Target gets bigger on back of 20-0 and No.2-ranked WWU
Feb. 5, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - With the target on its back growing ever larger, Western Washington University is on the road this week to face Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday, Feb. 7 (7 p.m.), and arch-rival Central Washington University on Saturday, Feb.9 (7 p.m.), in Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball counters.
The Central game will be carried 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 webcast and live stats for both contests are available at www.wwuvikings.com.
The Vikings, the defending national champions, are against ranked No.2 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll. They are 20-0 overall, one game shy of the school's best start without a loss which was 21-0 in 1971-72, and are first in the GNAC standings at 11-0, two games ahead of second-place and No.6 nationally ranked Seattle Pacific.
WWU, which is looking for its first regular-season No.1 national ranking, extended its school record victory string to 26 Saturday, winning 83-76 in overtime against Seattle Pacific. The streak, also the longest in the 12-year history of the conference, began with six wins in its national title run last season.
The Vikings, who are 11-0 at home this season, also are working on a 21-game winning streak at Carver Gym. That ties the school record set from 1970 to 1972 and is four shy of the conference standard set by Humboldt State between Nov. 24, 2001 and Feb. 27, 2003.
WWU's first-half conference start of 9-0 was just the second in GNAC history and only the fourth for either half. The Vikings were undefeated during the second half of league play in 2001-02.
Fifteen of WWU's wins this season have been by 10 or more points, the other margins being seven in overtime, six, four, three and one.
The Vikings rank among the top 11 nationally in six team statistical categories. They are No.4 in both 3-point percentage defense (28.3) and field-goal percentage (50.9), No.5 in scoring margin (19.6), No.6 in scoring offense (87.7), No.8 in rebound margin (9.6), and No.11 in blocked shots (5.4).
WWU leads the GNAC in scoring offense, scoring margin, field-goal percentage, 3-point percentage defense, steals (8.9), offensive rebounds (13.4) and blocked shots.
Senior guard John Allen paces the Vikings in points per game at 17.4, second in the GNAC. He also paces the team in assists at 4.2, fourth in the conference, and his 45 treys (2.3) are fifth. He is shooting 81.1 percent (37-of-42) at the free-throw line.
Allen was picked as the preseason GNAC Player of the Year and was a Division II Bulletin Super 16 selection. He has scored 1,246 career points, which ranks 15th among WWU leaders, and needs five to move into 14th.
Allen had 38 points in a 91-81 win at Western Oregon on Jan. 17. It was his sixth career outing with 30 or more. He scored a career-high 43 points, the second-highest figure in school history and four off the school record, against Simon Fraser on Jan. 2, 2011.
Senior forward Paul Jones is averaging 14.9 points, eighth in the league, and 6.4 rebounds. He is second among GNAC field-goal shooters at 58.9 percent (116-197). Jones scored 18 points in an 86-85 win over Central Washington on Jan. 10, including the buzzer-beating winning layup.
Junior guard Richard Woodworth is averaging 9.9 points. He ranks among the GNAC top 10 in two categories, being first in 3-point accuracy (52.3 percent, 23-of-44) and fifth in free throw shooting (85.2 percent, 46-of-54).
Rounding out the first five, senior center Chris Mitchell is averaging 9.6 points and 6.4 rebounds, and junior forward Austin Bragg, a transfer from Clark CC, is averaging 9.9 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds, third in the GNAC. Bragg has had a GNAC and team-best five double-doubles in points and rebounds this season, including a 20-point, 11-rebound effort against Seattle Pacific on Feb. 2 that earned him GNAC co-Player of the Week honors.
Mitchell, who was recently named a first-team Capital One Academic All-District choice, is tied for the GNAC lead in blocked shots at 1.4 (27) and Bragg is fourth at 1.2 (24).
Outstanding contributions off the bench have come from senior guard Rico Wilkins, who is averaging 9.3 points on 39.2 percent 3-point shooting (29-of-74); junior guard Cameron Severson, who is averaging 8.1 points on 55.1 floor accuracy (59-of-107) and 4.8 rebounds; and sophomore forward Anye Turner, a transfer from South Puget Sound CC, who is fifth in the league in blocks at 1.2 (23) and is hitting 62.8 percent (27-of-43) of his field goals.
Wilkins and Severson have each scored double-figure points in nine games this season.
