WWU No.1 seed at this week's third annual GNAC Tournament
March 5, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Having won a second straight regular-season league championship, this time with a conference record-setting 17-1 mark, Western Washington University is the No.1 seed at this week's third annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament being held at Lacey and Marcus Pavilion on the campus of host Saint Martin's University.
All contests involving WWU can be heard on KPUG Radio (1170 AM-1170kpug.com) with Doug Lange and Mark Scholten calling the action. Webcasts and live stats are also available at www.wwuvikings.com.
Saturday's championship game will be televised by ROOT Sports with Brad Adam handling the play by play and Bill Kreuger the color commentary.
The 26-1 Vikings, who won a NCAA Division II national title in 2012, had a 24-0 start this season and a 30-game winning streak over the last two years, both breaking records that had stood for 41 years.
Despite that, WWU has not won a GNAC tournament game. In 2011, it lost in the quarterfinals, 77-75 to Northwest Nazarene, and in 2012, following a first-round bye, fell in the semifinals, 82-78, to Montana State Billings.
Since that loss to MSUB, WWU has tasted defeat just one time in its last 33 games, that a 77-73 setback at Alaska Fairbanks on Feb. 21.
The Vikings will get a chance to avenge one of those losses.
On Friday (7:30 p.m.), WWU faces No.4 seed Alaska Fairbanks (16-11), which defeated No.5 Montana State Billings (16-13), 87-73, on Thursday. Earlier Friday (5:15 p.m.), No.2 Seattle Pacific (23-3) meets No.6 Central Washington (15-12), which advanced with a quarterfinal win over No.3 Alaska Anchorage (18-9), 79-78.
The two semifinal winners advance to Saturday's championship game, which tips off at 7:30 p.m.
The GNAC tourney champion earns an automatic berth in the NCAA II West Regional on March 15-16 and 18.
The third West Region rating was released Wednesday, March 6, and WWU was again ranked No.1 after defeating Simon Fraser, 67-56, in its only action last week. The Vikings already are assured of a regional tourney berth and they should earn the No.1 seed and host the West Regional no matter what takes place at the GNAC tourney.
WWU moved up one spot to No.2 in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, a position it has held six of the last seven weeks and the school's highest ever. The Vikings have been rated among the Top 10 in all 14 weekly polls this season, also a school best. Overall, they are working on a school-record 22 straight Top 25 weekly rankings.
WWU has started the same five players in every game this season, and all were named to the GNAC all-star team announced Monday.
Senior guard John Allen paces the Vikings in points per game at 17.5, second in the GNAC. Overall, he leads the team and ranks among the league's top 10 in three categories, being fourth in treys (2.2), fifth in free-throw shooting (85.5 percent, 59-of-69), and sixth in assists (3.9).
Allen was named the GNAC Player of the Year, receiving nine of 10 votes from the conference coaches. He has scored 1,371 career points, which ranks 10th among WWU leaders, is 15th in assists (313) and his free-throw percentage of 89.0 (218-of-245) is on school-record pace.
Allen, who has scored double-figure points 22 times this season with a high of 38, has had three 30-plus point games this season and seven career contests with 30 or more. The school record is nine. 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, a first-team all-conference pick, is averaging 14.7 points, eighth in the league, and 6.7 rebounds, 10th in the GNAC. He is second among conference field-goal shooters (30th nationally) at 58.3 percent (154-264), also scoring double figures in 22 games, and has made his last 13 free throws.
Jones scored 18 points in an 86-85 win over arch-rival Central Washington on Jan. 10, including the buzzer-beating winning layup, and versus the Wildcats on Feb. 9, finished with 16 points and a career-high 16 rebounds. He has had five double-doubles in points and rebounds this season.
Junior guard Richard Woodworth, who has reached double figures in scoring 15 times this season, is averaging 10.4 points. A second-team all-league choice, he ranks sixth among GNAC leaders in both 3-point accuracy (44.8 percent, 30-of-67) and free throw shooting (84.9 percent, 62-of-73).
Rounding out the starting five are senior center Chris Mitchell, who is averaging 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds, and junior forward Austin Bragg, a transfer from Clark CC, who is averaging 9.0 points and 7.3 rebounds, fourth in the GNAC. Both players received all-conference honorable mention.
