The third time proved to be the charm for the Alaska Nanooks men’s basketball team Friday night at the Ron Logsdon Basketball Challenge in Rohnert Park, California.
The Nanooks led from start to finish but it was by no way an easy verdict as they outlasted the host Sonoma State Seawolves 85-79 for Alaska’s first win of the season after losing twice in Hawaii last weekend.
The Nanooks jumped out to a 10-2 lead and were ahead 47-34 at the break, but the final outcome was in doubt until the closing moments of the second half.
The Seawolves cut the deficit to four with less than two minutes to play before the Nanooks Koby Huerta put the game on ice with a clutch 3-pointer and several key free throws. Huerta was 6 for 11 from the field and 6 for 7 from the foul line to lead the Nanooks with a 21-point performance. He also posted two assists and had a pair of steals.
Quin Barnard continued his hot outside shooting for the Nanooks going 5 for 7 from 3-point range to finish with 17 points. He had two assists and a steal.
Shadeed Shabazz and Coleman Sparling added 13 and 12 points apiece for the Nanooks. Shabazz had a team-high four steals, two assists and five rebounds. Sparling led the Nanooks with seven rebounds.
Nick Klarman and Jaylen Wells kept Sonoma State in the game with 25 points apiece.
Klarman was 8 for 13 from the field, including five 3-pointers, and 4 for 4 from the free throw line to go along with three rebounds. Wells was 7 for 11 from the field and 8 for 8 from the foul line and finished with a team-high five rebounds. Jeremy Lillis added 12 points in a losing cause. The Nanooks concluded play in the Logsdon Challenge against Cal State East Bay on Saturday afternoon.
The Nanooks conclude their season-opening six-game road trip with a pair of games in the Seawolf Thanksgiving Classic on Nov. 27 and 28 at Alaska Airlines Center on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus.