Alaska Starts New Season With Team Of The Week Honor
The Nanooks made 46.7% of their shots over the weekend.
The Nanooks made 46.7% of their shots over the weekend.

Monday, November 14, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. – With a pair of convincing victories over tough non-conference competition, Alaska women’s basketball earned this week’s Red Lion/GNAC Team of the Week honor.

The Nanooks finished in eighth place in the GNAC last season, but has started the 2016-17 campaign well with wins over Academy of Art and Cal State L.A. in the West Region Challenge, which was hosted between Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska.

On Friday, Alaska hosted Academy of Art to open the season. The Urban Knights were 24-9 last year and reached the NCAA West Regional. The Nanooks spoiled their season opener, however, trouncing the visitors 93-69.

Forward Kaillee Skjold recorded a double-double for the Nanooks with 23 points and 11 rebounds to go along with four assists and two steals. Jordan Wilson shot 8 for 10 from the field and finished with 20 points, eight rebounds and a block. Jaylee Mays added 16 points off the bench, including a perfect 4-for-4 evening from beyond the arc.

The Nanooks never trailed and a late third-quarter surge for an 11-0 run expanded their lead. Mays hit a three-pointer during that 11-0 run and then added two more in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach for the Urban Knights.

Autumn Childers led the Nanooks’ offense in the 75-59 win against Cal State L.A., tallying 17 points going 6 for 9 from the field, including 3 for 5 from three-point territory. Skjold grabbed her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds as well as five assists and a block. Wilson was also a perfect 9 for 9 from the free-throw line.

“We played some quality teams that gave us some match up challenges,” Alaska head coach Cody Bench said. “We had great senior leadership from several team members. Jordan and Kaillee were consistent on offense and defense. Victoria Milton and Autumn Childers led us with energy and intensity that gave us an edge. I was proud of the effort and hope we can continue to build on this opening weekend success.”

The Golden Eagles never led after the opening minutes of play, but did pull within three in the fourth quarter at 55-52. The Nanooks responded with a 14-0 run, which proved to be enough to secure the victory over the CCAA’s No. 8 team last season.

Next week, Alaska will travel to Pueblo, Colo. to play in the CSU Pueblo Al Kaly Shrine Classic. The Nanooks will open against host CSU Pueblo on Friday and then play Western State on Saturday.