Bragg has had a GNAC and team-best six double-doubles in points and rebounds this season, including a 20-point, 11-rebound effort against Seattle Pacific on Feb. 2. Mitchell, who was a first-team CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District honors and is a three-time GNAC academic all-star, is second among league leaders in blocked shots at 1.4 (39, has blocked 12 shots in last four games) and Bragg is fourth at 1.3 (36).
Outstanding contributions off the bench have come from senior guard Rico Wilkins, who is averaging 8.7 points on 40.4 percent 3-point shooting (38-of-94); junior guard Cameron Severson, who is averaging 7.8 points and 4.3 rebounds, shooting 57.5 percent from the floor (77-of-134) and 88.3 percent (53-of-60) at the line; and sophomore forward Anye Turner, a transfer from South Puget Sound CC, who is fifth among GNAC leaders in blocks at 1.2 (32) and is hitting 58.9 percent (33-of-56) of his field goals.
Severson has had 11 double-figure point games this season and Wilkins 10.
Alaska Fairbanks is 16-11 overall and placed fourth in the GNAC at 10-8.
Three starters return for UAF, which was 5-23 last season. They are 6-2 senior guard Dominique Brinson (12.5 ppg, 39.8 3-pt. pct., 83.1 FT Pct.), 6-7 junior forward Stefan Tica (8.6 ppg) and 6-11 junior center Sergej Pucar (11.2 ppg, 6.9rpg). Brinson and Pucar were both second-team league all-stars this season.
A key transfer for second-year coach Mick Durham (21-34, overall, 18 yrs., 267-247), who shared GNAC Coach of the Year honors, is 5-11 junior guard Pat Voeut (11.8 ppg, 5.3 apg, graduate of Squalicum HS), a first-team Northern Region all-star at Whatcom CC.
Three other newcomers making solid contributions are 6-3 junior guard Ronnie Baker (9.0 ppg) from Diablo Valley CC, 6-7 junior forward Andrew Kelly (6.9 ppg, 7.0 rpg) from Chandler-Gilbert CC, and 6-5 senior forward Zach Ngawaka (6.0 ppg) from BYU Hawaii.
WWU holds a 24-9 series advantage. The Vikings ran their series winning streak to 11 with a 79-66 victory at Bellingham on Jan. 26, then lost 77-73 at Fairbanks on Feb. 21.
Seattle Pacific, which was the GNAC preseason favorite in the coaches' poll (received eight of 10 first-place votes and outpointed second-place WWU, which got the other two first-place votes, 97-90), is 23-3 overall and 16-2 in league play.
Leading SPU are four returning starters, led by unanimous first-team GNAC all-star 6-2 junior guard David Downs (14.0 ppg, 5.0 apg) and 6-11 senior center Andy Poling (10.5 ppg). They both were first-team conference picks last year.
Rounding out that quartet are 6-6 senior forward Jobi Wall (14.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg), a second-team GNAC all-star this season, and 6-4 sophomore guard Riley Stockton (6.3 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 3.8 apg), who was named GNAC Defensive Player of the Year.
A top newcomer for coach Ryan Looney (4th year, 88-27; 9th overall, 183-82) is 6-8 senior forward Patrick Simon (13.3 ppg) from Washington State.
The Falcons have won seven straight games and 19 of their last 21, the only losses being to WWU, 66-56 at Seattle on Jan. 3 and 83-76 in overtime at Bellingham on Feb. 2.
WWU trails 76-49 in the series, but has won the last five meetings after losing 12 of the previous 13. The two teams met in the 2012 West Regional championship game in Bellingham, where WWU prevailed 56-50.
The Falcons have participated in the last eight NCAA tournaments, the longest current streak in Division II. They advanced to the national semifinals in 2000 and 2006.
Lacey, Wash. (Marcus Pavilion) - host Saint Martin's University
March 7 - Thursday #6 Central Washington (15-12) 79 vs. #3 Alaska Anchorage (18-9), 78 #5 Montana State Billings (16-14) 73 vs. #4 Alaska Fairbanks (16-11), 87 March 8 - Friday 3/6 winner vs. #2 Seattle Pacific (23-3), 5:15 p.m. 4/5 winner vs. #1 Western Washington (26-1), 7:30 p.m. March 9 - Saturday Championship game, 7:30 p.m. (televised live on ROOT Sports)
GNAC CHAMPS: The Vikings won the GNAC regular-season championship for the second straight year, finishing with a 17-1 record, the best in GNAC history. Last year, they placed first with a 16-2 mark. The GNAC title is the fifth overall for WWU, which also won conference titles in 2002, 2005 and 2009 when they weren't separated as to regular season and tournament. The Vikings were picked second behind Seattle Pacific in the league's preseason coaches' poll.