Northwest Nazarene is 9-10 overall (5-3 at home) and 3-8 in league play. The Crusaders have lost six straight since a 9-4 start.
Coach Dave Daniels (2nd year, 21-24; 8th overall, 101-119) was recently suspended by the GNAC for the WWU game for unsportsmanlike actions immediately following last Saturday's game at Alaska Anchorage. D aniels has a talented transfer in 6-2 senior forward Kenny Jones (15.1 ppg, 3.9 apg) from UCLA. A returning starter from last year's 12-14 team is 6-3 senior guard Jonathan Hawkins (12.3ppg, 3.6 apg).
WWU holds a 22-8 series advantage, winning 61-49 at Bellingham on Jan. 12. The Vikings have won 10 of the last 13 meetings with all three losses coming during the 2010-11 season.
Central Washington is 12-7 overall (Feb . 7 host Simon Fraser, 5-2 at home) and 6-5 in conference action. The Wildcats have won seven of their last 13 games following a 5-1 start.
Central is led by 6-6 junior guard Mark McLaughlin, a transfer from Tacoma CC, who tops the league in scoring with a 23.5. Last year, McLaughlin was the NWAACC Western Region MVP, averaging 27.5 points (scored 41 in one game) and 8.1 rebounds. Another talented transfer, also from Tacoma CC, is 5-10 junior guard Dom Williams (9.7 ppg).
The only starter back for from last year's 15-13 team for coach Greg Sparling (18th year, 308-191) is 6-1 senior guard Jordan Coby (10.8 ppg). Another top returnee is 6-4 senior forward Brandon Magee (9.4 rpg).
Back after a redshirt season is 6-3 junior guard Chris Holmes (9.8 ppg, 4.5 rpg), a transfer from Tacoma CC.
WWU trails 153-93 in its series with Central, but has won eight of the last 10 meetings, winning 86-85 on a buzzer beater at Bellingham on Jan. 10.
TWO UNBEATENS LEFT: WWU is one of two unbeaten Division II teams remaining in the country. The other is No.1-rated Metro State (19-0).
STREAKS AND START: The Vikings are working on a school and GNAC-record 26-game winning streak over the last two seasons. WWU also has won 21 straight home games (11-0 this season), tying the school standard set in 1970-72 and four shy of the conference standard ... The Vikings' unbeaten start of 20-0 ranks second in school history, the school best being 21-0 in 1971-72.
THREE-DOT NOTES: The Central Washington game was televised live regionally on ROOT Sports before a sellout crowd of 2,320 ... Allen and Jones have each had 16 double-figure point games this season, and Woodworth 13 ... 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, Bragg and Jones have each earned GNAC POW recognition this season, Allen twice.
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 (1 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.
LAST SEASON FOR VISSER: This season will be the last for Rob Visser, who is in his 19th year as an assistant for the Vikings. A member of the WWU Athletics Hall of Fame, Visser had 1,026 points, 725 rebounds (fourth) and 168 blocked shots (second) during his three-year career.
WWU GETS GNAC TEAM HONOR TWICE: The Vikings earned GNAC Team of the Week honors for Dec. 30-Jan. 5 and Jan. 27-Feb. 2, both while posting wins over Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific. MSUB was the last team to beat WWU, winning 82-78 on March 2, 2012, in the GNAC tournament semifinals at Lacey.
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 15th at 1,246, and is 16th in assists at 291. His six games with 30 points or more rank second in school history to Mike Franza, who had nine.
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 (20-0) 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, which has been ranked No.1 in the AP poll. 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 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:
MOST RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:
Jan. 31 - WWU 86, Montana State Billings 69 at Bellingham
Jones scored a team-high 19 points as WWU tied a 41-year-old school record with 20 consecutive home court victories, defeating Montana State Billings, 86-69, in a GNAC contest at Carver Gym. The Vikings, ranked No.2 nationally, improved to 19-0 overall and remained atop the GNAC at 10-0. The Vikings have won 25 straight games dating back to last season, a school and GNAC record. MSUB fell to 11-10 overall and 4-6 in the GNAC. Jerrell Crayton led the Yellowjackets with a game-high 24 points, and Sam Johnson added 19 points and 10 rebounds. The first half featured 11 lead changes and nine ties, with no lead greater than five points. WWU held a 42-39 advantage at halftime. The Vikings shot 55.2 percent (16-of-29) from the field in the first half, while MSUB shot 59.3 percent (16-of-27). WWU continued its torrid pace to open the second half while the Yellowjackets cooled off. After Crayton scored the first basket of the period, the Vikings ran off 14 straight points in less than four minutes, hitting 6-of-8 shots from the field in the burst to take a 56-41 lead with 16:17 to play. The lead never got under 11 after that, reaching 21 at 69-48 midway through the second half. WWU shot 61.3 percent (19-of-31) from the field in the second half and 58.3 percent (35-of-60) for the game, while MSUB cooled off to just 30.3 percent (10-of-33), including 0-of-13 on 3-pointers, and ended up at 43.3 percent (26-of-60) for the game. The home floor win streak ties the mark of 20 originally set from 1970 to 1972. WWU is 10-0 at Carver Gym this season. WWU now holds a 16-3 series advantage. The Yellowjackets were the last team to defeat WWU, 82-78, on March 2, 2012 in the GNAC tournament semifinals at Lacey.
