen had 17, Woodworth 13 and Rico Wilkins added 12 off the bench.
NATIONAL CHAMPS! WWU won the 2012 national championship, defeating Montevallo, Ala., 72-65, on March 24 in a nationally televised game at Northern Heights, Kentucky. The Vikings finished 31-5, the win total being the most in school history. They won their final six games following a loss to Montana State Billings in the GNAC Tournament semifinal after winning the league's regular-season crown. It was the first NCAA basketball title at any level for a school from the state of Washington since Puget Sound won the NCAA II championship in 1976. Brad Jackson, who was the unanimous DII National Coach of the Year, resigned in late August to become an assistant at University of Washington, ending a 27-year, 518-win coaching tenure at WWU.
WEST REGION A FORCE AT NCAA II ELITE EIGHT: A representative of the West Region has either won the national men's basketball title or been runner-up in each of the last four years. WWU won the title in 2012 after BYU Hawaii reached the final in 2011, and Cal Poly Pomona took the crown in 2010 after getting to the final in 2009.
RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected WWU games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) with Doug Lange handling the play-by-play and Mark Scholten providing the color commentary. They also can be heard on the internet at www.wwuvikings.com.
ON THE WEB: All Viking home games are being video streamed live and are available free at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/wwu.portal#. For up-to-date statistics, box scores of every game, records, stories, etc., see the WWU Athletic web page at www.wwuvikings.com. Up-to-date league standings and statistics can be found on the Great Northwest Athletic Conference web page at www.gnacsports.com.
PROBABLE WWU STARTERS & TOP RESERVES:
G Richard Woodworth, 6-3, **Jr., Bellevue, WA/Newport G John Allen, 6-1, **Sr., Brier, WA/Mountlake Terrace/WSU C Chris Mitchell, 6-9, ***Sr., Everson, WA/Nooksack Valley F Austin Bragg, 6-9, Jr., JC, Longview, WA/Mark Morris/Clark CC F Paul Jones, 6-4, *Sr., Kent, WA/Kent-Meridian/Whatcom CC
MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:
Jan. 10 - WWU 86, Central Washington 85 at Bellingham
Jones hit a layup with 2.2 seconds to go, lifting WWU to a dramatic 86-85 victory over archrival Central Washington at Carver Gym. The contest was played before a sellout crowd of 2,320 and was televised regionally on ROOT Sports. The Vikings, ranked No.5 nationally, stayed unbeaten at 13-0 overall and 4-0 in GNAC action, moving into sole possession of first place in the conference. They have won 19 straight games, setting a new GNAC record, and the start and streak are both the second best in WWU history. Jones had 18 points, and Severson and Wilkins each came off the bench to contribute 18 and 15 points, respectively. Mark McLaughlin had a game-high 26 points for Central, which fell to 8-5 overall and 2-3 in league play. The Wildcats, who fell despite shooting 57.6 percent (34-of-59) from the field, have lost four of their last seven games following a 5-1 start. The game featured 17 lead changes and seven ties. McLaughlin forced the final tie, hitting a fallaway jumper to even the score at 84-84 with 41 seconds left. After Wilkins missed a jump shot at the other end, Central's Derrick Davis was fouled in the battle for the rebound with 7.7 left, and made the second of two free throws to give the Wildcats a one-point lead. But following a time out, the Vikings inbounded the ball to Wilkins, who raced up the right sideline, then cut inside to the foul line, feeding Jones, who cut along the left baseline for the game winning layup. Davis then had a shot to win for the Wildcats, but missed from 14 feet as time expire. Allen had 11 points and Mitchell added 10 for WWU, which shot only 41.3 percent (31-of-75) from the field, but had a 43-25 advantage in rebounds, with Mitchell and Bragg each getting 10 and Jones eight. WWU, which is one of six unbeaten teams in NCAA II, extended its home winning streak to 16, also second in school history, and 6-0 this season. WWU has won eight of the last 10 series meetings, and 14 of last 15 encounters with Wildcats at Carver Gym.
