The University of Alaska Fairbanks women’s basketball team faces three fellow NCAA Division II squads in the Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational today through Saturday on the Alaska Airlines Court in the UAF Patty Center.
The round-robin format tournament begins at 1 p.m. today with the Converse College Valkyries against the Lake Erie College Storm. A game between the host Nanooks and the Chadron State Eagles is set for 3 p.m.
Friday’s matchups are Lake Erie against Chadron State at 1 p.m., and the Nanooks taking on Converse at 3 p.m.
Saturday’s tournament-ending contests feature Converse facing Chadron State at 1 p.m., and the Nanooks trading baskets with Lake Erie, beginning at 3 p.m.
The Nanooks, of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, are 3-3 overall after splitting last weekend at the Seawolf Hoops Classic in the Alaska Airlines Center at the University of Alaska Anchorage.
UAF lost 84-64 to the Westminster Griffins, of Salt Lake City, on Friday. The Nanooks bounced back with a 73-66 victory Saturday over the Wisconsin Parkside Rangers.
Three players, all guards, average double-digit points for the Nanooks. Senior Kylie Wallace and junior Jocelyn Gandara average 16.0 points each and freshman Sam Tolliver averages 13.6 per game.
Wallace also averages a team-best 7.4 rebounds for UAF, which is one win away from matching its win total for all of last season.
The Nanooks finished 4-22 overall in Kerri Nakamoto’s first season as head coach.
Converse, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Conference Carolinas, is seeking to end a five-game losing streak after starting the season Nov. 8 with an 84-77 home win over Queens University of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Junior forward Nigeria Davis leads the Valkyries with 15 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Charon State, of Chadron, Nebraska, also is off to a 1-5 start. The Eagles’ only win so far is a 66-63 victory over visiting Texas A&M International University, also on Nov. 8.
Junior guard Taryn Foxen averages a team-high 11.4 points and freshman forward Jordan Morris is the leading rebounder — 6.6 per game — for the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference team.
The Storm, of Painesville, Ohio, come to the 49th State winless after its first seven games of 2019-20.
Junior guard Breanna Bauer leads the Great Midwest Athletic Conference team in scoring (15.1 points per contest) and rebounding (5.4 average).
The 1-5 Nanooks encounter two Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams this weekend in UAA’s Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic.
The Nanooks and the Northern Michigan Wildcats, of Marquette, Michigan, take the Alaska Airlines Center court at 5:15 p.m. Friday. The Nanooks and the Michigan Tech Huskies, of Hougton, Michigan, meet there at the same time Saturday.
The Nanooks are coming off losses in both their games in the Westminster Invitational last weekend in Salt Lake City. UAF lost 89-77 to Westminister on Friday and 90-78 to Dixie State, of St. George, Utah, on Saturday.
Junior guard Shadeed Shabazz leads the Nanooks with 19.7 points per game and senior guard Spencer Sweet averages 13.5 points. Freshman forward/center Mawich Kachjaani is gathering a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game for UAF.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.