NATIONAL AND GNAC TEAM STAT RANKINGS: The Vikings rank among the top 10 nationally in five team statistical categories. They are No.3 in 3-point percentage defense (28.5), No.5 in scoring margin (17.4), No.6 in blocked shots (5.6), No.8 in field-goal percentage defense (50.2) and No.9 in scoring offense (85.2). WWU leads the GNAC in scoring margin, free-throw percentage (75.0), field-goal percentage, field-goal percentage defense (38.5), 3-point percentage defense, rebound margin, blocked shots and steals (8.6).
b>WWU EARNS TOP RANKING IN FIRST WEST REGION POLL: WWU received the top ranking for the second straight NCAA II West Regional poll released Feb. 28. The poll will eventually help determine, which five at-large teams join the GNAC, Pacific West Conference and California Collegiate Athletic Association champions in the West Regional playoffs.The regional begins Fri., March 15 at a site to be determined.
CARVER GYM STREAK: The Vikings are 14-0 at home this season and are working on a school record 24-game winning streak at Carver Gym, breaking the standard of 21 set from 1970 to 1972. The streak is one shy of the GNAC record of 25 set by Humboldt State from 2001 to 2003.
TOP 10 RANKING: WWU has been ranked among the Top 10 in all 14 weekly polls this season, breaking the school record of 10 set during the 2005-06 campaign. The Vikings moved up one spot to No.2, matching the school's highest ever and one they have held six of the last seven weeks. WWU also was ranked No.2 one time during the 2005-06 season. In all, the Vikings are working on a school-record string of 22 straight Top 25 weekly rankings.
20 WIN SEASONS: WWU reached 20 wins for the 15th time in school history in Tony Dominguez' first year as head coach. Brad Jackson accomplished that feat 12 times during his 27 years as coach and Chuck Randall did it twice in 18 seasons.
THREE-DOT NOTES: The Vikings have started the same five players in every game this season ... Twenty of WWU's wins this season have been by 10 or more points, the other margins being seven in overtime, six twice, four, three and one ... Allen was picked as the preseason GNAC Player of the Year and was a Division II Bulletin Super 16 selection ... 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 South Point was Mitchell ... Allen, Bragg, Jones and Woodworth have each earned GNAC Player of the Week recognition this season, Allen being named 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.
WWU EARNS 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.
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 10th at 1,371, and is 15th in assists at 313. He is on school-record pace in career free-throw percentage at 89.0 (218-of-245) and his seven games with 30 points or more rank second in school history to Mike Franza (1970-73), 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, the Vikings' Paul Jones and Richard Woodworth were named to the GNAC preseason all-conference team.
COACH DOMINGUEZ: Tony Dominguez (26-1, first rookie coach in school history to win 20 games and the first in NCAA II history to win his first 24), who shared GNAC Coach of the Year honors, 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).
FINAL SEASON FOR VISSER: This campaign 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.
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:
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 SUMMARY:
March 2 - WWU 67, Simon Fraser 56 at Bellingham
Jones had team-highs of 19 points and nine rebounds, helping WWU end its regular season with a 67-56 victory over Simon Fraser in a GNAC contest at Carver Gym televised nationally on the CBS Sports Network. The Vikings, ranked No.3 nationally and No.1 in the West Region, improved to 26-1 overall and wrapped up the outright GNAC regular-season title with a 17-1 mark, the best record in GNAC history. Allen had 11 points for WWU. Simon Fraser fell to 6-20 overall and 1-17 in the GNAC with its 10th straight loss despite the game-high 21 points of forward Taylor Dunn. Anto Olah added 12 points, and Ibrahim Appiah had eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds. The Vikings fell behind by four, 32-28, in the opening minute of the second half, but went on a run of eight straight points, with Jones and Mitchell each getting four, to take a 36-32 lead with 16:08 left. WWU led the rest of the way, but SFU was still within two, 54-52, on a steal and layin by Dunn with 3:36 to go. However, that proved to be the Clan's last field goal until the final five seconds, and Wilkins helped the Vikings pull away with six points in a span of less than two minutes. WWU is now 14-0 at home this season, and extended their school-record home winning streak to 24, one short of the GNAC record set by Humboldt State (2001-03). The Vikings shot 56.8 percent (25-of-44) from the field to just 32.8 percent (21-of-64) for the Clansmen, but SFU stayed in the contest by grabbing 18 offensive rebounds, eight of them by Appiah. The contest was the final regular-season home game for six seniors - Allen, Jones, Mitchell, Wilkins, Fisher and Severson.