Feb. 2 - WWU 83, Seattle Pacific 76 OT at Bellingham
WWU overcame a three-point deficit in the final seconds of regulation and went on to claim its 26th consecutive victory, an 83-76 triumph in overtime against Seattle Pacific in a GNAC contest between two top five nationally ranked teams before a sellout crowd of 2,490 at Carver Gym. The Vikings, ranked No.2 nationally, improved to 20-0, one shy of the WWU record for an unbeaten start set in 1971-72, and remain atop the GNAC at 11-0. Bragg had 20 points and 11 rebounds for the Vikings, who have won 26 straight games dating back to last season, a school and GNAC record. Severson came off the bench to contribute 16 points and 10 rebounds, including two free throws with 4:04 left in overtime that put WWU in front to stay, 74-72. It was the 21st consecutive home victory for the Vikings, breaking a school record set from 1970 to 1972. WWU is 11-0 at home this season. SPU, ranked No.4 nationally, fell to 16-3 overall and 9-2 in the GNAC. Both conference losses are against WWU, the only Falcon losses in their last 15 games. Guard David Downs led SPU with 20 points. Neither team had a lead of more than four from the midway point of the first half to the end of regulation. Riley Stockon gave SPU a 69-66 lead on a 3-pointer with 1:21to play, but WWU got a pair of free throws by Severson with 16 seconds left, got the ball back on a 5-second violation on the ensuing inbound pass, and took a 70-69 lead on two free throws by Wilkins with 13.5 seconds left. But the Falcons forced overtime, as Alex Weber-Brader grabbed an offensive rebound and was fouled with 3.5 seconds left. Weber-Brader missed the first free throw, the fifth straight SPU miss in the final minute, but made the second to tie the score at 70-70. The score was tied once more at 72-72, the 12th tie of the contest, but Severson's free throws and a basket by Wilkins gave WWU a 76-72 lead. A Downs 3-pointer briefly narrowed the gap to one, and the Falcons were still within two with under two minutes left, but Allen hit a 12-foot jumper with 1:19 left to push the margin to four, 80-76, and the Falcons didn't score again. Woodworth had 14 points for WWU, and Allen and Mitchell each had 12. Cory Hutsen had 14 points for SPU, Andy Poling added 13, and Patrick Simon had 11. Free throws were the difference, as WWU was 23-of-26 (88.5 percent) and SPU was 14-of-25 (56.0 percent). SPU opened the game by making 4-of-6 from 3-point range to grab an 18-9 lead after six minutes, the biggest of the game. But WWU rallied to tie the game at 24-24 with seven minutes left in the half, and eventually secured a 37-35 halftime lead.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Last week's top three teams in the NABC/Division II national rankings held their position in the new poll released today, with Cal Poly Pomona and Minnesota State moving up this week to complete the top five.
Metropolitan State won a pair of road games to remain at the top of the rankings for the third week in a row, while Western Washington survived an overtime tilt with last week's No. 4 team, Seattle Pacfiic, to stay unbeaten and at No. 2. West Liberty held firm in the third spot, while Cal Poly Pomona and Minnesota State both moved up as a result of the loss by Seattle Pacific, who checks in at No. 6. Two of Seattle Pacific's three losses this season have come to Western Washington.
The Falcons are followed by Indiana (Pa.), Florida Southern, Alabama-Huntsville and Southern Indiana to complete the top 10. Southern Indiana defeated then-No. 6 Bellarmine last week, dropping the Knights immediately behind the Screaming Eagles to start the second 10. Winona State, one of three Division II teams that reached the 20-win mark last week, checks in at No. 12 and is followed by East Stroudsburg, Adams State and Saint Anselm.
Lincoln Memorial fell six spots this week to No. 16 and is trailed by Washburn, Harding, Wayne State (Mich.) and Fort Lewis. The final five teams in this week's poll are Indianapolis, North Alabama - making its debut in the national rankings this season - Kentucky Wesleyan, Winston-Salem State and Dominican (N.Y.).
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (Feb. 5, 2013 - Regular season poll #10)
Record Points Pvs
Others receiving votes: Rollins (Fla.) 28, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 23, Barton (N.C.) 20, Saint Leo (Fla.) 16, Cal State-San Bernardino 11, Dixie State (Utah) 10, Grand Valley State (Mich.) 7, Newman (Kan.) 5, St. Cloud State (Minn.) 4, Gannon (Pa.) 3, Midwestern State (Texas) 3, Central Missouri 2, Augustana (S.D.) 2, Drury (Mo.) 2, Lenoir-Rhyne (N.C.) 1.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012-13 Men's Basketball Report Week 13 (Feb. 5, 2013)
Conference All W L W L H A N Western Washington 11 0 20 0 11-0 7-0 2-0 Seattle Pacific 9 2 16 3 8-1 7-1 1-1 Alaska Anchorage 7 4 14 5 12-2 2-3 0-0 Central Washington 6 5 12 7 5-2 4-3 3-2 Alaska Fairbanks 6 5 11 8 8-3 2-2 1-3 Montana State Billings 5 6 12 10 7-3 3-7 2-0 Western Oregon 4 6 9 9 7-3 1-6 1-0 Northwest Nazarene 3 8 9 10 5-3 3-7 1-0 Saint Martin's 2 8 6 12 3-3 1-5 2-4 Simon Fraser 1 10 6 13 5-6 1-6 0-1
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Central Washington 69 at Alaska Anchorage 98; Northwest Nazarene 60 at Alaska Fairbanks 61; MSU Billings 69 at Western Washington 86; Seattle Pacific 90 at Simon Fraser 56. Saturday - Northwest Nazarene 72 at Alaska Anchorage 73; Central Washington 71 at Alaska Fairbanks 54; MSU Billings 73 at Simon Fraser 69; Saint Martin's 68 at Western Oregon 72; Seattle Pacific 76 at Western Washington 83 (ot).
THIS WEEK: Thursday - Alaska Anchorage at Saint Martin's, 7:30 p.m.; Alaska Fairbanks at Western Oregon, 7:30 p.m.; Simon Fraser at Central Washington; Western Washington at Northwest Nazarene. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage at Western Oregon, 4:15 p.m.; Alaska Fairbanks at Saint Martin's, 7:30 p.m.; Western Washington at Central Washington; Seattle Pacific at MSU Billings; Simon Fraser at Northwest Nazarene.
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 (Feb. 5) - 2. Western Washington, 6. 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: 5 -Austin Bragg, WWU. 4 - Jarrell Crayton, MSUB; Anto Olah, SFU. 3 - Sergej Pucar, UAF; Paul Jones, WWU; Rei Jensen, SMU; Brandon Magee, CWU. 2 - David Gebru, SFU; Liam Gibcus, SFU; Chris Mitchell, WWU; Kevin Rima, NNU; Sam Johnson, MSUB; David Downs, SPU. 1 - 14 with 1.
NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Feb. 3): Team (Top 30): Scoring -6. Western Washington 87.7; 8. Central Washington 86.7. Scoring Defense - 18. Seattle Pacific 61.6. Scoring Margin - 5. Western Washington 19.6; 6. Seattle Pacific 14.8. Field Goal PCT. - 4. Western Washington 50.9; 27. Seattle Pacific 48.6. Three-Point Field Goals - 7. Alaska Anchorage 9.8; 20. Seattle Pacific 8.9. Three-Point Percentage - 6. Seattle Pacific 42.6; 13. Alaska Anchorage 40.9; 19. Western Washington 40.3. Three-Point Field Goal Defense - 4. Western Washington 28.3. Rebound Margin - 7. Seattle Pacific 9.9; 8. Western Washington 9.6. Assists - 7. Alaska Anchorage 19.2; 8. Seattle Pacific 18.9; 17. Alaska Fairbanks 17.0; 29. Western Washington 16.1. Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3. Seattle Pacific 1.55; 10. Alaska Anchorage 1.39. Blocks - 11. Western Washington 5.4; 27. Northwest Nazarene 4.5. Fewest Turnovers - 6. Saint Martin's 10.8. Turnover Margin - 26. Central Washington 3.8. Individuals (Top 30): Scoring - 7. Mark McLaughlin, CWU, 23.5. Field Goal PCT. - 29. Paul Jones, WWU, 58.9; 30. Andy Avgi, WOU, 58.8. Three-Point Field Goals - 13. Jobi Wall, SPU, 3.11; 20. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 2.89. Three-Point PCT. - 3. Jobi Wall, SPU, 49.6; 10. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 45.1; 11. Elijah Matthews, SFU, 44.7. Free Throw PCT. - 3. Jonathan Hawkins, NNU, 93.8; 20. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 87.5. Assists - 13. David Downs, SPU, 5.8; 26. Pat Voeut, UAF, 5.3. Steals - 19. Devon Alexander, WOU, 2.56. Assist/Turnover Ratio - 7. Kalob Hatcher, MSUB, 2.97; 9. Riley Stockton, SPU, 2.81; 13. Jordan Starr, CWU, 2.64; 17. Brady Bomber, SMU, 2.58; 28. David Downs, SPU, 2.36; 29 Jalen Little, UAA, 2.35.
GNAC RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kyle Fossman, Alaska Anchorage (G, 6-0, 180, Jr., Haines, AK) and Austin Bragg, Western Washington (F, 6-8, Jr., Longview, WA - Mark Morris) ... Fossman scored 41 points, leading the Seawolves to wins over Central Washington (98-69) and Northwest Nazarene (73-72). He made 14 of 28 shots, including seven of 13 three-pointers extending his string of games with a three-pointer to 27. He also had 12 rebounds, posting a career-high nine against the Wildcats, and a team-best four steals. Fossman currently ranks 37th in GNAC history in three-pointers made (134) and sixth in three-point percentage (46.0) ... Bragg, who leads the GNAC in double-doubles with five, scored 20 points and had 11 rebounds in Saturday's overtime win over Seattle Pacific. On Thursday, he blocked four shots to key WWU's defensive effort in a 86-69 win against MSU Billings. Over his last five games, he is shooting 68.4 percent from the field (26-38) and 89.5 percent from the foul line (17-19). He has had at least one block (13 total) and at least one steal (14 total) in seven consecutive games.
HONORABLE MENTION: Jarrell Crayton, MSU Billings (6-7, Sr., Bellevue, NE), Mark McLaughlin, Central Washington (G, 6-6, Jr., Bothell, WA - Inglemoor) and Rodney Webster, Western Oregon (G, 6-1, Jr., Hanford, CA) ... Crayton tallied 46 points shooting 67.9 percent (19 of 28) as the Yellowjackets earned a road split. He also had 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals. He currently ranks third in the GNAC in scoring (16.2) and fourth in both rebounds (7.4) and field goal percentage (56.2) ... McLaughlin scored 44 points, shooting 55.6 percent from the field (15-27) earning the Wildcats a split in Alaska ... Webster had a career-high 22 points in Western Oregon's 72-68 home win over Saint Martin's.
Alaska Anchorage: Teancum Stafford scored 35 points as the Seawolves won their fifth and sixth games in their last seven starts. In that stretch its only loss was a 75-62 decision at Western Washington. Stafford made 13 of 24 shots (7 of 11 from the arc). Kyle Fossman, played all but two minutes in UAA's two wins, posting his sixth 40-minute contest of the season against Northwest Nazarene.
Alaska Fairbanks: Ronnie Baker led the Nanooks with 20 points as it split two home games. Andrew Kelly came off the bench to grab 21 rebounds, 12 off the offense glass. Pat Voeut had 14 assists and Dominique Brinson had five steals.
Central Washington: Nate Walker scored 25 points and had 16 rebounds, nine off the offensive glass, as the Wildcats earned a split in Alaska. Walker made eight of 13 shots ... CWU's 29-point loss at Anchorage was its first double-digit loss of the season. Its previous defeats had been by 1 (at Western Washington), 2, 3 (in overtime), 5 (in triple overtime), 7 and 9.
