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Alaska men cagers earn conference awards

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Posted: Monday, November 19, 2012 11:49 pm | Updated: 12:10 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS — With victories come accolades the Alaska Nanooks men’s basketball team found out Monday from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

After winning three straight games and claiming the GCI Alaska Invitational title for the first time last weekend, Alaska Nanooks junior point guard Pat Voeut earned Red Lion Player of the Week honors, while the Nanooks earned Team of the Week honors, as well.

Voeut helped the Nanooks claim the tournament crown by averaging 15.3 points per game and shooting 65.4 percent (17-26) from the field.

He added 6.3 assists, three rebounds and 1.7 steals per game.

“He’s a pretty unassuming player, but a tough player,” Nanooks coach Mick Durham said in a press release.

“He’s well-rounded, better defensively than you’d think and one of our best shooters.

“He’s starting to understand what we want done out there, so his assists are coming around but I’ve been pleased because I like my points to be able to score and he’s done that while running the team.”

Voeut, from Bellingham, Wash., had season highs of 18 points and eight assists in Saturday’s 85-72 win against College Christian University.

His performance helped the Nanooks avenge an

72-63 loss to the Cougars a week earlier in the AT&T Alascom Jamboree at Alaska Anchorage. Voeut was ill during the game.

“He couldn’t practice until Wednesday, so thinking he could hold up for three games, we were just trying to see how many minutes we could get out of him Thursday,” Durham said. “I never imagined he’d have that strength to play three games like that.”

Top team

After defeating Cal State Monterey Bay (80-73), Oklahoma Panhandle State

(77-54) and Colorado Christian (85-72) to win the GCI Alaska Invitational for the first time, the Nanooks improved to 4-1 on the season for the first time since 2006-07,

“We’re trying to use these games to get better, so I think we made some strides from our first weekend in Anchorage to this past week in Fairbanks,” Durham said. “Obviously you can evaluate with the Colorado Christian game, losing one week and winning the next.”

Alaska averaged 80.7 points per game and won the three games by an average of 14.3 points, including a 23-point victory Friday against Oklahoma Panhandle State.

The Nanooks shot 47.4 percent from the floor and won the rebounding war by an average of four boards per game. The Nanooks compiled 71 assists in the wins, to their opponents’ 30, and made 12 blocks and 40 steals.

On the road

The Nanooks return to action this weekend, playing in the Chuck Randall Thanksgiving Classic hosted by Western Washington University in Voeut’s hometown of Bellingham, Wash.

The Nanooks are scheduled to play Southwest Baptist at 1:30 p.m. Friday and Concordia, Minn. at 2 p.m. Saturday.

“It’s important this time of year to get better each week and that’s going to be the case this week,” Durham said. “Our guys are feeling pretty good about their performances but you still have to get better with GNAC play about a week away.”

The Nanooks open GNAC play hosting the Seattle Pacific Falcons at 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Patty Center and Montana State Billings at

3 p.m. Dec. 1 at the Patty Center.

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