Dec. 23, 2013
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Looking to get untracked following back-to-back losses, the nationally ranked Western Washington University men's basketball team opens the new year with its longest and perhaps most difficult road trip of the regular season.
The Vikings, 8-2 overall, 2-0 in conference play and ranked No. 15 in the latest National Association of Basketball Coaches/NCAA Division II Top 25 Poll, are at University of Alaska Anchorage on Thursday, Jan. 2 (7 p.m. AT) and at University of Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday, Jan. 4 (3 p.m. AT) for a pair of Great Northwest Athletic Conference contests.
The Vikings, seeking a third straight GNAC regular-season title, are working on a school-record home court winning streak of 35 and a string of 18 consecutive home victories over GNAC foes, two short of the conference standard set by WWU from 2004-07. Their last loss at Carver Gym was 83-73 to Western Oregon on Jan. 7, 2012.
WWU fell from the unbeaten ranks with two losses at the South Point Holiday Hoops Classic in Las Vegas. They were 99-91 to Cal State San Bernardino on Dec. 21and 86-69 to No.6-ranked Tarleton State TX on Dec. 22.
The Vikings had not dropped two straight since losing four in a row to end the 2010-11 campaign. They won a national championships two years ago (31-5) and reached the national semifinals last season (31-3).
WWU opened this season with wins in its first eight games, all at home. The biggest victory during that stretch was 72-69 over nationally No.1-ranked Metro State CO on Nov. 30.
WWU leads the nation in blocked shots per game at 6.9 and is fifth in 3-point field-goal percentage defense at 25.9, sixth in total blocks (69) and 10th in scoring offense at 92.0. The Vikings pace the GNAC in all four of those categories as well as rebound margin (7.0) and field-goal percentage defense (43.1).
Woodworth is averaging 17.5 points and 3.9 assists, scoring a career-high 30, 24 in the second half, against Cal State San Bernardino. He is shooting 51.3 percent (59-of-115) from the field, 41.2 percent (14-of-34) from 3-point range, and 82.7 percent (43-of-52) at the free-throw line. Woodworth needs 13 points to become the 24th player in school history to reach 1,000 for a career.
Bragg ranks 21st nationally in blocked shots, averaging 2.6 per game. He leads the GNAC in blocks and rebounds at 8.9 and is scoring at a 15.4 clip on 59.1 percent (55-of-93) floor accuracy.
Bragg earned GNAC Player of the Week honors for Nov. 24-30 with 20 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks in the Metro State victory.
Parker is shooting 45.2 percent (19-of-42) from 3-point range, Harris 35.7 percent (15-of-42) and Schreiber 34.3 percent (12-of-35).
Junior forward Anye Turner is averaging 8.7 points on 57.7 percent floor accuracy (30-of-52) and 8.3 rebounds. He grabbed 20 rebounds in a win over Thompson Rivers on Dec. 17, tying the most by a WWU player since 2003 and just five short of the school record.
Jan. 2 (Thu.) at Alaska Anchorage* (Anchorage, AK - 7 p.m.) Jan. 4 (Sat.) at Alaska Fairbanks* (Fairbanks, AK - 3 p.m.)
Jan. 11 (Sat.) SIMON FRASER*# (CARVER GYM, 7:30 p.m.) Jan. 15 (Wed.) SEATTLE PACIFIC*# (CARVER GYM, 7 p.m.) Jan. 18 (Sat.) MONTANA STATE BILLINGS*# (CARVER GYM, 7 p.m.)
*Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest #broadcast on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com &broadcast on KPUG Radio (1170 AM) and on internet at wwuvikings.com
SEASON HIGHLIGHTS TO DATE:
Nov. 19 - Tied school record with 19-point, second-half comeback in 80-74 win over BYU Hawaii.
Nov. 30 - Defeated nationally No.1-ranked Metro State, 72-69, in another program first.
Dec. 5 - Woodworth hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining as WWU began GNAC play with an 87-75 win over Western Oregon
Dec. 14 - School record set for combined points with 228 in 140-88 win over Multnomah. WWU fell one short of school record for most points in a game (141-52 vs. Northwest on Feb. 3, 1989, and just shy of mark for best field-goal percentage (66.7, 58-87), set on Jan. 3, 1989 (69.8 vs. Grace IN)
Dec. 17 - Turner grabbed 20 rebounds, most by a Viking player since 2003, and five shy of the school record in 99-74 victory over Thompson Rivers BC.
Dec. 21 - Woodworth scores career-high 30 points, 24 in the second half, in 99-91 loss to Cal State San Bernardino.
