The champs are comin’ to town
The Nanooks open up a two-game Great Northwest Athletic Conference home stand this Thursday when they host second-ranked Western Washington at the Patty Center. Live stats and video are available for the contest and it can also be heard on KCBF 820 AM.
Nanooks at a glance
Alaska currently sits 13-9 on the season with an 8-6 mark in GNAC play following a heart-breaking 71-69 road loss last Saturday at rival Alaska Anchorage. The Nanooks can clinch their first-ever berth in the GNAC Championship on Thursday night with either a win over WWU or a Western Oregon loss at home to Montana State Billings.
Dominique Brinson leads the team with 12.7 points per game while Pat Voeut averages 11.9 points and 5.2 assists. Sergej Pucar is third in scoring with 10.8 points and leads the ‘Nooks with 7.2 rebounds. Andrew Kelly is second on the boards with 7.0 rebounds. Alaska averages 73.2 points per game while holding opponents to 68.6 points per game. The Nanooks rank third in the GNAC in free throw percentage (.718), rebounding margin (+4.3) and assists (16.7).
UAA downs Alaska in final minute
Alaska rallied from 13 points down in the second half but with the Nanooks leading 69-67 inside a minute to go, Teancum Stafford was fouled on a three with 48.7 to go and made all three free throws. Alaska missed twice on the offensive end and trailing 71-69 with 3.0 seconds to go, Pat Voeut’s pass from midcourt was tipped and UAA ran out the clock for the season sweep.
Ronnie Baker scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the second half while also bringing down a game-high seven rebounds. Sergej Pucar scored all 12 of his points in the second half. UAA was led by Stafford’s 18 points and six boards while Kyle Fossman and Abebe Demissie each scored 16.
‘Nooks in the GNAC top-10 and national rankings
Dominique Brinson ranks 14th on the GNAC’s scoring list (12.7) while Pat Voeut is 18th in the same category (11.9). Sergej Pucar is third in rebounding (7.2) and fifth in three-point shooting (.464). Voeut also ranks second in assists (5.2), third in steals (1.6), eighth in free throw percentage (.840) and 10th in assist/turnover ratio (1.8). Brinson is fifth from the free throw line (.862) and tied for sixth in threes made (2.2). Andrew Kelly is fifth in rebounding (7.0) and 10th in blocks (0.9) and Ronnie Baker is tied for sixth in steals (1.4).
Nationally, Alaska is 19th in assists (16.7), 47th in assist/turnover ratio (1.13) and 50th in rebounding margin (+4.3). Voeut is 26th in assists, 72nd in free throw percentage and 84th in assist/turnover ratio.
Scouting the Vikings
Western Washington won both games at home last week to extend its win streak to a collegiate-best 30 in a row. It enters Thursday with a perfect 24-0 record and 15-0 mark in GNAC play, both of which are conference records, and has not lost since March 2, 2012 in the GNAC semifinals. WWU averages a league-best 87.4 points and is second in scoring defense with 68.4 points allowed per game. The Vikings lead the league in scoring margin (+19.0), three-point defense (.278), blocks (5.3) and steals (9.0) while ranking second in free throw percentage (.744) and rebounding margin (+8.9).
John Allen is the GNAC’s second-leading scorer (17.1) while also ranking fourth in assists (4.1), sixth in free throw shooting (.849) and tied for 10th in steals. Paul Jones is eighth in scoring (14.7), ninth in rebounding (6.8), second in shooting percentage (.581) and tied for 10th in thefts (1.4). Austin Bragg is tops in rebounding (7.5). Cameron Severson is third in free throw percentage (.870) and sixth in shooting (.567) while Richard Woodworth is third from three-point range (.475), fourth from the line (.864), 10th in assists (3.5) and tied for 10th in steals (1.4).