Women’s basketball faces tough tests at #5 WWU & #13 SFU

Photo by Paul McCarthy
Photo by Paul McCarthy

Jamie Foland

Starting the Second Half Looking for a W
The Nanooks hit the road for their final two games of a four-game road trip this week as they face a pair of nationally-ranked programs in No. 5 Western Washington and No. 13 Simon Fraser. Live stats and live video will be available for both games.

Nanooks at a Glance
Alaska currently sits 2-15 on the season with a 0-9 mark in GNAC play entering this week’s trip. Saturday’s loss at Western Oregon extended Alaska’s losing skid to eight games and its GNAC losing streak to 18 straight. The last GNAC win for the Nanooks was back on Jan. 21, 2012, when they downed Western Oregon 69-68 at home.

Taylor Altenburg leads the team with 10.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game while Jacqueline Lovato scores 8.2 points to go with 5.1 rebounds per outing. Benissa Bulayaalso contributes 7.3 points and 2.6 assists per contest. Alaska scores 63.4 points per game while allowing its opponents to average 73.7 points per game.

Alaska Drops a Pair at SMU and WOU
Saint Martin’s never trailed and used a 53 percent shooting night from outside to down Alaska 74-57 last Thursday. Angela Gelhar came off the bench and hit four treys to finish with a game-high 20 points while Chelsea Haskey had 16 and Jordyn Richardson had 15. Two nights later, Western Oregon used a 17-5 run in the final four minutes of the first half and held off the Nanooks late for a 67-61 win. Melissa Fowler led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds while Lorrie Clifford contributed 16 points in the win.

Alaska was paced by junior forward Samantha Thornton, who averaged 12.5 points and 8.0 rebounds while making three blocks. Senior forward Jacqueline Lovato had 11.5 points and 4.5 rebounds while senior guard Taylor Altenburg contributed 9.0 points and 6.0 rebounds while also totaling six assists, two blocks and two steals.

How We Rank in the GNAC
Taylor Altenburg ranks 20th in the league in scoring and 13th in rebounding. Benissa Bulaya is fifth in shooting percentage (.500), fifth in steals (2.4) and tied for 14th in assists (2.6). Kelly Logue is ninth in steals (2.1) and Altenburg is tied for 11th in the same category (2.0) while she also places 10th in blocks (0.8), 13th in free throw percentage (.741) and 16th in shooting (.410). Jacqueline Lovato is also tied for 10th in three pointers per game (1.8) while Samantha Thornton is 17th in blocks (0.6).

Scouting the Vikings GAME NOTES
Western Washington completed a perfect first half of the GNAC season after picking up two road wins last week. It enters Thursday with a 15-3 overall record and 9-0 mark in league play after downing Central Washington 79-73 and Northwest Nazarene 70-66. The Vikings average 71.5 points per game while allowing their foes to score 59.9 per outing. Britt Harris is tied for sixth in the GNAC with 14.8 points per game while two others average double-figure scoring. Harris is also second in shooting percentage (.595) while teammateTrishi Williams is second in steals (2.7) and third in shooting (.517). Williams and Corinn Waltrip are fifth (4.3) and eighth (3.1) in assists while Sarah Hill is 10th in rebounding (6.4) and Harris is 10th from the free throw line (.754).

Scouting the Clan
Simon Fraser wrapped up the first half of conference season with a 7-2 record and comes into the week with a 14-3 overall record. The Clan fell 60-59 at Northwest Nazarene before bouncing back with a 66-58 victory at Central Washington last week. SFU leads the league in scoring offense (73.1) and scoring defense (54.8) with an average margin of victory at 18.3 points per game. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe is the GNAC’s third-leading scorer with 15.9 points, leading shooter (.665) and leading rebounder with 12.6 boards per game. Erin Chambers is also eighth in scoring (14.7) and shooting (.463) and fifth in free throw percentage (.885). Kristina Collins is third in assists (5.1) while Katie Lowen is ninth in the same category (2.9).


Alaska Nanooks Women’s Basketball
Game 18 at #5 Western Washington (15-2, 9-0 GNAC)
Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 | 6 p.m. | Carver Gymnasium
Live Stats   Live Video

Game 19 at #13 Simon Fraser (14-3, 7-2 GNAC)
Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 | 6 p.m. | West Gymnasium
Live Stats   Live Video

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