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Playing for the first time in more than a month, the Alaska Nanooks men’s basketball came within a whisker of earning a victory Saturday night at Western Washington University.

Down by 10 points at halftime, the Nanooks rallied to take the lead late before dropping a 94-92 decision to the Vikings in Bellingham, Wash.

It was the fourth straight loss for the Nanooks, who are now 3-6 on the season and 0-3 in conference play. All nine games have been played on the road.

The Nanooks hope to play their first home games this week as they are scheduled to host Northwest Nazarene University on Thursday and the Central Washington on Saturday on Alaska Airlines Court at the Patty Center.

Trailing 56-46 at halftime, the Nanooks tied the score at 76-76 on a Coleman Sparling 3-pointer with 8:13 remaining.

Alaska led by as many as five points and led for the next six minutes before the Vikings regained the lead and held on the two-point win.

Alaska’s Shadeed Shabazz got off a 3-point attempt at the buzzer, but the ball ricocheted off the back of the rim as time expired.

Shabazz led the Nanooks with a 30-point performance that included six rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Quin Barnard tallied 19 points for the Nanooks and dished out four assists. Sparling chipped in 16 points and grabbed a game-highs of eight rebounds and six assists. Willie Thomas III added 12 points for the Nanooks.

Junior Daniel Hornbuckle, a West Valley High School graduate, led five Western Washington players in double figures with 22 points.

D’Angelo Minnis tallied 19 points, while Luke Lovelady chipped in 14. Jalen Green knocked down 13 and RJ Secrest scored 12.

Women postponed

The Alaska Nanooks women’s basketball game against Central Washington University in Ellensburg, Washington was postponed due to health and safety protocols in the Central Washington program.

The Nanooks, 1-7 overall and 0-2 in league play, are scheduled to play at Western Oregon in Monmouth, Oregon on Tuesday and at the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves on Saturday.

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