Nanooks Move Up To Third, Capture Team Of The Week
The Nanooks are shooting well from beyond the arc, as they are second in the GNAC in both three-point percentage (.399) and three-pointers made per game (10.1).
The Nanooks are shooting well from beyond the arc, as they are second in the GNAC in both three-point percentage (.399) and three-pointers made per game (10.1).

Monday, January 15, 2018

PORTLAND, Ore. –  Entering last week as one of four teams with a 3-3 record, Alaska men’s basketball earned two narrow GNAC road wins to move into a two-way tie for third place. The Nanooks’ stellar performances are capped off with the conference’s weekly honor as they are selected as the Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week.

The Nanooks have caught fire from the field, shooting over 50 percent in their last three games. On Thursday, Alaska used a late rally to down Northwest Nazarene 80-74 before earning its third-straight win against Central Washington, 86-83, on Saturday. Alaska averaged 83 points and 30.5 rebounds per game in the two contests and led the GNAC with a .471 three-point percentage (24-51). The wins handed Alaska a share of third place with Seattle Pacific (5-3) and improved its overall record to 7-7.

Both victories pushed the Nanooks to the final whistle. Deadlocked at 69 with three minutes remaining on Thursday, Alaska ended the night with an 11-5 run to upend the Nighthawks. As a team, Alaska shot almost 50 percent from the floor and 45.2 percent from beyond the arc. Junior guard Alex Baham was one of five Nanooks to score in double figures with 17 points. Junior guard Davis Kimble accounted for 16 points while senior forward LaDonavan Wilder posted 12 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

“We had a good team effort [on Thursday] that helped us grab a tough conference win on the road,” said Alaska head coach Mick Durham. We had a good balance offensively with five of our guy scoring double-digit figures. We didn’t play great in the first half but stayed within range and played much better defensively in the second half.”

Alaska followed up the performance with a 90 percent free throw shooting night to edge Central Washington in Ellensburg. Despite making three fewer field goals than the Wildcats, the Nanooks outscored CWU 18-8 from the charity stripe. For the fourth straight game, Baham led his team in scoring with 22 points. Kimble provided 18 points on 60 percent shooting (6-10) while junior guard Tre Eisenhut recorded 14 points.

“We had energy all night and really executed in the second half and built a nice lead in front of a hostile crowd, thankfully we were able to hold them off until the end,” said Durham on Saturday’s game. “GNAC wins are hard to come by, both home and on the road, and to get a couple this weekend is exciting for this team.”

Alaska enters the week ranked second in the GNAC and 36th in Division II in three-point percentage (.399). The Nanooks are also ranked second in the GNAC and 30th in Division II in three-pointers made per game (10.1) and is 12th in the nation with fewest fouls committed (211).

The Nanooks finish the first half of conference action this week against Western Washington on Thursday before hosting Simon Fraser on Saturday.