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Central Washington University

CWU Men’s Basketball Travels to Alaska to Face Nanooks on Thursday

The men's basketball team picked up a pair of conference victories against Western Washington and Simon Fraser last week.

Against the Vikings, Central Washington scored 60 second-half points to come away with a 92-81 victory. Freshman point guard Khalil Shabazz paced the scorching CWU offense with 24 points on 10 of 18 shooting and snatched a season-high five steals.

Saturday's victory over SFU extended the Wildcat's winning streak to five games. Jawan Stepney led the Wildcats' offense scoring 14 points.  Fuquan Niles (12), Khalil Shabazz (11), Sage Woodruff (11), and Jerome Bryant (10) also recorded double digit points. Shabazz led the Wildcats with six rebounds.  The Wildcats finished 47.2 percent from the floor and 24-for-29 at the charity stripe.  Central's bench chipped in 27 points.

CWU senior guard Jawan Stepney was named the GNAC Player of the Week after leading the Wildcats to a pair of victories over Western Washington and Simon Fraser. Stepney finished with 21 points and four rebounds, shooting 9 of 16 from the field, to help lead the Wildcats to a 92-81 win over the Vikings in Thursday's Division II Basketball Showcase game on ESPN3. He then led five CWU players scoring in double figures with 14 points to go with three rebounds and five assists in Saturday's 81-67 win over Simon Fraser. The two wins allowed the Wildcats to move into a tie for fourth place in the GNAC standings.

Stepney ranks 13th in the GNAC in scoring at 13.2 points per game and in the top-25 in the league in four categories, including assists (sixth, 3.8/game), assist to turnover ratio (12th, 1.9), three-point field goal percentage (25th, .370) and made three pointers (21st, 1.3/game).

This marks the second GNAC Player of the Week honor for CWU this season, with Stepney highlighting both. Stepney received the honor after scoring 45 points in the Wildcats 111-100 double-overtime victory over Concordia University earlier this season.  

The Nanooks have dropped three of their last four games including falling to Saint Martin's (59-80) and Seattle Pacific (60-87) last week. Fairbanks ranks sixth in the GNAC in scoring defense, allowing 76.4 points per game. They also rank fifth in field goal percentage (.463), fourth in three-point field goal percentage (.389), fifth in defensive rebounds (33.8/game), and fourth in assists (15.1/game). The Nanooks are just 4-5 at home this season, with a 4-3 record at home against GNAC opponents.

Alex Baham leads UAF in scoring, averaging 12.1 points per game. Michael Kluting leads the team and ranks fourth in the GNAC in rebounding with 7.6 rebounds per game. Davis Kimble dishes out 4.1 assist per game to rank fourth in the league. Tre Eisenhut is shooting a league-best 55.3-percent from three-point range.

GAME 22 | Central Washington (13-8, 8-6) vs. Alaska Fairbanks (9-11, 7-7)
Date/Tipoff: Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 | 8 p.m. PST

Location: Fairbanks, AK (Alaska Airlines Court)


The Seawolves split their games last week to Seattle Pacific (W, 67-62) and Saint Martin's (L, 67-79). Alaska Anchorage rank first in the GNAC in scoring defense (64.7 points/game), second in free throw percentage (73.4-percent), and third in blocked shots (3.9/game). Malik Clements leads the GNAC in assist/turnover ratio (2.4). D.J. Ursey leads the team with 12.0 points and 6.0 rebounds per game. Brennan Rymer dishes out 2.3 assists per contest to lead the team.

GAME 23 | Central Washington (11-8, 6-6) vs. Alaska Anchorage (10-11, 6-8)
Date/Tipoff: Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018 | 8 p.m. PST
Location: Anchorage, AK (Alaska Airlines Center)

CWU returns home next week to host both Oregon Schools. The Wildcats open the week against Concordia Cavaliers next Thursday, Feb. 15, and then close out the week hosting the Western Oregon Wolves on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

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