UAF Women's Hoops

Jocelyn Gandara controls the ball while Seattle Pacific's Hailee Bennett, right, defends and University of Alaska Fairbanks teammate Sabrina Ungaro, center, approaches the play during the second quarter of Thursday night's Great Northwest Athletic Conference game at the UAF Patty Center. DANNY MARTIN/NEWS-MINER

The final field-goal percentage for the University of Alaska Fairbanks women’s basketball team stood out on the scoresheet of Thursday night’s Great Northwest Athletic Conference game against the visiting Seattle Pacific Falcons.

The Nanooks finished at 24.6% on 15-for-61 shooting in a 64-41 loss on the Alaska Airlines Court in the UAF Patty Center.

Later Thursday night, the Nanooks men’s team downed the Falcons 83-77.

Kerri Nakamoto, in her second season as the Nanooks women’s head coach, alluded to her team’s low field-goal percentage in her opening statement during the postgame media conference.

“We didn’t play well on either end (of the court) for enough time,’’ Nakamoto said. “We played good defense for a stretch. 

“When you allow a team to shoot 67 percent in a quarter, it’s hard to match that, especially with the way we shot the ball tonight.”

Seattle Pacific’s fourth-quarter surge from the field — 66.7 % on 8-for-12 shooting — sealed the win for the visitors. The Falcons finished the game with a 44.4-percent efficiency (24 for 54 from the field)l.

The Nanooks were 14.3%  (2 for 14)  from the field in the final quarter.

The Falcons’ defense also affected the Nanooks’ offense.

“Fairbanks is a really good team, they have some of the best scorers in the conference,’’ Seatle Pacifid head coach Mike Simonson said as the Falcons were leaving the court after the game. “We just had to stay true to what we talked about pregame, is that we’ve got to be there on the catch with their stars players. That’s (Jocelyn) Gandara and (Sam) Tolliver, they can really score.”

Gandara, a junior guard, entered Thursday ranked first in scoring in the GNAC with 18.1 points per game, while Tolliver, a freshman guard, was ranked fifth (14.7 ).

“We tried to get stops because Fairbanks is a really explosive team,’’ Simonson said. “They’re a good basketball team. It was a good road win for us and I’m really proud of our team.”

The setback for the Nanooks was their 10th loss in a row in conference play. UAF is 6-14 overall and 1-10 GNAC for 11th place in the 11-team NCAA Division II conference.

The Nanooks hope to bounce back against the Saint Martin’s Saints, of Lacey, Washington, in a conference game at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Patty Center.

“We’ve just got to work hard, it all starts with practice,’’ said Tolliver, who contributed nine points Thursday, including a 4-for-4 night at the free-throw line.

Gandara finished Thursday with a double-double of 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. 

The native of El Paso, Texas accounted for about 43% of the Nanooks’ 26 total rebounds. Nine of Gandara’s rebounds Thursday were on the defensive boards.

 “There were a lot of tipped balls and we just didn’t let it sit there,’’ Gandara said. “We didn’t have a lot of just gripping the ball.

“I just made sure I had my hands on it.”

The Nanooks committed 14 turnovers, which was two less than the Falcons’ miscues. However, it seemed UAF’s turnovers came at the wrong times.

“There’s never a good turnover, but the ones to throw it directly to them to start their first breaks are the worst kind,’’ Nakamoto said. “Out of our 14 today, we probably had 12 of those, where we literally just handed it to them.

“It just puts us at disadvantage defensively transitioning back because they have numbers on us and we get all out of rotation. “

Sophomore guard/forward Ashley Alter scored a game-high 15 points and senior  guard Hailee Bennett had 13 for Seattle Pacific, which improved to 7-12 overall and 5-6 GNAC for a sixth-place tie with Montana State Billings.

The Falcons got a team-high seven rebounds each from sophomore forward Natalie Hoff and junior forward Ashlynn Burgess, who’s from Eagle River.


Shadeed Shabazz scored in the 30-point neighborhood for the seventh game in a row  and the Nanooks stayed in a third-place tie in the GNAC men’s basketball standings.

Shabazz, a junior guard from Seattle, scored a game-high 38 points on 14-for-25 shooting from the field. 

Shabazz and junior forward Alex Sommerfield also had a team-high seven rebounds each for the Nanooks, 8-11 overall and 7-4 GNAC to tie Alaska Anchorage and Northwest Nazarene for third place.

Sommerfield also came off the bench to score 14 points, including four 3-pointers.

Senior guard Spencer Sweet chipped in 17 points for the Nanooks, who face Saint Martin’s at 3:15 p.m. Saturday in the Patty Center.

Four players scored in double figures for Seattle Pacific, which lost its first conference game of the season.

The Falcons (14-5, 10-1 GNAC) were led by 33 points from sophomore guard Divant’e Moffitt. Junior guard Harry Cavell had a double-double of 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Freshman forward Shaw Anderson scored 13 points and senior guard Gabe Colosimo dropped in 12 for Seattle Pacific.

Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.