Alaska Fairbanks Earns Second GNAC Team of Week Award
Brinson had a career night with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists Saturday against Western Oregon (Photo by Paul McCarthy).
Brinson had a career night with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists Saturday against Western Oregon (Photo by Paul McCarthy).

Monday, January 14, 2013

PORTLAND, Ore. – Alaska Fairbanks had two more remarkable performances last weekend in what is quickly turning into a remarkable season.

The Nanooks defeated Saint Martin’s 81-58 Thursday, then cruised past Western Oregon 89-56 Saturday extending their win streak to six games.  That earned them GNAC Team of the Week honors for the second time this season.

"Our main concern coming off two road wins (the previous week) was to take care of business at home and our guys did a great job, starting on Thursday night with Saint Martin's,” UAF second-year head coach Mick Durham said.

“Right now we seem to playing pretty comfortably on offense and have gotten better defensively, especially in rebounding. The last couple weeks we rebounded very well and that starts a lot of things for us. To win like we did, we had to have some pretty good individual performances from people too, and we did."

UAF, which has outscored its opponents by an average margin of 25.6 points during its win streak, takes a 10-4 record into this Saturday’s home game against archrival Alaska Anchorage.

Its 10 wins are the most for the program since the 2006-07 season when UAF finished 17-13.  This year’s win total is already double last year’s total and the Nanooks are barely past the halfway point of the regular season.

Guard Dominique Brinson scored 44 points and also had 10 rebounds and eight assists in last week’s victories earning GNAC Red Lion Player of the Week honors.

Brinson, a 6-2 guard from Juneau, had a career night against Western Oregon scoring a 28 points on 10 of 13 shooting and draining a career-best six treys on eight attempts. He also tied a career-high with seven rebounds to go with his game-high six assists.

Brinson leads UAF in scoring averaging 15 points per game.  He is shooting 41.5 percent from the arc (34-82).  Last year when UAF posted a 5-23 record he averaged 12.6 points and shot just 29.2 percent on three-pointers.

"The big thing with Dom is we've been trying to get him to become a more consistent shooter, get his percentage up from a year ago,” Durham said.

"He had a huge weekend; he's doing a lot things. He's playing backup point for us, doing a nice job defensively and he gets his shot going. Especially Saturday night against the press, it gave our wings a chance to get open and we thought if we could break the press we could get open looks at the other end and that's where Dom took advantage."

UAF’s turnaround this winter, however, has been much more than a one-man show though interestingly three of the key players are returnees from last year’s five-win team.

In addition to Brinson other returnees from a year ago include Sergej Pucar, a 6-11 junior center and Stefan Tica, a 6-7 junior forward.  Both are from Belgrade, Serbia.

Pucar is averaging 10.6 points and a team-leading 8.5 rebounds and Tica is scoring 10.4 points per game this winter.  Pucar had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Tica had 23 points in last week’s two games.

Among the newcomers for the Nanooks are JC transfers Pat Voeut, who is averaging 12.6 points and Ronnie Baker.  Voeut, a 5-11 guard from Bellingham, twice has been selected GNAC Red Lion Player of the Week this winter.  He had 16 points and 10 assists in the two latest wins.

Baker, a 6-3 guard from Vallejo, Calif., is averaging 8.4 points per contest.  He had 19 points and grabbed 21 rebounds (more than twice his average of 4.9) against the Saints and Wolves.

They are among eight players who have played in every game this winter.

All eight, including BYU-Hawaii transfer Zach Ngawaka (6-5, Sr., Keysborough, Australia, 6.6 ppg) and JC transfers Andrew Kelly (6-7, Jr., Gilbert, AZ – Chandler Gilbert, 6.5 ppg) and Dallen Bills (6-5, Jr., Inkom, ID – Walla Walla CC, 5.6 ppg) are averaging five or more points per game for Durham, who has a 261-240 career record, including 246-213 in 16 seasons at Montana State.

"I really believe we have eight starters and we rotate those guys in, other than maybe our point guard position. That tells you that I'm comfortable with eight guys and on different nights, different guys can have big nights,” Durham said.

“Pat Voeut, you wouldn't say he had a disappointing weekend but he didn't get open looks that he's had the last few weekends. He was our playmaker and different players stepped up. It's exciting to see and the confidence is building and we want to keep the momentum going."




Copyright ©2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference. All Rights Reserved.