The University of Alaska Fairbanks women’s basketball team slid to 2-3 on the season after Westminster rolled past the Nanooks 84-64 on Friday in the first game of University of Alaska Anchorage’s Seawolf Hoops Classic.
5-0 Westminster is ranked 23rd in the nation in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Poll and 16th in the DII Media Poll. The loss extends the Nanooks losing streak to three games.
The Nanooks held an 8-2 lead 2:07 into the game. But just over two minutes later, the Griffins tied the contest at 10-10 and never looked back, reaching a 25 point spread in the fourth quarter.
In the first half, Westminster held Alaska to a 35.14 field goal percentage and an 18.8 3-point percentage. The Nanooks trailed 41-31 at the break.
Senior Kylie Wallace led UAF through the first 20 minutes with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Jocelyn Gandara was next best with six points.
The Nanooks shooting improved in the second half. The team made 46.15% of field goals and 41.67% of 3-point shots. But the improvement wasn’t enough as the Griffin’s made 55.4% shots from the floor and 52.6% three pointers over the four quarters.
Sam Tolliver stepped up in the second half, scoring 13 points. Her 16 total points was a team-best. The freshman guard was 6-for-13 shooting and 4-for-8 from behind the arc.
Alaska assisted 15 of its 25 baskets, with Gandara and Sabrina Ungaro leading the way with five each.
The Griffins had four players score in double-digits. One of those athletes was junior point guard Mariah Martin, who tallied 26 points on 11-for-18 shooting. Sarah McGinley followed Martin with 17 points, making five of six three pointers.
Alaska concludes the tournament with a game against Parkside at 1 p.m. today at UAA’s Alaska Airlines Center.
The UAF men’s team (1-4) also dropped a Friday game against an undefeated Westminster squad at the Westminster Invite in Salt Lake City.
Westminster never trailed, scoring the game’s first eight points. The Nanooks trailed by 15 going into the locker room.
The Griffins converted 59.3% of field goal shots while holding Alaska to 43.9%. The Nanooks transition defense struggled, giving up 22 points on fast breaks.
Junior guard Shadeed Shabazz scored a team-best 19 points on 7-for-12 shooting for the Nanooks. The transfer also made 4 of 5 free throw attempts. Shabazz also led the Nanooks with four steals.
Spencer Sweet led the team, making four of six 3-pointers. Markel Banks hauled in seven rebounds Friday, two offensive and five defensive. Banks also tallied 12 points.
The men’s team concludes the Westminster Invite today when it takes on the Dixie State Trailblazers. Tipoff is set for 3:30 p.m. AKST.
Contact News-Miner sports writer Laura Stickells at 459-7530. Follow her on Twitter: @FDNMsports.