NABC Division II Poll
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - With conference tournaments in full swing around the NCAA Division II world - and three automatic bids already accounted for - there was little change in the top one-third of the rankings as the next-to-last NABC/Division II poll was released today.
West Liberty, who earned one of the three automatic bids last week by winning the final West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, retains the top spot in the poll for the second week in succession. However, a loss Friday by No. 2-ranked Metropolitan State has moved two teams up a spot, as Western Washington takes over at No. 2 and Great Northwest Athletic Conference mate Seattle Pacific checks at three.
Metro State is followed by the same group of teams that made up positions five through nine last week - Cal Poly Pomona, Alabama-Huntsville, Minnesota State, Drury and Saint Anselm - while Sunshine State Conference co-champion Florida Southern holds the tenth spot in this week's rankings.
Lincoln Memorial moved up one spot to begin the second ten and is followed by Bellarmine, Indiana (Pa.), Winston-Salem State and Benedict, who earned the second automatic bid by winning the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Confernce tournament (unranked Bowie State captured the third bid in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association.).
Saint Leo fell five spots to 16th after a home loss to Eckerd, who moved into the rankings this week at No. 25. Coming in at No. 17 was Wisconsin-Parkside, with Southern Indiana, East Stroudsburg and Dominican (N.Y.) following the Rangers. The last five teams in this week's poll were Augustana, Fort Lewis, Winona State and two teams making their poll debuts this year in Michigan Tech and Eckerd.
The final NCAA Division II regional rankings will be released Wednesday afternoon, with the regional pairings slated to be announced Sunday night. The final NABC/Division II rankings for the 2012-13 season will be announced on Tuesday, March 12.
NABC/Division II Coaches Poll (March 5, 2013 - Regular season poll #14)
Record Points Pvs 1. West Liberty, W.Va. (13 first place votes) 30-1 397 1 2. Western Washington (3 first place votes) 26-1 386 3 3. Seattle Pacific, Wash. 23-3 357 4 4. Metropolitan State, Colo. 24-2 351 2 5. Cal Poly Pomona 24-2 344 5 6. Alabama-Huntsville 22-4 320 6 7. Minnesota State 24-4 306 7 8. Drury, Mo. 22-4 290 8 9. Saint Anselm, N.H. 22-4 272 9 10. Florida Southern 21-5 241 14 11. Lincoln Memorial, Tenn. 22-4 228 12 12. Bellarmine, Ky. 21-6 217 15 13. Indiana, Pa. 21-5 181 16 14. Winston-Salem State, N.C. 21-6 174 10 15. Benedict, S.C. 23-6 169 18 16. Saint Leo, Fla. 20-6 160 11 17. Wisconsin-Parkside 19-7 140 13 18. Southern Indiana 20-6 131 19 19. East Stroudsburg, Pa. 21-5 111 20 20. Dominican, N.Y. 22-5 81 23 21. Augustana, S.D. 21-7 61 25 22. Fort Lewis, Colo. 19-6 46 17 23. Winona State, Minn. 24-7 44 21 24. Michigan Tech 19-7 41 NR 25. Eckerd, Fla. 19-6 30 NR
Dropped out: Grand Canyon (22), Livingstone (24). Others receiving votes: Dixie State (Utah) 26, Adams State (Colo.) 20, Fairmont State (W.Va.) 16, North Carolina-Pembroke 15, Gannon (Pa.) 9, Grand Canyon (Ariz.) 9, Franklin Pierce (N.H.) 7, Barton (N.C.) 4, Kentucky Wesleyan 4, Newman (Kan.) 4, Wayne State (Mich.) 4, Findlay (Ohio) 1, Fort Hays State (Kan.) 1, Harding (Ark.) 1, Livingstone (N.C.) 1.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2012-13 Men's Basketball Report Week 17 (Mar. 5, 2013)
Conference All W L W L H A N Western Washington 17 1 26 1 14-0 10-1 2-0 Seattle Pacific 16 2 23 3 12-1 10-1 1-1 Alaska Anchorage 11 7 18 8 14-3 4-5 0-0 Alaska Fairbanks 10 8 15 11 10-3 4-5 1-3 Montana State Billings 9 9 16 13 10-5 4-8 2-0 Central Washington 8 10 14 12 7-4 4-6 3-2 Northwest Nazarene 7 11 13 13 9-4 3-9 1-0 Western Oregon 5 13 10 16 7-7 2-9 1-0 Saint Martin's 6 12 10 16 5-5 3-8 2-3 Simon Fraser 1 17 6 20 5-8 1-11 0-1
LAST WEEK: Thursday - Alaska Anchorage 56 at Seattle Pacific 59 Alaska Fairbanks 70 at MSU Billings 80; Western Oregon 87 at Central Washington 107; Saint Martin's 61 at Northwest Nazarene 65. Saturday - Alaska Anchorage 71 at MSU Billings 69; Alaska Fairbanks 65 at Seattle Pacific 73; Saint Martin's 82 at Central Washington 71; Western Oregon 90 at Northwest Nazarene 94; Simon Fraser 56 at Western Washington 67 (end-of-regular-season).
GNAC CHAMPIONSHIPS (Mar. 7-9 at Lacey): Thursday - #6 Central Washington (14-12) vs. #3 Alaska Anchorage (18-8), 5:15 p.m.; #5 Montana State Billings (16-13) vs. #4 Alaska Fairbanks (15-11). Friday - 3/6 winner vs. Seattle Pacific (23-3), 5:15 p.m.; 4/5 winner vs. Western Washington (26-1), 7:30 p.m. Saturday - Championship game, 7:30 p.m. (Root Sports).
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 (Mar. 5) - 2. Western Washington, 3. Seattle Pacific. NCAA West Region (Feb. 27) - 1. Western Washington (22-1); 2. Cal Poly Pomona (20-2); 3. Seattle Pacific (19-3); 4. Dixie State (17-6); 5. Grand Canyon (19-5); 6. Cal State San Bernardino (16-6); 7. Chaminade (15-5); 8. San Francisco State (15-9); 9. Alaska Anchorage (14-6); 10. Chico State (13-9). Note: Records are versus Division II opponents.
DOUBLE-DOUBLES (Through Mar. 3): 6 - Austin Bragg, WWU. 5 - Paul Jones, WWU; Anto Olah, SFU; Liam Gibcus, UAA; Kevin Rima, NNU. 4 - Jarrell Crayton, MSUB; Rei Jensen, SMU. 3 - Sergej Pucar, UAF; Brandon Magee, CWU. 2 - David Gebru, SFU; Chris Mitchell, WWU; Sam Johnson, MSUB; David Downs, SPU; Ibrahim Appiah, SFU; Riley Stockton, SPU. 1 - 17 with 1.
NATIONAL STATISTICS (Through Mar. 3): Team (Top 30): Scoring -8. Central Washington 85.2; 9. Western Washington 85.2. Scoring Defense - 21. Seattle Pacific 61.9. Scoring Margin - 5. Western Washington 17.4; 6. Seattle Pacific 14.3. Field Goal PCT. - 8. Western Washington 50.2. Field Goal PCT. Defense - 28. Western Washington 40.2. Three-Point Field Goals - 14. Alaska Anchorage 9.2. Three-Point Percentage - 7. Seattle Pacific 41.4; 16. Alaska Anchorage 40.3. Three-Point Field Goal Defense - 3. Western Washington 28.5. Free Throw PCT. - 22. Western Washington 75.2. Rebound Margin - 5. Seattle Pacific 10.6; 17. Western Washington 7.7. Assists - 10. Alaska Anchorage 17.7; 14. Seattle Pacific 17.2; 21. Alaska Fairbanks 16.2. Assist/Turnover Ratio - 4. Seattle Pacific 1.51; 9. Alaska Anchorage 1.36; 28. Saint Martin's 1.19. Blocks - 6. Western Washington 5.6; 18. Northwest Nazarene 4.7. Fewest Turnovers - 2. Saint Martin's 10.2; 18. Seattle Pacific 11.4. Fewest Fouls - 25. Seattle Pacific 15.5. Individuals (Top 30): Scoring - 11. Mark McLaughlin, CWU, 22.4. Field Goal PCT. - 30. Paul Jones, WWU, 58.3. Three-Point FGs - 29. Jobi Wall, SPU, 2.85. Three-Point PCT. - 2. Jobi Wall, SPU, 48.1; 14. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 44.1. Free Throw PCT. - 1. Jonathan Hawkins, NNU, 94.1. Assists - 21. Pat Voeut, UAF, 5.3; 27. David Downs, SPU, 5.1. Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3. Brady Bomber, SMU, 2.92; 4. Kalob Hatcher, MSUB, 2.83; 6. Riley Stockton, SPU, 2.80.
