Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, Nov. 24 in the GNAC

Women's Basketball: UAA Edged By Kent State

Jamiah Humes scored 14 of her game-high 23 points in the second half Wednesday to lead Kent State to a 53-47 victory over Alaska Anchorage in the championship of the women's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena.

UAA (5-2), the 11th-ranked NCAA Division II team in the nation, lost for the first time since 2005 at its signature tournament, snapping a nine-game winning streak against Division I opponents. It had won the last four tournament titles.

Hanna Johansson, one of three UAA players named to the all-tournament team, led the Seawolves with 15 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Humes, a 5-8 guard, shot seven of 14 from the field - including three of five from three-point range - and added four assists and five steals to help the Golden Flashes (4-0) rally from a 36-32 deficit with 8:54 remaining.

The game featured nine ties until Johansson, who made six of nine shots, gave UAA its final lead (44-43) with two free throws at the 3:08 mark.

Kent State's Taisja Jones made a steal and drove in for a layup one minute later to put the Mid-American Conference squad back on top, and Humes drained a three-pointer with 1:14 on the clock to make it 48-44.

UAA junior guard Tanee' Denson-Griffin, also an all-tournament pick, answered immediately with a three-pointer of her own, and Humes then made one of two free throws moments later, leaving Kent State up 49-47.

The Seawolves had a chance to tie or take the lead with 12.9 seconds remaining, but Johansson committed a turnover on the inbounds pass, and the Golden Flashes then sealed it from the free-throw line.

Jones collected 10 of her 17 points at the charity stripe, adding six rebounds and three steals as she also made the all-tourney squad.

Den son-Griffin scored 11 points on four of 10 shooting, along with eight rebounds, three assists and four steals. UAA sophomore Alysa Horn (5 points, 5 rebounds) also made the all-tournament team.

Humes was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after helping her team become just the second Mid-American Conference school (Northern Illinois, 1990) to win a women's Shootout title.

Men's Basketball: MSUB Loses To Rocky 76-71

EJ Ross scored 17 of his 22 points in the second half, including eight straight at a critical junction, to lead Rocky Mountain to a 76-71 win over Montana State Billings in a non-conference game before 2,279 fans in Alterowitz Gym.

The Yellowjackets led 32-30 at half, but Rocky went on a 17-2 run to open up a 55-40 lead with 9:43 remaining. Kale Eike started the run with a three-point and a pair of free throws, while Ross finished it off with four consecutive two-point field goals.

The closest MSUB got the remainder of the way was four points on a trey by Jaxon Myaer with four seconds left. Rocky made one of two foul shots with four seconds left to establish the final margin.

In addition to Ross, the Bears were led by Sergio Trocha with 12 points, Anthony Carter with 11 and Eike with 10.

Robert Mayes had a huge night for MSUB (1-2) scoring 24 points and pulling down 15 rebounds. He had a second-half double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

Tyler Barnes came off the bench to score 15 for the Yellowjackets. DeAndre Chambers had 12 points, but was just four of 15 shooting. Mayes made 10 of 16.

Volleyball: WWU's Jepsen Earns All-Region Honor

Middle blocker Emily Jepsen of Western Washington has been selected to the Daktronics NCAA Division II West Region volleyball all-star team. She was the lone GNAC player named to the seven-woman first team.

Jepsen, who earlier was named the GNAC Player-of-the-Year, led the conference in aces with 46. She also ranked second in points (4.40), fourth in kills (3.18), fourth in blocks (1.11) and fourth in hitting percentage (.306).

Four GNAC players were voted to the second team by the region's sports information directors including outside hitters Paige Hoffman of Seattle Pacific and Kady Try of Central Washington, setter Shelby Swanson of Seattle Pacific and libero Allison Gotz of Western Washington.

Six players were also named to the AVCA 14-woman region team. They included Jepsen, Try, Gotz, SPU's Nikki Lowell and Anna Herold and Cortney Lundberg of Alaska Anchorage.

Hoffman and Swanson were honorable mention selections to the AVCA team.

Daktronics (SIDs): First Team – Emily Jepsen, Western Washington (MB, 5-11, Jr., Kennewick, WA). Second Team – Paige Hoffman, Seattle Pacific (OH, 6-2, Jr., Encinitas, CA); Kady Try, Central Washington (OH, 6-0, Sr., Brentwood, CA); Shelby Swanson, Seattle Pacific (S, 5-8, So., Kennewick, WA); Allison Gotz, Western Washington (L, 5-3, Sr., Bothell, WA).

AVCA: First Team - Kady Try, Central Washington (OH, 6-0, Sr., Brentwood, CA); Emily Jepsen, Western Washington (MB, 5-11, Jr., Kennewick, WA); Nikki Lowell, Seattle Pacific (MB, 5-10, Fr., Claremont, CA); Cortney Lundberg, Alaska Anchorage (MB, 6-1, Sr., Hardin, MT); Allison Gotz, Western Washington (L, 5-3, Sr., Bothell, WA); Anna Herold, Seattle Pacific (L, 5-8, Jr., Bothell, WA). Honorable Mention - Paige Hoffman, Seattle Pacific (OH, 6-2, Jr., Encinitas, CA); Shelby Swanson, Seattle Pacific (S, 5-8, So., Kennewick, WA).

Cross Country: GNAC Sweeps Regional Awards

Michael Friess of Alaska Anchorage has been selected the USTFCCCA NCAA Division II West Region Men's Team and Women Team Coach-of-the-Year.

Last Saturday, Friess' men and women swept the team titles in the West Regional at Bellingham.

Friess, a 1985 graduate of Linfield, is in his 21st season as the head coach at UAA. Friess also earned the West Region Women's Coach-of-the-Year award last season.

UAA's Marko Cheseto and Sarah Porter of Western Washington were named the West Region Athletes of the Year after winning individual titles in the regional meet.

Cheseto earned his second straight regional title finishing first in a 10,000-meter time of 31:20.8, while Porter won the women's 6,000 meter race in a time of 21:21.9.

Cheseto now has 11 career victories including six this fall, while Porter has 10 career wins, four this season.

Both athletes also won GNAC titles Nov. 6 at Yakima. Cheseto won his third straight conference title in an 8,000-meter time of 23:56. He is the only male athlete in conference history to win the GNAC title more than once.

Porter, who was the 2009 runner-up to Jessica Pixler of Seattle Pacific in the conference, regional and national meet, won the women's 6,000 meter race in a time of 21:04.

Seawolves Climb Two Spots To No. 6

Alaska Anchorage climbed two spots and is ranked sixth in this week's USTFCCCA national poll.

The Seawolves still trail Chico State in the poll, despite dethroning the eight-time regional champions in last Saturday's regional meet. Chico is ranked fifth.

Western Washington and Western Oregon held on to their No. 10 and No. 16 national rankings.

On the women's side, Alaska Anchorage held on to its No. 5 national ranking. Western Washington slipped five slots from seventh to 12th.

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