Men’s basketball hits road to Simon Fraser, No. 2 Western Washington
Closing Out the First Half
The Nanooks hit the road for their final two games in the first half of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference season when they visit Simon Fraser on Thursday and undefeated, second-ranked Western Washington on Saturday. Live stats and live video will be available for both games and Thursday’s contest at SFU can also be heard on KCBF 820 AM.
Nanooks at a Glance
Alaska currently sits 10-5 on the season with a 5-2 mark in GNAC play entering this week’s road trip. Saturday’s loss to Alaska Anchorage snapped a six-game win streak for the Nanooks, their first loss since the conference opener on Nov. 29 to nationally-ranked Seattle Pacific (60-72).
Four players average double-figure scoring, led by Dominique Brinson’s 14.6 points per game. Pat Voeut scores 12.7 to go with 5.4 assists, Sergej Pucar tallies 10.4 points and 8.3 rebounds and Stefan Tica contributed 10.1 points per outing. Alaska averages 77.2 points per game and ranks second in scoring defense with 67.7 points allowed per outing.
Last Week’s Heartbreak with UAA
Alaska Anchorage shot 52 percent in the second half and rallied from nine points down to defeat Alaska 65-60. Liam Gibcus scored a game-high 18 points and added six assists while Abebe Demissie posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ronnie Baker led the Nanooks with 15 points and three steals while Pat Voeut had 14 points and eight assists. UAA has now won 14 straight against Alaska.
How We Rank in the GNAC
Dominique Brinson ranks ninth in the league in scoring while Pat Voeut is 16th in the same category. Sergej Pucar is second in rebounding and fifth in three-point percentage (.472). Voeut also ranks second in assists, sixth in steals (1.5) and 10th in free throw percentage (.813). Brinson is third in free throw percentage (.875) and tied for fifth in three pointers made (2.3). Andrew Kelly is fifth in steals (1.6) and tied for sixth in blocks (1.1) and Stefan Tica is ninth in treys made (1.9) while Ronnie Baker is tied for 10th in steals (1.3).
Scouting the Clan
Simon Fraser has lost nine straight games, including all seven GNAC games as it is 5-10 on the year. Last week, SFU dropped a pair on the road at Saint Martin’s (65-78) and at Western Oregon (60-78). The Clan averages 78.5 points per game while allowing opponents to score 76.1 points per game. Elijah Matthews and Taylor Dunn lead the team with 13.5 and 13.2 points per game, respectively, while Anto Olah leads the GNAC with 8.4 rebounds per game. Matt Raivio is fourth in the league with 1.6 steals and Matthews is second in three pointers made (2.8) and fourth in three-point shooting (.481).
Scouting the Vikings
Western Washington extended its win streak to 22 games as it remained perfect at 16-0 on the year and 7-0 in the GNAC as it moved up one spot to No. 2. The Vikings are coming off a road sweep following a 91-81 win at Western Oregon and a 104-56 thrashing of Saint Martin’s. WWU leads the league in scoring with 89.4 points per game and allows 68.1 points per game to the opposition. John Allen, who scored 38 points in Thursday’s win over WOU, is second in the league with 17.6 points per game while Paul Jones is seventh in the GNAC with 15.5 points per game and leads the league in shooting percentage (.619). Austin Bragg is fourth in rebounding (7.5) while Allen second in free throw shooting (.895) and fifth in assists (4.1).