Nanook women fall to Seawolves
The Nanook women were prepared to be shaken when the Seawolves came north on Wednesday. UAF’s rivals from Anchorage are ranked number three in the GNAC and have one of the meanest defenses in the country. They also have a full bench. With 14 players against UAF’s seven, the Seawolves won the matchup 81-48, bumping their in- conference record to six wins and two losses, while leaving the lady Nanooks with their 18th straight defeat.
The shutout began in the first half. Early on, the hometown women were scoring about a third as many points as their opponents. The Nanook’s style was scrappy and clever with steals and hidden passes but they couldn’t make it pay off at the basket. With a minute and 30 left in the half, the Anchorage women took the Nooks on a 9-1 run. The half ended at 43-15, with the Seawolves on top. The Nanooks had scored a fifth of their shots, while the Seawolves made half of theirs.
It was apparent that staying with the Seawolves would be difficult when the Anchorage team could send in three replacements at a time, while the Nanooks could only afford one. The Seawolves were 34 points ahead ten minutes into the half, but that was the farthest the Nooks would let them go. The Fairbanks women doubled their first half’s score and then some, but it wasn’t enough to close up the gap.
“In stretches, we’ve kept up with any team,” said Coach Dave Thompson, not surprised by his team’s second half show. “We can’t hang with them in their runs.”
Thompson said that’s his team’s biggest problem. With such a short bench (junior Caitlin Hamsley joined the injured list Wednesday morning with a sprained ankle), their opponents can go on huge scoring runs without getting winded, while the Nanooks struggle to defend.
“It’s hard for any team without the depth,” sophomore Denise Benavides said. The 5-foot-3-inch guard was overshadowed by the whole Anchorage team, and lost the ball several times. “It’s always frustrating when you’re down,” she said, “When it’s down like that I try to pick my team up.” Benavides made six points for her team that night.
Senior Lakeshia Levi made a game-high 20 points, but still seemed unimpressed by the UAA team after the loss. “We’ve seen better defense,” she said. As for their height, the 5-foot-10-inch Levi shrugged it off. “I was just trying to be aggressive,” was her answer to their defense.
This Saturday the Nanooks head to Billings, Montana to face the Yellowjackets for the second time this season.