Jan. 12 - WWU 61, Northwest Nazarene 49 at Bellingham
Bragg paced a balanced attack with 14 points, nine rebounds and five steals as WWU battled to a 61-49 victory over Northwest Nazarene in a GNAC contest at Carver Gym. The Vikings, ranked No.5 nationally, improved to 14-0 overall and remained alone atop the GNAC at 5-0. They have won a GNAC-record 20 straight games, and the start and streak are both the second best in WWU history. NNU fell to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in conference play with just its second loss in the last eight games. Center Kevin Rima led the Crusaders with 12 points and eight rebounds. The Vikings, who entered the game fifth among NCAA II schools in scoring at 90.4 points a game, extended their winning streak despite being held to a season-low 61 points. They did it with rugged defense, holding NNU to only 34.6 percent (18-of-52) field-goal shooting, including just 29.6 percent (8-of-27) in the second half. Woodworth and Jones each had 11 points for WWU, and Severson reached double figures off the bench for the third straight game with 10. The Vikings held a 29-27 advantage at halftime and never lost the lead in the second half, but were still up by just four, 45-41, with under nine minutes to go before going on an 11-2 run, capped by a Bragg dunk, to take a 56-43 lead with 3:08 left, the biggest margin of the contest. The triumph extends WWU's home winning streak to 17, the second-longest in school history. They have won all seven Carver Gym contests this season.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - West Liberty retains the top position in the new NABC/Division II rankings, but another shakeup in the rankings appears to be on the horizon after the one that took place this week.
The Hilltoppers' stay at the top is likely to end after this week following their 101-96 loss Monday at Charleston - only games through Sunday are factored into the rankings - so the loss won't affect West Liberty's spot in the poll until next week. However, setbacks by three other top 10 teams, including the third- and fourth-ranked teams a week ago, have created the first significant shuffling at the top end of the rankings for the first time this year.
The next four teams in the rankings are the four remaining undefeated teams in NCAA Division II following Monday's action, headed by Metropolitan State. Western Washington moved up two spots to third, as did Great Lakes Valley Conference foes Kentucky Wesleyan and Indianapolis to fourth and fifth, respectively, heading into their showdown Thursday in Owensboro, Ky.
Seattle Pacific, Cal Poly Pomona and Minnesota State all moved up as well to occupy the next three spots, while Alabama-Huntsville dropped six places after its loss on Saturday. Washburn jumped three places to No. 10 and Winston-Salem State vaulted six spots to No. 11 to begin the second ten. Bellarmine checks in at No. 12, followed by Adams State, Newman and Southern Indiana.
Indiana (Pa.) is ranked 16th this week, with Fort Lewis, Lincoln Memorial, Barton and Florida Southern. Saint Leo, who bumped off Florida Southern a week ago, is right behind the Moccasins at No. 21 and is one of three Sunshine State Conference schools among the last six in this week's Top 25 as Rollins is at No. 24 this week. The last four teams in this week's poll are Franklin Pierce, Assumption, Rollins and Dominican (N.Y.), making its first-ever appearance in the rankings as an NCAA Division II institution.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (Jan. 15, 2013 - Regular season poll #7)
Record Points Pvs 1. West Liberty, W.Va. (13 first place votes) 14-0 396 1 2. Metropolitan State, Colo. (1 first place vote) 13-0 382 2 3. Western Washington (2 first place votes) 14-0 373 5 4. Kentucky Wesleyan 12-0 351 6 5. Indianapolis, Ind. 12-0 332 7 6. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 11-2 306 8 7. Cal Poly Pomona 11-1 299 9 8. Minnesota State 12-1 282 11 9. Alabama-Huntsville 12-2 263 3 10. Washburn, Kan. 10-2 235 13 11. Winston-Salem State, N.C. 12-2 216 17 12. Bellarmine, Ky. 10-2 211 4 13. Adams State, Colo. 11-1 199 18 14. Newman, Kan. 13-1 187 19 15. Southern Indiana 10-2 143 10 16. Indiana, Pa. 11-2 131 21 17. Fort Lewis, Colo. 11-1 124 25 18. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 10-2 108 12 19. Barton, N.C. 10-2 94 23 20. Florida Southern 10-2 77 16 21. Saint Leo, Fla. 11-2 61 NR 22. Franklin Pierce, N.H. 10-3 59 14 23. Assumption, Mass. 11-2 56 NR 24. Rollins, Fla. 11-2 43 NR 25. Dominican (N.Y.) 13-2 38 NR
Dropped out: Cal State-San Bernardino (15), Tampa (20), King (22), Northwest Missouri State (24).
