FAIRBANKS—The Alaska Nanooks fell into a deep hole in San Francisco and fell to 0-2 on the season after a 91-71 loss to the unbeaten Academy of Art University in a nonconference women’s college basketball Friday night.
The Nanooks, of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, trailed by 26 points early in the second half. Zoie Sheng sank a pair of free throws with 8:56 left, creating a 79-53 lead for the Urban Knights of the Pacific West Conference.
The closest Alaska came to the Academy of Art was three ties in the first half. Jacqueline Lovato made it 9-9 with a free throw with 15:01 left. Ruth O’Neal’s jump shot evened the score at 14 with 13:14 remaining and team-high scorer Teanna Boxley made a layup to make it 16-16 with 12:27 to go.
Twenty-six seconds after Boxley’s basket, Jasmin Guinn drained a jumper to snap the tie and put the 3-0 Urban Knights ahead for good. The Nanooks trailed 56-35 at halftime.
Boxley, a senior guard and transfer from the University of Montevallo in Alabama, scored 16 points. Junior guard April Fultz, playing in her home state of California on Friday, produced 14 points for the Nanooks and senior guard/post Taylor Altenburg added 10 points.
Boxley also had four assists along with fellow Nanooks guards Destini Lewis and Benissa Bulaya. Boxley and Marissa Atoruk shared the team lead with three steals.
Altenburg matched teammate Kelly Logue and the Urban Knights’ Katy Wade with a game-high 10 rebounds.
Ariel Dale scored 18 points to lead five Urban Knights in double figures and the senior forward grabbed seven rebounds, distributed a game-high five assists and collected a night-best five steals.
Sha’Nice Storey contributed 15 points, Jordan Rogers had 13, Wade provided 12 and Nicole Biesek deposited 11.
The Nanooks head across the Bay Bridge today to face Cal State East Bay in Hayward.
Alaska returns to the Patty Center for its Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational next Thursday through Saturday.
The Nanooks play at 7:30 each night in the round robin tournament, facing Upper Iowa on Thursday, Anderson University of South Carolina next Friday and Winona State of Minnesota on Saturday.
Contact staff writer Danny Martin at 459-7586.