GNAC RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Riley Stockton, Seattle Pacific (G, 6-4, 200, So., Spokane, WA - Ferris) scored 19 points and also had 19 rebounds, 11 assists and just two turnovers and also played stellar defense as the Falcons swept Alaska Anchorage and Alaska Fairbanks. Stockton finished the regular-season as the conference leader in rebounds, averaging 7.6 per game. He also ended up seventh in assists (3.8) and third in assist/turnover ratio (2.8).
Quote: "(Riley's) the guy that leads us in minutes because its hard to ever take him off the floor. He's our best rebounder and he always guards the other team's best player. In our minds, he is the one that kind of holds it all together for us," SPU head Ryan Looney said.
"His the leading rebounder in the conference and when you look at it, it's simple. Riley is one of the most competitive and coachable kinds I've ever had. All it took was to tell him one time that we needed him to be very, very good in a couple areas for our team to be great, and those were defense and rebounding. He immediately bought into that."
HONORABLE MENTION: Roger O'Neill, Saint Martin's (F, 6-5, Sr., Edmonds) scored 36 points, including 23 in a 82-71 road win at Central Washington. It was the Saints' first win at Ellensburg since 2007 ... Mark McLaughlin, Central Washington (G, 6-6, Jr., Bothell, WA - Inglemoor) had 49 points, 29 in a 107-87 win over Western Oregon clinching the Wildcats a playoff berth ... Kenny Jones, Northwest Nazarene (G, 6-2, 195, Sr., Los Angeles, CA) scored 41 points on 15 of 26 shooting as the Crusaders closed their season with two wins ... Paul Jones, Western Washington (6-4, Sr., Kent, WA - Kent-Meridian) had 19 points, nine rebounds and four assists and made seven of nine field goal attempts in the Vikings' 67-56 win over Simon Fraser in a nationally televised game on CBS Sports Network.
BY THE INCH AND POUND: Riley Stockton is the shortest and lightest rebound leader in GNAC history. At 6-4, he is one inch shorter than Alaska Fairbanks' Joshua Rockett (6-5, 235) who won the 2007 rebound title and to Saint Martin's Blake Poole (6-5, 225) who won three rebound titles between 2009 and 2011. His listed weight is also five pounds less than Humboldt State's Fred Hooks (6-6, 205), the 2002 and 2003 rebound champion and the Lumberjacks' Kevin Johnson (6-6, 205), the 2005 and 2006 leader.
HISTORIC COMEBACK: Alaska Anchorage rallied from a 22-point first half deficit to beat Montana State Billings 71-69 on a three-pointer by Teancum Stafford with 6.7 seconds remaining. It was the largest ever first-half deficit that UAA has overcome to win in school history.
BEST IN THE GNAC: Western Washington is the winningest team in GNAC history. The Vikings' 17 conference wins this season betters the old record of 16 by Alaska Anchorage (2007-08), Central Washington (2010-11) and last year's Viking team. Western Washington set the record for most victories in all games last year with 31. The previous record was 29 by Alaska Anchorage during the 2007-08.
Alaska Anchorage: Teancum Stafford scored 36 points as the Seawolves split two contests. Stafford made five of 10 three-pointers including the game-winner with 6.7 seconds in a 71-69 win at MSU Billings. Just as noteworthy, Kyle Fossman didn't make a trey in three attempts ending his string of games with a three-pointer at 31.
Alaska Fairbanks: Pat Voeut had 30 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds in relatively close road losses at Montana State Billings and Seattle Pacific.
Central Washington: In addition to his 49 points, McLaughlin also had 18 rebounds in CWU's final two contests of the regular-season. His league-leading 22.4 scoring average is the eighth highest in GNAC history.
