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Nanooks women basketball seeks success in North Star Invitational

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Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 11:49 pm | Updated: 12:06 pm, Mon Jan 21, 2013.

FAIRBANKS—The Alaska Nanooks women’s basketball team is aiming for its first win of the season and hoping to celebrate a tournament title in the annual Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational at the Patty Center.

Alaska, 0-3, plays each of its games in the round robin tournament at 7:30 each night. The Nanooks open against Upper Iowa University on Thursday, take on Anderson University of South Carolina on Friday and face Winona State University of Minnesota on Saturday.

All of the other games start at 5:15 p.m., beginning Thursday with Winona State facing Anderson. The early game Friday pits Upper Iowa against Winona State and Saturday’s matinee has Anderson against Upper Iowa.

General-admission tournament ticket packages, according to the Nanooks web site, are $24 each adults and $12 each for youth under 18. Single-session tickets are $10 each for adults and $5 for youth under 18. Discounts are available for active University of Alaska Fairbanks Alumni Association members, military with ID and seniors ages 60 and older with ID.

The Nanooks, of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, are coming off of consecutive losses in the San Francisco Bay Area during the weekend. Alaska lost 91-71 Friday to the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and 84-48 Saturday to Cal State East Bay in Hayward, Calif.

Junior guard April Fultz leads the Nanooks with 12.3 points per game and senior guard/post Taylor Altenburg is second on the team, averaging 11.3 to go with a team-best 7.3 rebounds per night.

Anderson, of the South Atlantic Conference, is 2-2 following a split at the Wyndham Lady Pirate Classic in Savannah, Ga. The Trojans won 72-59 Friday against Flagler of St. Augustine, Fla., and lost *79-68 Saturday to tournament host Armstrong Atlantic.

Senior guards Amanda Parris and Alissa Diaz each lead the Trojans with 13.8 points per contest.

The Upper Iowa Peacocks and the Winona State Warriors are members of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and each team is 2-1 after wins during the weekend against Grand View College of Des Moines, Iowa.

The Peacocks claimed a 65-57 win Friday in Fayette, Iowa, and the Warriors won 87-54 Saturday, giving Winona State head coach Scott Ballard his 400th career victory. Ballard is 400-235 in 23 seasons of coaching at NCAA Division II level and has a 131-102 record in nine seasons with the Warriors.

Upper Iowa is led by sophomore guard Whitney Kieffer’s 26.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 4.7 steals per game.

Four players are averaging double-digit scoring for Winona State. Senior guard Becca Friestleben leads with 22.7 points per game, followed by senior guard Katie Wolff (17.0), junior guard Kelsey Andrist (15.7) and redshirt junior forward Abby Busch (10.7).

Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.

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