ALASKA ANCHORAGE: The Seawolves, rated No.23 nationally and picked second in the GNAC Coaches Poll, are 8-4 overall, 6-3 at home, and 1-0 in GNAC play. Riding a three-game winning streak, they lead the conference in 3-point makes (163) and free-throw shooting (81.1 percent) and are second in 3-point percentage (41.3) and scoring offense (91.1). UAA is led by three of the best 3-point shooters in the GNAC. They are 6-1 junior guard Travis Thompson (22.8 ppg, 45.9 3-pt. pct., 51-111, 92.4 FT Pct., 61-66), who was a redshirt last year after being a second-team GNAC all-star in 2011-12; 6-0 senior guard Kyle Fossman (17.2 ppg, 45.2 3-pt. pct., 47-104), a first-team GNAC all-star last season; and 6-5 junior forward Teancum Stafford (13.2 ppg, 8.1 rpg, 34.0 3-pt. pct., 18-53), a second-team GNAC all-star last year. A top transfer for coach Rusty Osborne (10th year, 183-97) is 6-2 sophomore guard Brian McGill (17.8 ppg, 7.3 apg) from Western Oregon. WWU holds a 14-11 series advantage, winning the last six meetings.
ALASKA FAIRBANKS: The Nanooks, who host Simon Fraser on Jan. 2, are 5-4 overall, 4-0 at home and 0-1 in GNAC action. Ranked second in the conference in scoring defense (68.4 avg.), they are led by two returning starters from last year's 16-12 team, 6-11 senior center Sergej Pucar (11.8 ppg, 4.9 rpg), a second-team conference all-star; and 6-3 senior guard Ronnie Baker (17.6 ppg, 4.6 rpg). Another top returnee is 6-7 senior forward Andrew Kelly (11.9 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 63.8 FG Pct., 44-69). A solid transfer for coach Mick Durham (3rd year, 26-39; 19th overall, 272-252) is 6-3 junior guard Joe Slocum (10.6 ppg, 4.8 apg, 2.1 spg) from City College of San Francisco. Last year, UAF snapped a school-record 30-game WWU winning streak with a 77-73 win at Fairbanks. That also ended an 11-game series victory string for the Vikings, who later beat UAF, 61-42, in the GNAC Tournament for a 25-9 series edge.
ALASKA SWEEPS: Since the GNAC was founded in 2001, 12 teams have posted sweeps on road trips to Anchorage and Fairbanks. A conference-best four of those were accomplished by WWU in 2002, 2009, 2011 and 2012.
THREE-DOT NOTES: Despite hitting a season-high 81.3 percent (26-of-32) of their free throws against Thompson Rivers BC on Dec. 17 and 78.1 percent (25-of-32) versus Tarleton State, the Vikings are still last in the conference in that category at 65.1 percent ... WWU was named the GNAC Team of the Week for Nov. 24-30 after prevailing 72-69 over top-ranked Metro State ... The Viking men's and women's basketball teams did not lose a home game during the 2013 calendar year, going 32-0 (men 20-0, women 12-0).
UNMATCHED SUCCESS: WWU won the NCAA II national championship in 2012 and reached the national semifinals in 2013, posting back-to-back 31-win seasons. The Vikings have captured the last two regular-season GNAC titles, winning 33 of 36 conference games during that span. Last season, they won their first 24 games overall and finished 17-1 in league play, the best record in GNAC history.
AFTER THIRD STRAIGHT WEST REGIONAL TITLE: WWU is looking to become the first team since 1994 to win three straight West Regional titles, Cal State Bakersfield completing a five-year string that season. The only other team to win three consecutive West Region championships was UC Riverside from 1973 to 1975.
PRE-SEASON ACCOLADES: Bragg and Woodworth were pre-season GNAC all-conference picks ... WWU was ranked ninth in The Sporting News Pre-season NCAA II Top 10, No.10 in the NABC Pre-season Top 25 and No.17 in the Division II Bulletin Pre-season Top 25 ... The Vikings were picked third in the GNAC Pre-season Coaches Poll, behind Seattle Pacific and Alaska Anchorage. They were not the pre-season choice in either of the last two seasons, but went on to win the national championship in 2012 and reach the national semifinals in 2013.
COACH DOMINGUEZ: Tony Dominguez (2nd year, 39-5, .886) directed the Vikings to a 31-3 record in 2012-13, GNAC regular-season and West Regional titles, and the NCAA II national semifinals. He became the first rookie coach in NCAA II history to win his first 24 games. Dominguez was a finalist for Clarence "Big House" Gaines National Coach of the Year honors and shared the GNAC Coach of the Year award. Previously, he was an associate head coach for two seasons and an assistant 17 years overall, all at WWU. During that stretch, the Vikings posted a 317-165 (.658) record, making six regional appearances and winning 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.
