Men’s basketball starts second half at home versus NNU and Central

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Beginning the Second Half
The Nanooks return home as they open up the second half of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference season against Northwest Nazarene Thursday night and Central Washington Saturday evening. Live stats and live video are available for both games or you can listen live to both on KCBF 820 AM.

Nanooks at a Glance
Alaska currently sits 10-7 on the season with a 5-4 mark in GNAC play at the midway point of the conference slate. The Nanooks are on a three-game losing skid, which they will look to end when facing two opponents they beat on the road in the first half.

Four players average double-figure scoring, led by Dominique Brinson’s 13.8 points per game. Pat Voeut scores 12.8 to go with 5.1 assists, Sergej Pucar tallies 10.2 points and 7.8 rebounds and Stefan Tica contributes 10.1 points per outing. Alaska averages 75.2 points per game and ranks fourth in scoring defense with 68.4 points allowed per outing.

Pair of Tough Losses on the Road
Alaska fell in both contests on the road last week, dropping a 68-54 decision at Simon Fraser before losing 79-66 to No. 2 Western Washington. The Nanooks led by 10 in the first half at SFU before the Clan rallied and shut down Alaska’s offense in the second half. Western Washington shot 60 percent in the second half and dominated the glass en route to its program-record 24th straight win.

Pat Voeut led the way with 13.0 points per game to go with six assists and four steals. Stefan Tica tallied 10.0 points per game while Dominique Brinson and Dallen Bills each recorded 8.0 points per game. Brinson also produced six assists and three steals. Sergej Pucar also had four blocks, including a career-best three at Simon Fraser.

How We Rank in the GNAC
Dominique Brinson ranks 11th in the league in scoring while Pat Voeut is tied for 13th in the same category. Sergej Pucar is second in rebounding, tied for seventh in three-point percentage (.450) and 10th in blocks (0.8). Voeut also ranks second in assists, tied for fifth in steals (1.5) and seventh in free throw percentage (.833). Brinson is also fifth in free throw percentage (.860) and seventh in three pointers made (2.2). Ronnie Baker is tied with Voeut for fifth in steals (1.5) and Andrew Kelly is tied for seventh in the same category (1.5) and tied for sixth in blocks (1.0) while Stefan Tica is eighth in treys made (1.9).

Scouting the Crusaders   GAME NOTES
Northwest Nazarene has lost four in a row as it has fallen to 9-8 on the year and 3-6 in GNAC play. Last Week, NNU dropped an 81-70 decision on the road against travel partner Central Washington. The Crusaders average 69.4 points while holding opponents to 69-2 points per game. Kenny Jones is the seventh-leading scorer in the GNAC with 15.4 points per game while Jonathan Hawkins is in the top 15 with 12.8 per outing. Michal Kurimsky leads the league in shooting (.614) while Kevin Rima is fifth in blocks (1.1), seventh in shooting (.553) and eighth in rebounding (6.5). Jones is third in steals (1.8) and sixth in assists (3.8) while Hawkins is first in free throw percentage (.938) and eighth in assists (3.7).

Scouting the Wildcats
Central Washington has won three of four games to improve to 11-6 on the season and 5-4 in league play. CWU downed travel partner Northwest Nazarene at home last week, 81-70.
The Wildcats lead the GNAC with 88.6 points per game but rank 10th in scoring defense as they allow opponents to average 82.6 points per outing. Mark McLaughlin leads the conference with 23.7 points per game while four others average double figures. Three players rank in the top 20 in rebounding with a combined 5.8 rebounds per game among the trio. McLaughlin is also second in steals (1.8) and 10th in free throw shooting (.820) while Chris Holmes is sixth in shooting (.564).