FAIRBANKS — The good news is the Alaska Nanooks women’s basketball team stayed close to the intrastate rival Alaska Anchorage Seawolves for 30 minutes of Saturday night’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
The bad news is a college basketball game lasts 40 minutes.
The Nanooks trailed the Seawolves 44-38 with about 13 minutes left in the game and were still within striking distance at 53-41 with just less than 10 minutes remaining before the Seawolves pulled away to capture an 86-58 win in front of 492 fans at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Nanooks started out great, grabbing an 11-4 lead with 13:27 remaining in the first half, but Anchorage came on strong to score 11 straight points and the home team never trailed again.
The Seawolves led 34-26 at the break.
Junior transfer student April Fultz led the Nanooks with 18 points and five rebounds before fouling out of the game late in the second half.
Junior guard Destini Lewis added nine points and a team high seven rebounds for the Nanooks. She also had a team high two steals. Senior forward Taylor Altenburg chipped in seven points and four rebounds before fouling out in the second half.
Point guard Benissa Bulaya had a team-high four assists to go along with six points.
The Seawolves had four players in double figures led by senior point guard Sasha King, who poured in 21 points, dished out nine assists and recorded six steals.
Alysa Horn posted a double-double for the Seawolves with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while guard Mareisha Harris and reserve Jordan Martin knocked down 13 apiece.
UAA (4-2 overall, 1-0 GNAC) won its 11th straight game against the Nanooks (0-7, 0-1), making it the longest winning streak in the series dating back to 1977-78. UAA now leads the all-time series 57-36, including 37-6 in Anchorage. It also marked UAA’s eighth-straight win against the Nanooks at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Nanooks won’t get a chance for redemption until March when the Seawolves come to Fairbanks to close out the regular season.
Alaska returns to the Patty Center for a pair of nonconference games against Dallas Christian at 5:15 p.m. on Dec. 17-18. The Nanooks next conference game is against Simon Fraser at 7 p.m. on Jan. 3 at the Patty Center.