Others receiving votes: St. Cloud State (Minn.) 33, Wayne State (Mich.) 33, Saint Anselm (N.H.) 23, Winona State (Minn.) 23, East Stroudsburg (Pa.) 22, Minnesota State-Moorhead 12, Cal State-San Bernardino 11, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 10, North Alabama 10, King (Tenn.) 9, Carson-Newman (Tenn.) 6, Augusta State (Ga.) 5, Tampa (Fla.) 4, Grand Valley State (Mich.) 3, Michigan Tech 2, Northwest Missouri State 2, Harding (Ark.) 1, Shaw (N.C.) 1.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012-13 Men's Basketball Report Week 10 (Jan. 15, 2013)
Conference All W L W L H A N Western Washington 5 0 14 0 7-0 5-0 2-0 Alaska Fairbanks 5 1 10 4 7-1 2-0 1-3 Seattle Pacific 4 1 11 2 6-1 4-0 1-1 Alaska Anchorage 3 3 10 4 10-2 0-2 0-0 Central Washington 3 3 9 5 3-1 3-2 3-2 Northwest Nazarene 3 3 9 5 5-1 3-4 1-0 Western Oregon 2 3 7 6 5-2 1-4 1-0 Montana State Billings 1 4 8 8 5-3 1-5 2-0 Saint Martin's 1 4 5 8 2-2 1-2 2-4 Simon Fraser 0 5 5 8 4-3 1-4 0-1
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Western Oregon 56 at Alaska Anchorage 82; Saint Martin's 58 at Alaska Fairbanks 81; Central Washington 85 at Western Washington 86; Northwest Nazarene 85 at Simon Fraser 75. Saturday - Saint Martin's 71 at Alaska Anchorage 74; Western Oregon 56 at Alaska Fairbanks 89; Central Washington 89 at Simon Fraser 84; MSU Billings 56 at Seattle Pacific 81; Northwest Nazarene 49 at Western Washington 61.
THIS WEEK: Thursday - MSU Billings at Central Washington; Seattle Pacific at Northwest Nazarene; Simon Fraser at Saint Martin's; Western Washington at Western Oregon. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Alaska Fairbanks, 7:30 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Central Washington; MSU Billings at Northwest Nazarene; Western Washington at Saint Martin's; Simon Fraser at Western Oregon, 7:30 p.m.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: SPU (Nov. 9-10) - David Downs, SPU (MVP); Jobi Wall, SPU; Mark McLaughlin, CWU. UAA (Nov. 9-10) - Teancum Stafford, UAA (MVP); Kyle Fossman, UAA; Liam Gibcus, UAA; Stefan Tica, UAF. BYU Hawaii (Nov. 16-17) - David Downs, SPU; Mark McLaughlin, CWU; Patrick Simon, SPU. UAF (Nov. 16-17) - Pat Voeut, UAF (MVP); Stefan Tica, UAF; Sergej Pucar, UAF. Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 21-24) - Kyle Fossman, UAA; Teancum Stafford, UAA. Chico State (Nov. 23-24) - David Downs, SPU; Jobi Wall, SPU. Corban Capital City (Nov. 23-24) - Andy Avgi, WOU (MVP); Jordan Wiley, WOU. WWU Chuck Randall Classic (Nov. 23-24) - John Allen, WWU (Co-MVP); Richard Woodworth, WWU (Co-MVP). South Point Classic (Dec. 18-19 at Las Vegas) - John Allen, WWU (MVP); Chris Mitchell, WWU.