RADIO BROADCASTS: Selected WWU games are being broadcast this season on KBAI Radio (930 AM) and KPUG Radio (1170 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, ***Sr., Bellevue, WA/Newport G Robert Harris Jr., 5-10, Sr., TR, Kent, WA/Rainier Beach/ Eastern Arizona CC/Idaho C Austin Bragg, 6-9, *Sr., Longview, WA/Mark Morris/Clark CC F Anye Turner, 6-7, *Jr., Tumwater, WA/Black Hills/South Puget Sound CC F Joey Schreiber, 6-7, R-Fr., Renton, WA/Eastside Catholic
F Colby Mitchell, 6-7, Jr., JC, Chugiak, AK/Chugiak/Mount Hood CC F Jeffrey Parker, 6-6, R-Fr., Richmond, CA/Salesian G Alfred Davis, 6-0, *Sr., Tacoma, WA/Lincoln/Pierce CC F Robert Oliver, 6-4, *Jr., Federal Way, WA/Decatur G Dane Thorpe, 6-4, ***Sr., Bellingham, WA/Sehome C Jordan Mosby-Barker, 6-9, Jr., JC, Portland, OR/Parkrose/Clackamas CC G Mark Hopkins, 6-3, Jr., JC, San Antonio, TX/Randolph/Temple JC/ Schreiner *letters
RECENT GAME SUMMARIES:
Dec 21 - Cal State San Bernardino 99, WWU 91 at Las Vegas, NV
Despite getting a career and game-high 30 points from Woodworth, 24 in the second half, WWU suffered its first loss of the season, 99-91 to Cal State San Bernardino, at the 2013 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic held at The Arena at South Point. It was the first road game of the season for the Vikings. CSUSB improved to 6-1 with its sixth straight victory. The Coyotes were led by the 24 points of 6-foot-8 forward Andrew Young, a transfer from NCAA I Texas A&M. Trailing by 16 points, 79-63, with 9:13 left in the contest, WWU fought back to within four, 86-82, over the next six minutes as Woodworth scored 12 points in the 19-7 run. But that would be as close as the Vikings would get as CSUSB made 9-of-10 free throws in the final three minutes. A 13-5 run over nearly six minutes gave the Coyotes a 25-15 advantage with 9:17 left in the first half. WWU countered with a 15-5 burst, whittling the deficit to one, 40-39, with a minute to go. But CSUSB scored the next five points for a 45-39 halftime lead. The Vikings got 18 points each from Bragg and Turner. Bragg grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and Turner eight. Woodworth finished 9-of-15 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range, and made 9-of-12 free throws. Taylor Statham came off the bench to score 19 points for CSUSB, making 3-of-4 treys. The Coyotes got 17 points and eight rebounds from Jordan Burris and 12 points and a game-high nine assists from Lacy Haddock.
Dec. 22 - Tarleton State TX 86, WWU 69 at Las Vegas, NV
Dropping back-to-back games for the first time in three seasons, WWU lost 86-69 to Tarleton State in a contest between two nationally ranked teams at the 2013 South Point Holiday Hoops Classic held at The Arena at South Point. The No. 5 Vikings fell to 8-2. They had not suffered two straight losses since being beaten in four consecutive games to end the 2010-11 season. No.11 TSU remained unbeaten at 10-0, the best start in school history. The Texans were led by forward Davene Carter with a game-high 20 points on 9-of-12 field-goal shooting, guard Chuck Guy, who had 19 points, making all 13 of his free throws, and five assists; and reserve Emmanuel Andrews with 18 points. WWU got 17 points from Harris, Jr., who was 6-of-10 from the floor, including 3-of-6 on 3-pointers. Bragg had 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds for the Vikings and Woodworth contributed 11 points. TSU used a 10-3 run to take a 33-25 lead with 3:12 left in the first half. WWU cut the deficit to three at halftime by scoring the last five points of the period on a layup by Davis and a trey with three seconds to go by Parker. The Vikings tied the game at 49-all on a layup by Bragg with 14:32 left in the game. But WWU did not score another field goal for nearly 10 minutes and just three for the rest of the contest. A 17-8 run gave the Texans a 12-point advantage, 71-59, with 6:35 to go and WWU never got closer than eight after that. The Vikings had 20 turnovers and shot just 40.0 percent (20-of-50) from the field, hitting just 35.0 percent (7-of-20) in the second half.
