Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wednesday, Dec. 15 in the GNAC

Men's Basketball: Hilo Beats Wolves With Late Surge

Hawaii Hilo used a 13-2 run in the final three minutes to defeat Western Oregon 85-78 Wednesday in a NCAA Division II West Region game at Hilo.

Trailing 73-72 after a jumper by Kolton Nelson with 4:02 left, the Vulcans went ahead for good on a jumper by Lavell Shipman with 2:48 remaining eventually building a 10-point lead before Tarance Glynn hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to cut the final margin back to seven.

WOU led by six at halftime, but UHH shot 59 percent (23-39) in the second period, while holding the Wolves to 12 field goals in 27 attempts.

Justin Smith paced the Vulcans with 33 points and 17 rebounds, making 14 of 19 shots. Shipman had 18 points and Dirk Snel had 13.

Western Oregon was led by Blair Wheadon with 18 points, while Kyle Long had 17 points and Glynn added 15. Nelson was also in double figures with 10 points.

Hilo dominated the backboards 49-26 and also turned the ball over just 12 times. WOU had nine turnovers.

Football: Three Earn AFCA All-American Honors

Central Washington linebacker Adam Bighill, Western Oregon defensive back Caleb Singleton and Humboldt State center Taylor Boggs have been named to the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Division II first team All-American team.

The AFCA team is the most exclusive of the Division II All-American teams as only 25 players are selected – 11 on offense, 11 on defense and three specialists.

In the previous seven seasons in which the GNAC has sponsored football only three conference players – all from Central Washington - have been selected to the team. CWU punter Joe Smith was voted to the team in 2003. Wide receiver Johnny Spevak earned AFCA honors in 2008 and linebacker Buddy Wood was selected in 2009.

Bighill and Singleton earlier were named the Co-GNAC Defensive Players-of-the-Year, while Boggs was selected the GNAC Offensive Lineman-of-the-Year.

Bighill spearheaded a Wildcat defense that posted consecutive shutouts midway through the season and held opposing rushing attacks to just 17.2 yards per game in the final five games of the season. Individually, he led CWU with 96 tackles (56 solo), 16 1/2 tackles for loss, and 3 1/2 sacks.

Singleton ranked sixth in the GNAC with 89 tackles and second with six interceptions. He had seven or more tackles in seven of the 11 games, including performances with 16 and 17 stops, respectively.

Singleton also blocked three kicks and had two pass breakups as the lone senior in the Wolves' secondary.

Boggs led the blocking for HSU's running game, which accumulated a GNAC best 2,239 yards. He also anchored a unit that ranked fifth overall among NCAA Division II programs for least quarterback sacks allowed, surrendering only eight in 11 games.

Bighill and Boggs will also represent their respective schools in the Cactus Bowl in Kingsville, Texas, on Jan. 7, 2011. The Cactus Bowl is an all-star game for NCAA Division II football seniors.

AFCA: First Team – Taylor Boggs, Humboldt State (OL, 6-3, 303, Sr., Upland, CA); Adam Bighill, Central Washington (LB, 5-10, 222, Sr., Montesano, WA); Caleb Singleton, Western Oregon (DB, 6-4, 215, Sr., Salem, OR - West Salem).

Women's Soccer: SPU's Lindsay, Sawyer All-Americans

Seattle Pacific sophomores Megan Lindsay and Taylor Sawyer both have been selected to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America second-team All-American team.

Falcon goalkeeper Maddie Dickinson, meanwhile, earned honorable mention honors on the Daktronics All-American team selected by the nation's sports information directors.

Lindsay led Seattle Pacific with 11 goals, including one in each of the last four regular-season contests. She registered three multi-goal games. The SPU forward distributed five assists to compile a team-leading 27 points.

Sawyer overcame an early season injury to anchor the stingy SPU defense that recorded 11 shutouts. She helped Dickinson limit opposing offenses to just 0.49 goals per game. Teamwise SPU finished with a 0.48 GAA.

Dickinson finished her career ranked second in GNAC history in GAA (0.49) and shutouts (28) and first in save percentage (.859).

Daktronics (SIDs): Honorable Mention – Maddie Dickinson, Seattle Pacific (GK, Sr., Vancouver, WA) . NSCAA (Coaches): Second Team - Megan Lindsey, Seattle Pacific (F, So., Spokane, WA); Taylor Sawyer, Seattle Pacific (D, So., Gig Harbor, WA).

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