The 21st Annual Mt. McKinley Bank Northstar Invitational wrapped up Saturday in the Patty Center, seeing two more games. The Nanooks women’s basketball team (1-4) looked to win at home.
UAF would not prevail, dropping their third game of the weekend, 87-62, to Southern Nazarene University.
In the early game, the University of Tampa Spartans repeated as tournament champions with a win over Northwood University, 61-49.
The Spartans swept the invitational, beating each team over the three days. Spartans senior forward Dori Nagy left Fairbanks as tournament MVP. Nagy averaged 14.7 points and 9.7 rebounds over three appearances.
The late game was a coast-to-coast win for the Crimson Storm who opened the game 21-0, before freshman guard Savannah Huerta put-in a layup to get UAF on the board.
Huerta was the lone bright spot for the Nanooks, finishing with 18 points, two rebounds and three steals off the bench.
Early self-inflicted errors dug the Nanook whole. UAF opened the game with two quick fouls by sophomore forward Olivia Kraska in the first 90 seconds, as well as six early turnovers.
Turnovers and fouls undermined the entire Nanook gameplan, ending the game with 28 turnovers and just nine assists. UAF ended with three more fouls than the Crimson Storm.
The turnovers, in particular, sank the Nanooks as nearly half of the SNU’s points came off Nanook turnovers, with 43.
Crimson Storm junior guard Cassandra Awatt cashed in on the UAF turnovers, dominating with 18 points, 11 rebounds and five steals.
Interim Head Coach Jessie Craig spoke about how young her team is, and UAF showed that youth.
After a near triple double last night, freshman guard Paola Perez-Mendoza came back to earth finishing 0 points, one assist and eight turnovers. Fellow freshman Destiny Reimers added six turnovers of her own.
Reimers was the lone Nanook to join Tampa’s Nagy on the all-tournament team. Remiers averaged 14.7, six rebounds and three steals during the tournament.
Crimson Storm graduate center Abby Niehues and Northwood University’s Makenzie Tood and Alona Nelson rounded out the rest of the all-tournament team.
The Nanooks will look to get back in the win column next week as GNAC play opens on the road, facing Western Oregon University and Saint Martin’s University on Thursday and Saturday, respectively.
UAF will not return to the Patty until the end of December to play Montana State University-Billings and Seattle Pacific University.