Great Northwest Athletic Conference
2013-14 Men's Basketball Report Week 7 (Dec. 23, 2013)
Conference All W L W L H A N Seattle Pacific 2 0 11 2 5-1 0-1 6-0 Western Washington 2 0 8 2 8-0 0-0 0-2 Alaska Anchorage 1 0 8 4 6-3 0-0 2-1 Western Oregon 1 1 8 4 5-1 1-2 2-1 MSU Billings 1 1 5 5 4-2 0-2 1-1 Northwest Nazarene 1 1 3 7 2-4 1-2 0-1 Saint Martin's 1 1 4 6 2-0 2-3 0-2 Alaska Fairbanks 0 1 5 4 4-0 0-2 1-2 Simon Fraser 0 2 7 3 6-2 1-1 0-0 Central Washington 0 2 4 6 3-1 0-2 1-3
Region Records - Western Washington 5-1, Alaska Anchorage 4-1, Seattle Pacific 7-2, Western Oregon 4-4, Simon Fraser 3-3, Alaska Fairbanks 3-4, Central Washington 2-4, MSU Billings 2-4, Saint Martin's 2-6, Northwest Nazarene 1-5. Note: Region records include games against CCAA and PacWest teams and games versus non-West Region teams that count as regional contests under the NCAA "contiguous" state rule.
Final Exhibition Records (Versus D1): Western Washington 2-0 (0-0); Western Oregon 1-0 (0-0); Seattle Pacific 1-1 (0-1); Alaska Fairbanks 1-1 (1-1); Saint Martin's 1-2 (0-2); Northwest Nazarene 0-2 (0-1); Alaska Anchorage 0-2 (0-1); Central Washington 0-2 (0-2); Simon Fraser 0-2 (0-2); MSU Billings 0-3 (0-1). Totals 6-15 (0-10). Note: Exhibition records do not include Alumni games.
LAST WEEK: Monday - Northland International 70 at Alaska Anchorage 149; Quest 59 at Central Washington 111. Tuesday - Northland International 58 at Alaska Anchorage 111; Thompson Rivers 74 at Western Washington 99; Northwest Christian 54 at Seattle Pacific 91. Wednesday - Las Vegas Challenge (MSU Billings 85, Academy of Art 69); Northwest Christian 73 at Saint Martin's 82; Northwest Indian 89 at Western Oregon 110. Thursday - Las Vegas Challenge (Dixie State 83, MSU Billings 65); Northland International 66 at Alaska Fairbanks 84; Capilano 72 at Simon Fraser 100. Friday - South Dakota Mines 61 at Saint Martin's 66. Saturday - Las Vegas South Point Holiday Hoops Classic (Tarleton State 75, Central Washington 71; State San Bernardino 99, Western Washington 91); Montana State Billings 75 at Long Beach State 82 (exh); Walla Walla 53 at Seattle Pacific 70; South Dakota Mines 76 at Western Oregon 84. Sunday - Las Vegas South Point Holiday Hoops Classic (West Florida 77, Central Washington 73; Tarleton State 86, Western Washington 69).
NEXT WEEK: Thursday (Jan. 2) - Western Washington at Alaska Anchorage; Simon Fraser at Alaska Fairbanks; MSU Billings at Saint Martin's; Seattle Pacific at Western Oregon. Saturday (Jan. 4) - Simon Fraser at Alaska Anchorage; Western Washington at Alaska Fairbanks, 3 p.m.; Central Washington at Northwest Nazarene, 7:30 p.m.; MSU Billings at Western Oregon, 2 p.m.; Seattle Pacific at Saint Martin's, 7:30 p.m.
