Nanooks Basketball Weekend Recap

Women fall to Simon Fraser, Men split season series with Seawolves
Updated: Jan. 30, 2023 at 7:45 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The University of Alaska Men’s and Women’s basketball teams were both in action Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Gymnasium at the Patty Center. The Women’s team started the set of games against Simon Fraser.

Alaska got out to a fast start, building and 11-2 lead with 3:47 left in the first quarter. The Red Leafs quickly found their way back in to the game though. Jessica Wisotzki hit a pair of three’s cutting the Nanooks lead to three. In the second quarter, Alaska was outscored by Simon Fraser, but still managed to keep a one point lead at the half thanks back-to-back baskets by Paola Perez-Mendoza and Emma Wass.

The third quarter, which has given Alaska fits all season long, proved to be another hard ten minutes. Simon Fraser had their best shooting quarter, going 8-18 (44.44%) from the field. The Red Leafs also managed to get to the free throw line nine times in the third, making seven. Alaska’s offense went cold shooting 35.71% and missed their only free throw in the quarter.

Alaska managed to outscore the Red Leafs by ten in the fourth, but the third quarter lead built by Simon Fraser proved to be too much to come back from. Nanooks fall, 80-74. Emma Wass had the Nanooks team-high with a career best 15 points. Sam Tolliver and Emma McKenney joined Wass scoring in double figures. Simon Fraser was led by the sister tandem of Jessica and Sophia Wisotzki, combining for 46.

Now, the women’s team will prepare for their only game of the week Saturday. The Nanooks will finish their season series with in-state rival, UAA. The first meeting this season was a 61-56 victory in favor of the Nanooks.

The men’s team followed the women’s game, hosting the UAA Seawolves. The Nanooks looked to split the season series with their rival after a 59-81 New Year’s Eve loss in Anchorage.

In the first half, the Nanooks shot 59% from the field to build a six point lead before halftime. UAA opened with a pair of quick three’s, but that would be the only lead the Seawolves held in the game.

Fast forward to the second half, the Nanooks continued to roll, ballooning their lead to 15. An 8-0 Anchorage run wouldn’t matter. The Nooks responded with an 8-0 run of their own. Alaska seemingly had an answer to every shot Anchorage scored.

Alaska splits the rivalry series, with a ten point win, 89-79. Brain Nguyen was the leading scorer with 22. Nguyen scored half of his points from free throws, going a perfect, 11-11 at the line. Alaska has been a top free throw shooting team in the country all year, and the Nanooks were near perfection from the free throw line shooting 29-30 (96.7%).

This week, the Nanooks will stay in their home gymnasium, hosting Central Washington, Thursday, and Northwest Nazarene, Saturday.