No. 9 Moment – men’s basketball nearly breaks GNAC record in tournament win


Chris Brooks

Continuing our countdown to the top moment from the past year, we now take a look at our No. 9 moment of 2012-13. The Alaska men’s basketball team, who surprised the entire league with 11 more wins and a fourth-place finish last season, nearly set a new Great Northwest Athletic Conference Championship record in its first ever tournament appearance back on March 7 in Lacey, Wash.

In the Nanooks’ 87-73 win in the GNAC quarters against fifth-seeded Montana State Billings, they put on a shooting clinic, converting on 58.2 percent (32-55) of their field goal attempts. That percentage was the second highest in tournament history, trailing only Northwest Nazarene, which shot 58.5 percent at the 2011 championship.

In the second half, Alaska was able to pull away from the 2012 GNAC champions by shooting an impressive 66.7 percent (16-24) in the final 20 minutes. The Yellowjackets got to within seven points in the first two minutes of the second stanza but Alaska’s consistency on the offensive side of ball allowed for the ‘Nooks to lead by double digits for the final 12:54.

Five players scored in double figures for Alaska, including a team-high 17 points from junior reserve Stefan Tica in only 18 minutes played. He was perfect from long-range, draining all three three-pointers attempted in the victory.

The win, which avenged a defeat in Billings the week prior, advanced Alaska to the conference semifinals where it eventually fell to top-seeded Western Washington. WWU would then go on to advance to the national semifinals in the NCAA Championship.

Tomorrow, we’ll reveal our No. 8 moment of the 2012-13 season – STAY TUNED!

Aug. 13 – Honorable Mentions
Aug. 14 – Hanneman Earns Spot on U.S. Ski Team and NCAA Berth
Aug. 15 – Men’s Basketball Nearly Breaks GNAC Record in Tournament Win
Aug. 16 – No. 8 Moment
Aug. 17 – No. 7 Moment
Aug. 18 – No. 6 Moment
Aug. 19 – No. 5 Moment
Aug. 20 – No. 4 Moment
Aug. 21 – No. 3 Moment
Aug. 22 – No. 2 Moment
Aug. 23 – No. 1 Moment