NCAA NATIONAL STATISTICS (Top 30; Through Dec. 22): Team: Scoring - 10. Western Washington 92.0; 17. Alaska Anchorage 91.1. Scoring Margin - 14. Alaska Anchorage 18.1. Field Goal PCT. - 24. Seattle Pacific 50.7. Three-Pointers - 3. Alaska Anchorage 13.6; 20. Simon Fraser 9.8; 26. Northwest Nazarene 9.4. Three-Point PCT. - 20. Seattle Pacific 41.5; 22. Alaska Anchorage 41.3. Three-Point PCT. Defense - 5. Western Washington 25.9. Free Throw PCT. - 2. Alaska Anchorage 81.1. Assists - 13. Alaska Anchorage 19.2; 29. Simon Fraser 17.6. Assist/TO Ratio - 1. Alaska Anchorage 2.17; 5. Seattle Pacific 1.76; 16. Alaska Fairbanks 1.61; 20. MSU Billings 1.56. Steals - 24. Western Washington 9.4; 28. Western Oregon 9.3. Blocked Shots - 1. Western Washington 6.9. Fewest Turnovers - 3. Seattle Pacific 8.5; 4. Alaska Anchorage 8.8; 13. MSU Billings 9.8; 14. Central Washington 9.9; 19. Alaska Fairbanks 10.2. Turnover Margin - 16. Central Washington 5.1; 22. Alaska Fairbanks 4.4; 23. Alaska Anchorage 4.4. Fewest Fouls - 12. Seattle Pacific 15.8; 13. Alaska Fairbanks 15.9; 14. Northwest Nazarene 16.0. Individuals: Scoring - 7. Mark McLaughlin, CWU, 24.0; 16. Travis Thompson, UAA, 22.8.. Field Goal PCT. - 4. JB Pillard, CWU, 68.6; 23. Marwan Sarhan, WOU, 63.4. Three-Point FGs - 4. Travis Thompson, UAA, 4.25; 7. Kyle Fossman, UAA, 3.92. Three-Point PCT. - 8. David Downs, SPU, 57.1. Free Throw PCT.. - 12. Travis Thompson, UAA, 92.4. Assists - 6. Brian McGill, UAA, 7.3; 14. Kalob Hatcher, MSUB, 6.5. Blocked Shots - 21. Austin Bragg, WWU, 2.60. Assist/TO Ratio - 19. Riley Stockton, SPU, 3.67; 24. Brian McGill, UAA, 3.48; 27. Sango Niang, SFU, 3.31.
DOUBLE DOUBLES (Through Dec. 22): 4 - Austin Bragg, WWU. 2 - Kevin Davis, CWU; Austin Hudson, MSUB; JB Pillard, CWU; Kevin Rima, NNU; Brian McGill, UAA. 1 - Eight with.
ALL-TOURNAMENT: CCA Division II Tipoff Classic (Nov. 8-10 at Anaheim) - *David Downs, SPU (MVP). *MVP was selected, but no all-tournament team chosen. UAA AT&T Jamboree (Nov. 15-16) - Travis Thompson, UAA (MVP); Kyle Fossman, UAA; Ronnie Baker, UAF; Brian McGill, UAA; Teancum Stanford, UAA. SPU Sodexo Tipoff (Nov. 15-16) - David Downs, SPU; Patrick Simon, SPU; Mark McLaughlin, CWU. UAF GCI Alaska Invitational (Nov. 21-23) - Ronnie Baker, UAF; Andrew Kelly, UAF. CWU GNAC/Pac West Challenge (Nov. 22-23) - David Downs, SPU (MVP), Mark McLaughlin, CWU; Patrick Simon, SPU. Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 27-30) - Travis Thompson, UAA. WOU Capital City Classic (Nov. 27-30) - Rodney Webster, WOU (MVP); Marwan Sarhan, WOU. Mac Martin Chico State (Nov. 29-30) - Patrick Simon, SPU; David Downs, SPU.
POLLS: NABC (Dec. 17) - 5. Western Washington; 14. Seattle Pacific, 29. Alaska Anchorage. Next Poll: Dec. 31.
GNAC RED LION PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Rodney Webster, Western Oregon (G, 6-1, Sr., Hanford, CA - Hanford West & Fresno City CC) came off the bench to lead the Wolves in scoring (35), assists (9) and steals (5) as WOU ran its win streak to four games with a pair of victories, including a 84-76 regional counting-win over South Dakota Mines. Webster also had eight rebounds, the third most on the team, and shot 56 percent from the field (14-25) including three of four from beyond the three-point arc. He also had one of WOU's two blocks as the Wolves evened their regional record at 4-4.
HONORABLE MENTION: Richard Woodworth, Western Washington (G, 6-3, Sr., Bellevue, WA - Newport) scored 62 points in three contests as he closed in on the coveted 1000-point career milestone. Woodworth ranks 58th in GNAC career history with 987 and needs 13 more to become the 55th member of the GNAC 1000-Point Club ... JB Pillard, Central Washington (F, 6-6, Sr., Kirkland, WA - Juanita) scored 58 points in a trio of games, including 29 in a 77-73 loss to West Florida. Pillard shot 71.9 percent from the floor (23 of 32) and also had 25 rebounds and four blocks, all team bests ... Ryan Rogers, Saint Martin (F, 6-4, Jr., Auburn, WA - Lower Columbia) scored 31 points as the Saints opened their home schedule with two victories. Rogers made 10 of 24 shots, including five of 11 three-pointers. He also had 11 rebounds.
