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Game of the Week Preview North Idaho at Big Bend - plus S. Puget Sound at Pierce and Umpqua at Lane

By Jon Sims for the NWAC

Broadcast Channel: iFiber One

This Wednesday at 8pm 6’8” forward Jacob McCord and the Big Bend Vikings (8-3, 16-8) look to bounce back from last week's loss to Walla Walla and even the season series against 6’6” guard/forward Markus Golder and the North Idaho Cardinals (8-2, 20-3).

In their first meeting the Cardinals beat the Vikings 89-75 led by Golder’s 21 points and 7 rebounds despite the effort by McCord putting up 26 points and 12 rebounds.

In order for Big Bend to overcome North Idaho they will need to defend the three point line, as the Cardinals enter this game as the #1 ranked team in 3FG% shooting 43%.  Freshman Niko Bevens went 4/5 in the last meeting and scored 16 points off the bench. 

As the #3 overall ranked team in the NWAC the visiting Cardinals will be the favorite to win over the #7 ranked Vikings, but the raucous home crowd and the league leader in points and rebounds in McCord will have something to say about that.   

Broadcast Channel: iFiber One

The Lady Vikings (3-8, 11-13) are looking to settle an old score against the North Idaho Cardinals (4-6, 11-10).

Led by 5’9” guard Cierra Dvorak averaging 11.19 points, 3.14 assists, 6.67 rebounds and 2.19 steals, the Cardinals put away Big Bend 73-49.

Big Bend is lead by 5’11” Hailey Garrity averaging 10.09 points and 7.18 rebounds.

If the Vikings can take care of the ball and keep pace with the Cardinals in the second half, this should be a close ball game. 

In the last meeting, 24 Big Bend turnovers lead to 24 Cardinal points, and the Vikings were outscored 19-38 in the second half.  Both teams are on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, and a win for either team will get them back in the hunt. 

Other Games of Note

Broadcast Channel: Raider TV (note: Raider TV can not be viewed on iPad or iPhone due to Flash programming)

2nd-ranked South Puget Sound (9-0, 18-4) is undefeated in league play and takes on Pierce (7-2, 19-5) who hold the second place spot in the West Region behind the Clippers.

This will be the second meeting between the two teams. Pierce points and rebound leader sophomore forward Hussayn Ford fell to South Puget Sound 85-73 in the first contest, with a big contribution from Clipper sophomore Dez Stoudamire's 25 points and 3 assists.

The Raiders were simply outscored in their first match up giving up 36 points to the 3 point shot.

If they can lock down on perimeter defense, then Pierce has a legitimate chance to even up the season series and hand the Clippers their first loss in West Region play.

Broadcast Channel: Not available

The third-ranked Lane Titans (9-1, 20-3) will host top-ranked Umpqua Riverhawks (11-0, 22-2) in their second matchup since the Titans fell to the Riverhawks 77-58.

6’4” freshman forward and three time NWAC Player of the week, Jordan Stotler completely overwhelmed the Titans with an impressive 24 points, 18 rebounds, 4 blocks and 2 assists. Umpqua led the Titans in virtually every major category, rebounds, points off turnovers, second chance points, three pointers, and points off the bench. 

But as with Umpqua, the Titans are a well-coached team behind five time NWAC Champion Greg Sheley now in his 17th season, and the defending champs will certainly come in with a solid game plan to defend home court.

This will be a fun game to watch, not only for the South Region Title implications, but for the solid offensive play as well. UCC and Lane both lead the NWAC in assists per game and field goal percentage, and both are in the top 5 for points per game.

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