POLLS: NABC (Jan. 8) - 5. Western Washington, 8. Seattle Pacific. (Note: The first official NCAA West Regional poll, which will eventually determine the five at-large teams that will join the GNAC, CCAA and PacWest champions in the regionals will be released Wednesday, Feb. 20).
DOUBLE-DOUBLES: 3 - Jarrell Crayton, MSUB; Anto Olah, SFU; Sergej Pucar, UAF; Austin Bragg, WWU. 2 - David Gebru, SFU; Liam Gibcus, SFU; Rei Jensen, SMU; Paul Jones, WWU; Brandon Magee, CWU. 1 - 15 with 1.
NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Jan. 13): Team (Top 30): Scoring - 4. Central Washington 90.4; 6. Western Washington 88.3. Scoring Defense - 9. Seattle Pacific 59.5. Scoring Margin - 4. Western Washington 20.3; 11. Seattle Pacific 15.2. Field Goal PCT. - 16. Western Washington 50.1. Three-Point Field Goals - 8. Alaska Anchorage 9.9. Three-Point Percentage - 18. Saint Martin's 40.1; 20. Alaska Anchorage 40.0; 22. Western Washington 39.8; 26. Seattle Pacific 39.2; 27. Simon Fraser 39.2. Three-Point Field Goal Defense - 18. Western Oregon 28.8; 21. Western Washington 29.3. Free Throw PCT. - 22. Central Washington 75.1. Rebound Margin - 4. Seattle Pacific 12.2; 14. Western Washington 8.9; 16. Alaska Fairbanks 8.7. Assists - 6. Seattle Pacific 19.6; 8. Alaska Anchorage 19.2; 13. Alaska Fairbanks 18.3. Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3. Seattle Pacific 1.53; 8. Alaska Anchorage 1.42; 21. Western Washington 1.25; 25. Alaska Fairbanks 1.24. Blocks - 18. Western Washington 4.9. Fewest Turnovers - 20. Saint Martin's 11.8. Turnover Margin - 23. Central Washington 4.1. Fewest Fouls - 22. Saint Martin's 15.7; 29. Alaska Anchorage and Seattle Pacific 16.0. Individuals (Top 30): Scoring - 9. Mark McLaughlin, CWU, 23.1. Field Goal PCT. - 21. Andy Avgi, WOU, 61.3; 23. Paul Jones, WWU, 60.6. Three-Point Field Goals - 16. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 3.07. Three-Point PCT. - 9. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 46.7; 12. Elijah Matthews, SFU, 45.5; 15. Jobi Wall, SPU, 45.0. Free Throw PCT. - 6. Jonathan Hawkins, NNU, 92.6; 15. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 89.5; 21. Dominique Brinson, UAF, 88.9. Steals - 15. Devon Alexander, WOU, 2.85. Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3. Riley Stockton, SPU, 3.50; 5. Kalob Hatcher, MSUB, 3.42; 8. Brady Bomber, SMU, 3.22; 19. Jasen Little, UAA, 2.57; 25. Colton Lauers, UAA, 2.42.
GNAC RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Dominique Brinson, Alaska Fairbanks (G, 6-2, 180, Sr., Juneau, AK - College of the Redwoods) scored 44 points, including 28 in a 89-56 win over Western Oregon, as the Nanooks ran their win streak to six games with a pair of home victories. Brinson blistered the nets for a 61.5 percentage (16 of 26) converting on nine of 17 treys. He made six of eight from the arc against the Wolves while also adding seven rebounds and six assists in Saturday's victory.
HONORABLE MENTION: Paul Jones, Western Washington (F, 6-4, Sr., Kent, WA - Kent-Meridian), Kevin Rima, Northwest Nazarene (F, 6-7, So., Fairbanks, AK), Dom Williams, Central Washington (G, 5-10, Jr., University Place, WA - Curtis) and Eric Taylor, Saint Martin's (G, 6-2, Sr., Seattle, WA) ... Jones scored 29 points as the Vikings set a GNAC record for consecutive wins with their 19th and 20th victories in a row. He kept the streak alive Thursday scoring a layup with 2.2 seconds left - his 17th and 18th points of the game - in a 86-85 win against Central Washington before 2,320 fans at Carver Gym in the regionally televised game on ROOT Sports. Jones made 10 of 18 field goal attempts in the two games and also had 12 rebounds, five assists and two steals and was not charged with a turnover ... Rima led Northwest Nazarene with 31 points and 18 rebounds as the Crusaders earned a road split, defeating Simon Fraser before becoming the 20th consecutive victim of the Vikings. Rima made 11 of 16 shots (68.8 percent). He also had two steals and two blocks ... Williams scored 29 points in CWU's two road contests, connecting on 10 of 20 shots (5 of 12 from the arc). He also had seven assists and three of Central Washington's 14 steals ... Taylor led the Saints with 30 points, shooting 54.5 percent from the floor (12 of 22) and 75 percent from the arc (3 of 4). He had 17 points (6-10 FGs, 2-2 three-pointers) in Saturday's three-point loss at Anchorage.
AROUND THE GNAC: Alaska Fairbanks' six-game win streak is its longest since the 2004-05 season when it won nine in a row on the way to a 21-9 record and its third straight (and last) NCAA post-season playoff appearance ... While Paul Jones' winning hoop Thursday came on a layup, he's also been a major threat from the outside this winter, converting on a GNAC-leading 63.6 percent from the arc (14 of 22 including one of two against the Wildcats) ... Seattle Pacific has outrebounded all 13 of its opponents this season and ranks fourth nationally with a 12.2 rebounding advantage ... Western Washington scored 87 points on Duke in a 105-87 exhibition loss on Oct. 27. No one else had scored more than 77 against Duke prior to their 84-76 loss to North Carolina State Saturday.
Alaska Anchorage: Kyle Fossman scored 29 points and also had 10 rebounds and nine assists as the Seawolves earned a home sweep improving to 8-1 this winter at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex (10-2 overall at home). Fossman was seven of 19 from the arc. Still, he maintained his No. 4 all-time ranking in the GNAC in career three-point percentage. His career percentage is 46.7 (122 of 261). Colton Lauwers scored 24 points, making six of 13 treys. He also had a team-high four steals. Liam Gibcus had 17 rebounds, 12 at the offensive end.
Alaska Fairbanks: The Nanooks had huge advantages from the three-point line and on the backboard in their 23-and 33-point wins over Saint Martin's and Western Oregon Thursday and Saturday. UAF outscored their two opponents 72-18 from the arc, cashing in on 24 of 47 treys (51.1) compared to six of 28 (21.4) by their opponents. They also had a 93-59 rebound advantage. Ronnie Baker led the way on the backboards with 21 rebounds.
Central Washington: Mark McLaughlin netted 44 points in two contests, including 26 in Thursday's loss at Western Washington. McLaughlin made 14 of 27 shots (10 of 15 against WWU). He also converted on 13 of 14 free throws and had six rebounds. CWU shot 57.9 percent from the floor in the two contests and but were out-rebounded on the offensive glass 34-13.
Montana State Billings: Jarrell Crayton led the Yellowjackets with 18 points in their road loss at Seattle Pacific. MSUB was outshot 49.3 to 38.9 percent in the contest and outrebounded 45-28.
Northwest Nazarene: Kenny Jones had 30 points and seven assists in the Crusaders' two contests. He also led NNU in steals with six. Northwest Nazarene made just eight of 32 three-point shots, cashing in on only three of 14 against WWU. Saint Martin's: Roger O'Neill had 25 points and a team-best 13 rebounds in the Saints' two games in Alaska increasing his career point total to 969. Matt Dodson matched O'Neill's rebound total grabbing six of his 13 at the offensive end.
Seattle Pacific: The Falcons outrebounded Montana State Billings 45-28 in a 25-point win at Brougham Pavilion as they stayed one game back of Western Washington (and one-half back of second place Alaska Fairbanks) in the GNAC race. Jobi Wall had 12 of the rebounds. He also had 13 points (and six assists) to record his first double-double of the season. Andy Poling made eight of 16 shots and led WWU with 16 points.
Simon Fraser: Taylor Dunn scored 40 points and Anto Olah and Elijah Matthews each had 32 points in the Clan's two home losses. Olah also collected one-quarter (14 of 56) of his team's rebounds. SFU was outshot 55.0 percent (60 of 109) to 45.8 percent (55 of 120).
Western Oregon: Rodney Webster scored a team-high 25 points, shooting 55.0 percent (11 of 20) in losses at Anchorage and Fairbanks. Andy Avgi had 17 points and a team-best nine rebounds.
Western Washington: Cameron Severson had 28 points and 15 rebounds and Austin Bragg had 24 points, 19 rebounds and five steals in the Vikings' two victories. Bragg led WWU in the latter two categories; Severson posted his numbers coming off the bench. The Vikings outrebounded Central Washington 43-25 including 23-3 off the offensive glass, finishing with a 25-0 advantage in second-chance points.
GNAC FINISHES AT .726: GNAC teams completed the non-conference portion of their schedules with a .726 winning percentage (61-23), the second best mark in the 12-year history of the conference. Conference teams were 36-20 in Division II contests, including 25-14 in regional counters (16-12 against the PacWest, 2-1 against CCAA teams and 7-1 in games against schools that count as regional counters due to the NCAA "contiguous" state rule). Nine of the 10 conference teams posted winning records in the non-conference portion of their schedules. The 10th school - Saint Martin's - finished with a .500 non-conference record.
GNAC (2) vs. CCAA (1): UAF 1-0, SPU 1-1. CCAA (1) vs. GNAC (2): San Francisco State 1-0, Chico State 0-1, CSU Monterey Bay 0-1.
GNAC (16) vs. PacWest (12): SPU 4-0, WWU 2-0, CWU 3-1, SMU 2-1, NNU 2-2, WOU 1-2, MSUB 1-3, SFU 1-3. PacWest (12) vs. GNAC (16): Grand Canyon 2-0, Fresno Pacific 1-0, Dominican 1-0, Dixie State 1-0, Azusa Pacific 2-1, Chaminade 2-1, Hawaii Hilo 1-2, Academy of Art 1-3, BYU-Hawaii 1-3, Point Loma Nazarene 0-1, Hawaii Pacific 0-2, Notre Dame de Namur 0-3.
PREVIOUS RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Nov. 5-11: David Downs, Seattle Pacific (G, 6-2, Jr., Kirkland, WA - Bellevue Christian) was named the Most Valuable Player leading the Falcons to the team title in Sodexo Tip Off Classic at Brougham Pavilion. Downs scored 31 points and also had a team-high nine assists as SPU debuted with 20- and 19-point victories. Downs made eight of 14 shots, including four of eight treys. He also led SPU with three steals and had just two turnovers.
Week of Nov. 12-18: Pat Voeut, Alaska Fairbanks (G, 5-11, Jr., Bellingham, WA - Whatcom CC) scored 46 points and also had 19 assists, nine rebounds and five steals leading the Nanooks to the team title in the GCI Alaska Invitational at Fairbanks. Voeut, who was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player, made 17 of 26 shots, including three of six three-pointers.
Week of Nov. 19-25: Andy Avgi, Western Oregon (F, 6-5, Fr., Woodburn, OR) scored 52 points and also had 15 rebounds in earning MVP honors in the Capital City Classic. Avgi, who leads the GNAC in field goal percentage shooting 71.0 percent (44 of 62), made 20 of 25 shots (including 10 of 11 against Corban), including his only three-pointer. He also blocked two shots and had three steals.
Week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2: Devon Alexander, Western Oregon (G, 6-1, Fr., Fontana, CA) came off the bench to score 48 points, including 28 in a 118-113 triple overtime win over Central Washington Saturday as the Wolves extended their win streak to six games with a pair of home victories. Alexander scored nine of WOU's 13 points in the decisive third overtime period. He also had 13 steals, including a GNAC-record tying eight (for conference contests) in a 92-84 win against Northwest Nazarene Thursday. In the two contests, Alexander made 16 of 29 shots, including four of six three-pointers. He also converted on 12 of 13 foul shots, grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists.