MORE MENTIONABLES: Travis Thompson, Alaska Anchorage (G, 6-1, 195. Jr., Anchorage, AK - Dimond) scored 64 points in a pair of lopsided victories (149-70 and 111-58) over Northland International. Thompson made 14 of 23 three-points and 18 of 29 shots overall in the two home games ... David Downs, Seattle Pacific (G, 6-2, Sr., Kirkland, WA - Bellevue Christian) had 38 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds in two victories, shooting eight of 12 from the three-point line. Downs now has made 203 career three-pointers.
RECORD FALLS IN 48 HOURS: Western Washington's GNAC record 140 point total lasted just 48 hours. After the Vikings beat Multnomah 140-88 on Dec.14, Alaska Anchorage scored 149 points in a 79-point win Monday (Dec. 16) over Northland International. The Seawolves also set GNAC records in the game for most three-pointers made (27) and most assists (41). Seawolf guard Brian McGill set a conference individual record for most assists with 20.
Most Points - 149, Alaska Anchorage vs. Northland International, 12-16-13 (old, 140, Western Washington vs. Multnomah, 12-14-13)
Most Three-Pointers - 27, Alaska Anchorage vs. Northland International, 12-16-13 (old, 24, Northwest Nazarene vs. Multnomah, 12-10-11)
Most Assists - 41, Alaska Anchorage vs. Northland International, 12-16-13 (old, 38, Seattle Pacific vs. Northwest Nazarene, 12-31-05)
Most Individual Assists - 20, Brian McGill, UAA, vs. Northland International, 12-16-13 (old, 19, Rob Diederichs, Seattle Pacific vs. Central Washington, 2-25-10)
AROUND THE GNAC: Central Washington set a GNAC single-game record turning the ball over twice in a 111-59 victory against Quest Monday. The Wildcats shared the old record of three (versus Quest, 11-26-11) with Western Washington (versus Western Oregon, 1-9-10) ... GNAC teams finished 0-10 in exhibition games against Division I opponents including Montana State Billings' 82-75 loss Saturday at Long Beach State. That was by far the closest game of the 10 as the Yellowjackets led 38-32 at halftime before Don Monson's team rallied for the seven-point victory ... Central Washington and Tarleton State played nearly 13 minutes Saturday without either team getting an offensive rebound. The first OR came with 7:06 left in the opening period. Tarleton, which improved to 10-0 sweeping CWU and Western Washington, finished the contest with nine offensive rebounds, three more than the Wildcats.
Alaska Anchorage: The Seawolves made 47 of 99 three-pointers in its two wins against Northland International, following up its GNAC-record 27 with 20 in the second game. That is the fifth highest total in GNAC history. In addition to Thompson's 14 of 23 performance, Kyle Fossman made 10 of 24 from the arc. Fossman netted 37 points increasing his career point total to 932.
Alaska Fairbanks: Ronnie Baker had 18 points and Andrew Kelly had 16 rebounds in a 84-66 win over Northland International as the Nanooks improved to 4-0 at home.
Central Washington: The Wildcats sustained two four-point losses in the Las Vegas South Point Holiday Hoops Classic, one to unbeaten Tarleton State (75-71) and one to previous winless West Florida (77-73). JB Pillard had 38 points and Mark McLaughlin had 36 in the two contests. Counting a win earlier in the week over Canadian school Quest, Pillard had 58 points and McLaughlin tallied 57.
Montana State Billings: Connor Donaldson scored 34 points, converting on six of 13 three-points, as the Yellowjackets split two games with PacWest schools in the Las Vegas Challenge. Donaldson also had 12 rebounds. Jonathan Mesghna contributed 29 points and 15 rebounds.
Northwest Nazarene: The Crusaders return to action hosting Central Washington Saturday, Jan. 4 after a three-week break. NNU won two of its final three games prior to holidays.
Saint Martin's: Ryan Rogers led the Saints with 31 points in wins over Northwest Christian and South Dakota Mines. The Saints also got 26 points from Evan Coulter and 25 from Riley Carel. Matt Dodson had a team-high 15 rebounds and Tyler Copp led the Saints with 10 assists.
Seattle Pacific: David Downs, who had 38 points and 10 assists in two home wins, made eight of 12 treys increasing his career three-point total to 203 and moving into 14th place on the GNAC career list. He needs 17 more to move into the Top 10 ahead of his brother Jeff, who currently ranks 10th with 220,
Simon Fraser: Elijah Matthews had 17 points and five assists in a 100-72 win over Capilano as the Clan improved to 7-1 in non-conference games. SFU finished its non-conference schedule 3-1 in region contests. David Gebru had 15 points and Dillon Hamilton had 15 points in the victory.