Montana State Billings: David Arnold scored 38 points and Omar McDade had 34 as the Yellowjackets split two games. The two players combined to make 13 of 20 three-pointers. Arnold converted on six of nine and McDade was seven of 11.
Northwest Nazarene: In addition to Kenny Jones (See Player of the Week notes), Kevin Rima (27 points), Jonathan Hawkins (24 points) and Keith Moilanen (20 points) averaged in double figures. Rima also had 24 rebounds.
Saint Martin's: Roger O'Neill finished his career in 36th place on the GNAC all-time career scoring list with 1,186 points. He'll likely slip to 37th Friday as Seattle Pacific center Andy Poling trails O'Neill, who ranks 14th in SMU history, by just one point.
Seattle Pacific: Jobi Wall scored 38 points, connecting on eight of 11 three-pointers and all eight of his foul shots in home wins over the two Alaska schools. David Downs had 21 points in the two contests.
Simon Fraser: Taylor Dunn had 21 points in the Clan's 11-point road loss at Western Washington Saturday. SFU, which got 13 rebounds from Ibrahim Appiah, led by two at halftime.
Western Oregon: Andy Avgi netted 49 points, shooting 61.5 percent from the floor (16-26) and 94.4 from the foul line (17-18) in two road losses.
Western Washington: The Vikings matched the second longest home win streak in GNAC history with their victory over Simon Fraser Saturday. WWU has won 24 straight at Sam Carver Gymnasium. Humboldt State set the record of 25 between Nov. 24, 2001 and Feb. 27, 2003 and also won 24 in a row between Nov. 15, 2003 and Jan. 13, 2005.
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 also finished the first half 9-0, the first time men's and women's teams at the same school had been unbeaten at the midway point of their conference schedules.
Team (Year) 1st 2nd Fin. Alaska Anchorage (2007-08) 9-0 16-2 Central Washington (2007-08) 9-0 15-3 Western Washington (2001-02) 9-0 15-3 Western Washington (2012-13) 9-0 17-1
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
*Home team +Neutral Site (Chico)
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.
Week of Jan. 28-Feb. 3: 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 an 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.
Week of Feb. 4-10: Richard Woodworth, Western Washington (G, 6-3, 185, Jr., Bellevue, WA - Newport) and Sergej Pucar, Alaska Fairbanks (C, 6-11, 265, Jr., Belgrade, Serbia) .... Woodworth scored 26 points as the Vikings ran their win streak to 28 games with a 92-82 win at Central Washington Saturday. In two games, Woodworth netted 45 points, hitting 16 of 26 shots, including four of nine three-pointers. He also had eight rebounds and team-highs of five assists and four steals .... Pucar led the Nanooks to a road sweep at Western Oregon (80-77) and Saint Martin's (68-67 in overtime) scoring 36 points. Pucar made 13 of 22 field goal attempts, including four of eight three-pointers. He also had nine rebounds, three assists and two steals as the Nanooks moved into a tie for third place in the GNAC standings with Alaska Anchorage going into a contest this coming Saturday against their arch-rivals in Anchorage.
Week of Feb. 11-17: David Arnold, MSU Billings (G, 6-2, 195, Sr., Highlands Ranch, CO) scored 46 points, including 35 in a 83-78 win over Central Washington Saturday. Arnold made seven of 11 three-pointers and all eight of his free throw attempts against the Wildcats. Including Thursday's 87-63 win over Northwest Nazarene, Arnold made 10 of 17 three-point shots. He also had seven rebounds and six assists in the two victories as the Yellowjackets moved into fifth place in the GNAC standings.
Week of Feb. 18-24: Sergej Pucar, Alaska Fairbanks (C, 6-11, Jr., Belgrade, Serbia) scored 42 points including a career-high 26 as the Nanooks ended Western Washington's 30-game win streak with a 77-73 victory Thursday at The Patty Center. Pucar shot 53.6 percent from the floor (15-28) and made six of 10 treys, as the Nanooks won a pair of games. Pucar also had 15 rebounds and blocked four shots.
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). Feb. 4-10 - Simon Fraser (Women's Basketball). Feb. 11-17 - Alaska Anchorage (Women's Indoor Track) and Western Washington (Men's Indoor Track). Feb. 18-24 - Alaska Fairbanks (Men's Basketball). Feb. 25-Mar. 3 - Montana State Billings (Women's Basketball).
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