The University of Alaska Fairbanks men’s basketball team fell to California State San Marcos 88-75 on Saturday and finished up the Cal State Monterey Bay Invite with two losses.
UAF’s Spencer Sweet got off to a hot start in the opening minutes of the game. The senior made eight points in the opening four minutes of the game to put the Nanooks ahead 10-3, but that was the team’s biggest lead of the night.
The Cougars crawled back and the Nanooks went into halftime with a 32-30 lead.
Alaska limited San Marcos’ shooting in the first half. The Cougars finished the 20 minutes with a 41.18 field goal shooting percentage and made none of their eight three pointers.
That trend did not hold true the second half. The Cougars went 18-for-25 from the field and 7-for-9 from behind the arc. They also made 17 of 23 free throws.
Five minutes into the second half, San Marcos was ahead 47-34 and the Nanooks weren’t able to pull within striking distance.
Junior transfer Shadeed Shabazz led the team with 19 points, shooting 7-for-10 from the field and 2-for-3 from the three-point line. He also made a team-high three steals.
Sweet followed with 16 points and Markel Banks came off the bench and made 13.
The Westminster Invite is up next for the Nanooks. They will take on the Westminster Griffins 5:30 p.m. AKST on Friday and the Dixie State Trailblazers on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. AKST.
The women’s team finished its Southern California road trip 0-2 after dropping Saturday’s game 88-55 to Point Loma in San Diego.
Point Loma outscored UAF in all four quarters and five Sea Lions tallied double-digit points. The Sea Lions’ bench contributed 34 points compared to the Nanook’s nine.
The Sea Lions limited the Nanooks to 27% shooting from the field and 21.1% from behind the arc.
Kylie Wallace and Jocelyn Gandara continue to lead the Nanooks on offense. Each put up 18 points against Point Loma. Gandara made a game best 10 free throws on 13 attempts. The point guard went 4-for-9 from the field.
Wallace was 6-for-13 from the field and made five of five free throws. The senior also made a team-high three steals, three assists and eight rebounds, including four offensive.
The next best scorer for UAF was Sam Tolliver, who tallied nine points, going 3-for-15 from the field and 2-for-7 from behind the arc. Tolliver also made one of four free throws and two steals.
The game followed Thursday’s 61-53 loss to Biola University in La Mirada, California. The team holds a 2-2 overall record this season.
The Nanooks return to Alaska for the Seawolf Hoops Classic at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Alaska will play Westminster College 4:30 Friday and Parkside 1 p.m. Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center.
UAF plays its home opener against Chadron State College at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving when it hosts the North Star Invitational. The Invitational runs from Nov. 28-30 at the Patty Center.
The Nanooks’ last Great Northwest Athletic Conference road trip of the season ended with Saturday afternoon’s three-set loss to the conference-leading and nationally-ranked Western Washington Vikings in Bellingham, Washington.
Cate Whiting provided 27 assists and 11 digs for the Nanooks in the 25-16, 25-20, 25-10 defeat.
The Nanooks, 14-12 overall and 11-7 GNAC for fifth place in the 11-team NCAA Division II conference, got team highs of 12 digs from Makena Overbey and 10 kills from Lahra Weber.
Malia Aleaga had 30 assists for the Vikings, 24-2 overall and 16-2 GNA. Calley Heilborn contributed 12 digs and a match-high 12 kills for Western Washington, which is ranked fourth in the American Volleyball Coaches Association poll of Division II teams.
The Nanooks close the regular season this week with home and GNAC matches against the Seattle Pacific Falcons and Saint Martin’s Saints.
The Falcons visit the Alaska Airlines Court in the UAF Patty Center at 7 p.m. Thursday. The Saints, of Lacey, Washington, take on the Nanooks at 2 p.m. Saturday.
News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin contributed to this report. Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMsports.