The University of Alaska Fairbanks basketball teams suffered losses to Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponents in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon on the Alaska Airlines Court in the UAF Patty Center.
The Nanooks women were defeated 68-65 by the Central Washington Wildcats, of Ellensburg, Washington. Later, the UAF men’s team fell 71-63 to the Western Washington Vikings, of Bellingham, Washington.
The Nanooks men will be on the road this week for conference games, while the UAF women return to the Patty Center for GNAC action.
The Nanooks men visit the Northwest Nazarene Nighthawks at 5:30 p.m. AKST Thursday in Nampa, Idaho, and head to Ellensburg to take on Central Washington at 6:15 p.m. AKST Saturday.
The Nanooks women host the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at 7 p.m. Tuesday and the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets at the same time Thursday.
The Nanooks, in a three-way tie for eighth place, enjoyed a significant lead in the first half in the Patty Center.
UAF led 21-14 after the first quarter and 37-29 at halftime.
The Nanooks, however, produced seven points in the third quarter to the visitors’ 17. Central Washington had a slight edge in points, 22-21, in the fourth quarter to keep UAF from regaining the momentum it had in the first half.
The loss for the Nanooks overshadowed a game-high 27 points from junior guard Jocelyn Gandara, who also had a team-best six rebounds.
Freshman guard Sam Tolliver contributed 13 points for UAF, 6-9 overall and 1-5 GNAC.
The Wildcats, who are tied for fifth place at 8-7 overall and 3-3 GNAC, were led by 18 points from Kaelie Flores. Brianna Phiakhamngon and Jonnae Richardson each dropped in 11 points, and Symone Brown had a game-high seven rebounds for Central Washington.
The Nanooks saw a five-point in the first half gradually dissolve in the second half.
UAF led 34-29 at the end of the game’s first 20 minutes. Western Washington outscored the hosts 42-29 in the second half at the Patty Center.
Junior guard Shadeed Shabazz scored a game-high 21 points for the Nanooks. Senior guard Spencer Sweet had 14 points to go with seven rebounds.
Alex Sommerfield, a junior forward, collected a team-high 10 rebounds and contributed seven points for UAF, which slipped for 5-9 overall and 4-2 GNAC for fourth place in the 11-team NCAA Division II conference.
The second-place Vikings (10-4, 5-1 GNAC) were D’Angelo Minnis’ 18 points. Western Washington teammates Trevor Jasinsky and Jalen Green provided 16 and 10, points, respectively.
Jasinsky also corralled a game-high 11 rebounds.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.