Western Oregon: In addition to Rodney Webster's 35 points (See Player of the Week notes), the Wolves were led by Marwan Sarhan (30 points) and Andy Avgi (30 points) in its two wins. Sarhan was a perfect 13 of 13 from the floor and will take a string of 15 consecutive field goals made into the New Year. That equals the third longest streak in GNAC history, trailing only a streak of 22 by Seattle Pacific's Rob Will in 2008 and a streak of 18 by WOU's Yuri Whyms in 2002. David Brittenen of Western Washington also made 15 in a row during the 2008 season.
Western Washington: Anye Turner had 35 rebounds in three games, including 20 against Thompson Rivers, the most by a Viking player since Mike Palm had 20 against Central Washington in 2003. It was just the 12th 20-rebound game in GNAC history. Turner also had 34 points, eight assists (the second most on the team) and a team-high eight blocks. Richard Woodworth led WWU with 62 points, while Austin Bragg had 46 points and 21 rebounds.
GNAC SPLITS 28 GAMES WITH PACWEST: GNAC teams posted a 54-34 record (.614) in the non-conference portion of their schedule. That percentage ranks just ninth during the 13-year history of the conference and is the second lowest since the 2006-07 season. GNAC teams finished 29-28 against Division II non-conference opponents, including 24-25 in regional contests. The GNAC split 28 games with the PacWest (14-14), lost six of nine games against the CCAA and posted a 7-5 record in games that count as regional contests under the NCAA "contiguous" state rule.
GNAC (14) vs. PacWest (14): Simon Fraser 3-0, Alaska Anchorage 2-0, Western Washington 2-0, Seattle Pacific 2-1, Alaska Fairbanks 2-2, MSU Billings 1-1, Central Washington 1-2, Western Oregon 1-2, Northwest Nazarene 0-, Saint Martin's 0-3.
GNAC (3) vs. CCAA (6): Seattle Pacific 2-1, Western Oregon 1-1, Alaska Anchorage 0-1, Saint Martin's 0-1, Simon Fraser 0-1, Western Washington 0-1.
PacWest (14) vs. GNAC (14): Dixie State 4-0, Cal Baptist 3-0, Azusa Pacific 2-0, Chaminade 2-0, Point Loma Nazarene 1-0, Hawaii Pacific 1-1, Hawaii Hilo 1-1, Academy of Art 0-2, Fresno Pacific 0-2, Notre Dame de Namur 0-2, BYU-Hawaii 0-3, Holy Names 0-3.
CCAA (6) vs. GNAC (3): CSU San Bernardino 1-0, Chico State 1-0, Cal State Stanislaus 1-0, Cal State L.A. 1-0, CSU Dominguez Hills 2-1, Cal Poly Pomona 0-1, San Francisco State 0-1.
PREVIOUS RED LION PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Week of Nov. 3-10 - David Downs, Seattle Pacific (G, 6-2, 195, Sr., Kirkland, WA - Bellevue Christian) was selected the MVP in the CCA (Conference Commissioners Association) Division II Tipoff Classic as he led the Falcons to a 3-0 record. Downs averaged 25 points, shooting 62.1 percent from the field (18-29) and 76.5 percent from the arc (13-17). He also made 26 of 29 free throws (89.7 percent). In addition he led SPU with 11 assists and also had seven rebounds.
Week of Nov. 11-17 - Mark McLaughlin, Central Washington (G, 6-6, Sr., Bothell, WA - Inglemoor) scored 60 points in a pair of contests, including 42 in a 95-90 win over Colorado Christian to earn all-tournament honors in the SPU Sodexo Tipoff tournament. That equaled the ninth highest point total in GNAC history and was the most since John Allen of Western Washington and Parrish West of Alaska Fairbanks had 43-point games in January, 2011. McLaughlin made 17 field goals against CCU, one off the GNAC single-game record of 18 by Gerrit Eades of Saint Martin's against Alaska Anchorage in 2002.
Week of Nov. 18-24 - Ronnie Baker, Alaska Fairbanks (G, 6-3, Sr., Vallejo, CA - Diablo Valley) scored 59 points and also had 16 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals in leading the Nanooks to three wins and the tournament title in the GCI Alaska Invitational at Fairbanks. Baker, who was named to the all-tournament team, scored a career-high 29 points in Saturday's 83-72 win over Fresno Pacific. For the tournament, Baker shot 54.1 percent from the floor (20-37), 53.8 percent from the three-point line (7-13) and 80 percent from the foul line (12-15).
