To say it was a massive week for Eastern Washington and senior forward Mason Peatling is an understatement. The 6'8 senior forward worked hard in helping the Eagles convert two thrilling overtime games into victory, setting him on a pathway to being named Big Sky Conference Player of the Week for a second time this season.
Already with a 54 point explosion under his belt this season, Peatling played an instrumental role in the Eagles coming from behind to steal an overtime win against Southern Utah. Trailing by as many as 11 points in the second half, Eastern Washington launched a final assault, with Peatling playing the hero. The senior forward drained a clutch triple with 24 seconds to play to force an extra period.
Eastern Washington managed to edge ahead in the extra period before holding on for a thrilling 81-78 win.
Peatling amassed 30 points on 11 of 16 shooting, pulling down 11 rebounds alongside an impressive 5 assists and 5 blocked shots in a dominant performance. But he was not done yet.
Eastern Washington and Peatling were again made to work overtime in their next game against Northern Colorado. A potential game-winner in regulation by the Bears was waved off due to a shot clock violation, ensuring a second straight game where 5 more minutes were needed. An offensive rebounds and score by Peatling with 40 seconds left ensured the Eagles would prevail, earning them a fourth straight win.
Peatling recorded his third straight double-double, compiling 20 points (9-22 FG) with a career-high 22 rebounds. He went close to a first career triple-double, handing out 7 assists with a further 3 blocked shots in a dominant effort.
It was also a milestone week for Peatling. In the thrilling win against Southern Utah, Peatling scored his 1,000th points, becoming just the sixth player in school history to have at least 1,000 points and 525 rebounds in his career. He joins fellow Victorian Venky Jois as just the second player to couple that with 50 blocked shots.
Across his two overtime games this week, Peatling amassed 51 points, 33 rebounds, 12 assists, eight blocked shots and 16 fouls drawn, duly earning him the Big Sky Player of the Week Award for the second time this season. He is ranked seventh in the league in scoring with 15.8 points with 8.4 rebounds, 2.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game.
Freshman Keli Leaupepe delivered a career-best performance as Loyola Marymount accounted for Portland 77-65 to end a four game losing streak. The Melburnian was at his efficient best, shooting 9 of 10 from the field on his way to registering a career-high's of 24 points and 8 rebounds. He drained 4 of 5 from downtown in securing his big haul, while also handing our 2 assists. Unfortunately for LMU and Leaupepe, Saint Mary's next up proved a different challenge.
Tanner Krebs continued his good form for Saint Mary's in their 73-62 win against Loyola Marymount. It was the Gaels' third win in a row and ninth across their past 11 games, with Krebs leading the way.
The Gaels more than doubled the score of the Lions in the first half, opening up a 43-21 half time lead. While LMU would win the second half by 11, the damage had already been done as Saint Mary's cruised to victory.
Krebs was on fire, shooting a perfect 7 of 7 from the field which included 3 of 3 from downtown. He finished with a game-high 19 points alongside 6 rebounds, and 2 steals to be one of the standouts in the game. Alex Ducas enjoyed his increased minutes, adding 6 points and 2 rebounds in 23 minutes. With the win, Saint Mary's is now in outright second place in the WCC behind Gonzaga and once again shaping as a legitimate challenger.
After a difficult 4 game losing streak that included dates with number 9 ranked Florida State and number 8 ranked Duke, Miami rebounded with a 71-61 victory against Virginia Tech. The Hurricanes were on song early, opening up a commanding 22 point advantage. However a late game rally saw the margin whittled down to just 4 points with 1:01 to play. Miami steadied however, with Vasiljevic's 18th points coming in the final 5 seconds to ensure the 10 point win.
Vasiljevic was again the offensive weapon the Hurricanes needed, especially without leading scoring Chris Lykes for the second straight game. The senior guard hit 7 of 16 from the field for his team-high 18 points, also adding 7 rebounds in a very impressive performance that oozed leadership and experience.
Hunter Marks helped guide Hartford to a 62-48 win against Albany and Cameron Healy in the America East. Restricting Healy to just 10 points on 2 of 13 shooting, Marks did a bit of everything to ensure the Hawks drew level with the Great Danes with a 4-2 record. The 6'9 forward played all 40 minutes for 12 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 3 steals and 3 blocked shots in a fine all-round performance.