Nanooks Men’s Basketball wins Thursday over Central Washington

Abdul Mohamed’s clutch block sparks run, seals win
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 11:33 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Thursday, the Alaska Nanooks Men’s Basketball team hosted the Central Washington Wildcats. Alaska managed to hang on to win by three, and their record improves to 9-10 (4-7 GNAC). The Nanooks also jumped to seventh in the conference standings.

“It feels great... you know, it’s well deserved by us,” said Abdul Mohamed. “I’m not going to lie, they had us the first time up in Moses Lake. This is a big one for our team. We’ve been growing a lot as a team, but I felt like we were ready from the jump. I’m really proud of us.”

The Nanooks led for the majority of the first half, but the Wildcats found themselves ahead at halftime holding a two point lead, 30-28.

The first shot of the second half was a good three pointer out of the hands of Paul Johnson, and Alaska regained their lead, 31-30. For the first six minutes of the second half, it was a tightly contested game. Neither team managed to pull ahead by more than one possession.

At the 14:00 minute mark, Jaycson Bereal Jr. hit another Nanook three, and Alaska built a five point lead. The Nanooks managed to build an eleven point lead with 8:14 seconds.

An 11-0 Central Washington run, tied the game at 61-61 with 4:08 left in regulation. Alaska got a string of big plays. Tyler Mrus knocked down the jumper, and a huge defensive block by Abdul Mohamed, allowed for a Paul Johnson three and Mohamed layup made the game, 68-61.

“I know the guy (Colby Gennett) last year got a dunk on us. He got a dunk earlier in the game,” detailed Mohamed on his block. “I saw an opportunity, and I took it. Met him at the rim, and I was not late... I was not late.”

“That blocked shot might be one of the plays of the year for us,” added head coach, Greg Sparling. “He went up there and met him up at the top. I couldn’t be more proud of him, and then we went on that run and finished the game.”

Central Washington would make one final push, but it was too little too late. Alaska holds on to win, 69-66. Four Nanooks scored double figures. Jaycson Bereal Jr. led the way with 16 points. Abdul Mohamed had 15 points, eight rebounds, two steals, and two blocks.

The Nanooks end their three game homestand, Saturday, bringing in the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks. Tip-off is set for 3:00 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Gymnasium at the Patty Center.