Week of Dec. 3-9: Kenny Jones, Northwest Nazarene (G, 6-2, Sr., Los Angeles, CA) scored 43 points in wins over College of Idaho and New Hope Christian. Jones had 27 against the Coyotes, making nine of 16 shots as NNU extended its win streak over its county rivals to seven. He then netted 16 points and had four steals in a 20-point win over New Hope Christian.
Week of Dec. 10-16: Jarrell Crayton, MSU Billings (F, 6-7, Sr., Bellevue, NE - Boise State) had 14 points and 14 rebounds accounting for 23.0 and 36.8 percent of team totals in a 71-61 loss at Grand Canyon. Crayton made seven of 13 shots and also had a pair of steals. Crayton's rebound total was the most for a MSUB player since Robert Mayes grabbed 15 against SPU on Feb. 18.
Week of Dec. 17-23: John Allen, Western Washington (G, 190, Sr., Brier, WA - Mountlake Terrace) scored 47 points leading the Vikings to wins over 14th ranked Drury (72-69) and Central Oklahoma (103-74) in the South Point Holiday Hoop Classic in Las Vegas. Allen, who was named the tournament's MVP, made 14 of 28 shots, including nine of 17 three-point shots. He also had six assists and three steals. The two wins extended WWU's win streak to 15, matching the second longest in school and GNAC history.
Week of Dec. 24-30: Paul Jones, Western Washington (F, 6-4, Sr., Kent, WA - Whatcom CC) scored 26 points and also had six rebounds and a pair of blocks to lead Western Washington to a 98-62 win over Thompson Rivers Sunday as the Vikings extended their win streak to 16. That is the second longest win streak in GNAC history and is also the second longest in WWU school history. The Vikings have also won 15 straight home games, which equals the sixth longest streak in conference history.
Week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6: Pat Voeut, Alaska Fairbanks (G, 5-11, 170, Jr., Bellingham, WA - Whatcom CC) and Roger O'Neill, Saint Martin's (F, 6-5, Sr., Edmonds, WA - Meadowdale) ... Voeut scored 31 points in a pair of road wins as the Nanooks snapped a 17-game losing streak on opponents' home courts with victories at Central Washington (82-75) and Northwest Nazarene (74-55). Voeut converted on 12 of 20 shots and also led his team in assists (8) and steals (6). O'Neill tied his career high with 24 points in a 71-59 home win against Western Oregon Saturday. He scored SMU's first nine points of the game and finished the first half with 16 points as the Saints built a 39-23 lead at the break.
GNAC TEAMS OF THE WEEK: Aug. 27-Sept. 2 - Montana State Billings (Women's Soccer). Sept. 3-9 - Western Washington (Volleyball). Sept. 10-16 - Northwest Nazarene (Men's Soccer). Sept. 17-23 - Central Washington (Volleyball). Sept. 24-30 - Central Washington (Football). Oct. 1-7 - Western Oregon (Women's Soccer). Oct. 8-14 - Simon Fraser (Men's Soccer). Oct. 15-21 - Alaska Anchorage (Men's & Women's Cross Country). Oct. 22-28 - Western Oregon (Volleyball). Oct. 29-Nov. 4 - Western Washington (Women's Soccer). Nov. 5-11 - Simon Fraser (Women's Basketball). Nov. 12-18 - Alaska Fairbanks (Men's Basketball). Nov. 19-25 - Alaska Anchorage (Men's Basketball). Nov. 26-Dec. 2 - Seattle Pacific (Men's Basketball). Dec. 3-9 - Northwest Nazarene (Men's Basketball). Dec. 10-16 - Northwest Nazarene (Women's Basketball). Dec. 17-23 - Western Washington (Women's Basketball). Dec. 24-30 - MSU Billings (Women's Basketball). Dec. 31-Jan. 8 - Western Washington (Men's Basketball). Jan. 9-15: Alaska Fairbanks (Men's Basketball).
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