Montana State Billings: In addition to Crayton, the Yellowjackets got 26 points from Omar McDade and 22 points from David Arnold in its two contests. Sam Johnson had 21 points and 13 rebounds.
Northwest Nazarene: Grayson Moore netted 29 points and also had 10 rebounds in one-point road losses at Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Anchorage. Kenny Jones had 26 points, 10 assists and five steals in the two contests. The Crusaders have lost six straight, including three by two or fewer points. Five of its 10 losses have been by single-digits.
Saint Martin's: Roger O'Neill scored 17 points and Brady Bomber had 14 in SMU's road loss at Western Oregon. Matt Dodson was also in double figures with 10 points.
Seattle Pacific: David Downs scored 39 points and Jobi Wall had 30 as the Falcons earned a split. Its overtime loss at Bellingham Saturday was its first true "road" loss of the season (i.e., on an opponents' home court). Its previous "away" loss this season was neutral-site loss at Chico to San Francisco State. Downs made seven of 12 three-pointers, but just six of 12 free throws. Wall was five of 10 from the arc.
Simon Fraser: Anto Olah had 29 points and 14 rebounds and Taylor Dunn had 28 points and nine rebounds in home losses to Seattle Pacific and MSU Billings. The Clan also got 24 points from Elijah Matthews.
Western Oregon: In addition to Webster's 22 points, Kolton Nelson netted 12 points in the Wolves' four-point home win against Saint Martin's. WOU shot 50 percent (26-52) and outrebounded the Saints 40-29 in the contest.
Western Washington: Chris Mitchell led a balanced attack with 30 points as the Vikings ran their school and GNAC-record win streaks to 26 games. Saturday's win against Seattle Pacific was its 21st consecutive home victory breaking their previous school record of 20 set between 1970 and 1972. Mitchell made 11 of 16 shots, converting on five of seven treys,
PERFECT STARTS: Western Washington is just the second team in GNAC history to complete the first half of its conference season unbeaten. Alaska Anchorage accomplished that feat in the 2007-08 season. Only two teams have gone 9-0 in the second half - the 2001-02 Western Washington team which didn't qualify for the playoffs and the 2007-08 Central Washington squad. WWU's women are also 9-0 at the midway point, the first time men's and women's teams at the same school have been unbeaten at the midway point of their conference schedules.
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.
Playoff Region Elite 8 Year Non-Conference Berths W-L W-L 2001-02 43-48 (.473) 2 2-2 2002-03 51-39 (.567) 2 1-2 2003-04 58-35 (.624) 3 5-2 1-1 2004-05 60-31 (.659) 3 3-3 2005-06 65-27 (.707) 5 5-4 1-1 2006-07 57-44 (.564) 3 1-3 2007-08 60-36 (.625) 3 4-2 1-1 2008-09 62-36 (.633) 3 1-3 2009-10 73-24 (.753) 3 1-3 2010-11 48-34 (.585) 3 2-3 2011-12 59-29 (.670) 4 6-3 3-0 2012-13 61-23 (.726) ??? ??? ??? Totals (10 years) 34 31-30 6-3
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.
Week of Jan. 7-13: 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.
Week of Jan. 14-20: John Allen, Western Washington (G, 6-1, 190, Sr., Brier, WA - Mountlake Terrace) scored 46 points including 38 in the Vikings' 91-81 road win at Western Oregon Thursday. His 38 points against the Wolves was most by a GNAC player in nearly two years. In the two games he made 17 of 29 field goals attempts, including 6 of 10 three-pointers. He also had 10 assists, eight rebounds and three steals.
Week of Jan. 21-27: Jobi Wall, Seattle Pacific (W, 6-6, 215, Jr., Arvada, CO) scored 43 points, acquiring all but four from the arc where he made 13 of 19 (68.4 percent). Wall had a career-high 28 points in Thursday's 78-72 overtime win over Western Oregon, connecting on eight of 10 treys, one shy of the school-record. He made five of nine three-pointers and had 15 points in Saturday's 82-54 rout of Saint Martin's.
2012-13 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. 6 - Western Washington (Men's Basketball). Jan. 7-13 - Alaska Fairbanks (Men's Basketball). Jan. 14-20 - Saint Martin's (Women's Basketball). Jan. 21-27 - Alaska Anchorage (Women's Basketball). Jan. 28-Feb. 3 - Western Washington (Men's Basketball).
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