Week of Nov. 25-Dec.1: Austin Bragg, Western Washington (C, 6-9, Sr., Longview, WA - Clark CC) scored 20 points and also had 13 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead the Vikings to a 72-69 win over No. 1 ranked Metro State. Bragg hit a driving layup with 11.8 seconds to give WWU, which extended its home court win streak to a school and GNAC-record 31 games, a four-point lead.
Week of Dec. 2-8: Brian McGill, Alaska Anchorage (G, 6-2, So., Clackamas, OR) scored 29 points and also had 10 assists to lead the Seawolves to a 96-76 win over Alaska Fairbanks Saturday at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex. McGill, a transfer from Western Oregon, made eight of 12 shots, including two of two three-pointers. He also converted on 11 of 12 foul shots. On the season, McGill ranks fifth in the GNAC in scoring (17.2) and second in assists (6.2).
Week of Dec. 9-15: Grayson Moore, Northwest Nazarene (G, 6-6, So., Logan, UT - Sheridan College) had back-to-back career highs in scoring 47 points as the Crusaders split two games. He scored 22 points and also had nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal in a 79-62 loss to College of Idaho Wednesday. Moore accounted for 35.5 percent of the Crusaders' points and 26.5 percent of its rebounds in the contest. He converted on six of 10 three-pointers as NNU cashed in on 11 of 27 overall. Moore followed that up with a 25-point, seven-rebound performance Saturday in an 88-82 win over Walla Walla. He made four of seven treys in that contest finishing the week with a 58.8 percentage from the arc (10 of 17) after beginning the week shooting just 21.6 percent on treys (8 of 37).
GNAC TEAM OF THE WEEK: Sept. 2-8 - Simon Fraser (football). Sept. 9-15 - Northwest Nazarene (volleyball). Sept. 16-22 - MSU Billings (men's cross country) and Simon Fraser (women's cross country). Sept. 23-29 - Western Oregon (football). Sept. 30-Oct. 6 - Seattle Pacific (men's soccer). Oct. 7-13 - Central Washington (women's soccer). Oct. 14-20 - Western Oregon (women's soccer). Oct. 21-27 - Alaska Anchorage (men's and women's cross country). Oct. 28-Nov. 3 - Simon Fraser (men's soccer). Nov. 4-10 - Seattle Pacific (women's soccer) and Alaska Anchorage (women's cross country). Nov. 11-17 - Western Washington (Volleyball). Nov. 18-24 - Simon Fraser (men's soccer) and Western Washington (women's soccer). Nov. 25-Dec. 1 - Western Washington (men's basketball). Dec. 2-8 - Saint Martin's (women's basketball). Dec. 16-22 - Alaska Anchorage (women's basketball).
Three Vikings Named to NABC Honors Court
WWU Men's Basketball earns the NABC Team Academic Excellence Award for team GPA over 3.0
Stafford Dominating Seattle's Crawsover Pro-Am
2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year is averaging 34.0 points per game
Vikings Add Pair of Transfers from Cerritos College
Tyler Payne and Micah Winn set to join WWU for 2017-18 season after standout careers at Cerritos College
Stafford to Play Professionally in Iceland
Feature story on Taylor Stafford in the Western Front
Parker and Stafford to Play for Bellingham Slam
WWU basketball standouts to play in 2017 Seattle Pro-Am League
2016-17 Men's Basketball Season in Review
The Vikings won the GNAC Regular-Season and Conference Tournament Title
Taylor Stafford To Play Professionally in Iceland
Stafford was the 2016-17 GNAC Player of the Year and a First Team All-American
Alumni Edge Slam in Back 2 Bellingham Battle
David Gage and Anye Turner combine for 60 points for the WWU Alumni squad
Alumni Men's Basketball Game Set for Saturday
Former WWU basketball players will take the court in an exhibition game vs. the Bellingham Slam
Men's Basketball Banquet To Celebrate Season
GNAC champion Vikings will hold 2016-17 banquet May 2 at Bellingham Golf & Country Club
WWU is 14th in Division II All-Sports Standings
WWU's men's and women's basketball programs gather points by advancing to the NCAA Tournament
Stafford Scores 12 Points in D2 All-Star Game
Taylor Stafford represents WWU in Reese's Division II All-Star Game
Watch Taylor Stafford in D2 All-Star Game
Stafford will play for the East squad in the Reese’s® Division II College All-Star game tonight in Sioux Falls, SD
Taylor Stafford Named First Team All-American
Stafford becomes third player in WWU men’s basketball history to earn first-team All-America status
Stafford & Parker Named NABC All-West Region
Stafford (1st team) and Parker (2nd team) earn All-West Region honors for the Vikings