Disappointing season ends for Nanooks
Aaron Walling / Sun Star
Coming into the 2015-2016 season, the women’s basketball team had been excited for a possible berth in the GNAC tournament for post-season play. Then adversity hit when senior Stephanie Toumson went down with a season-ending injury to her knee. Then the NCAA upheld their ruling, excluding the Nanooks from the tournament.
The last two games of the season epitomize the overall season for the Nanooks. Alaska couldn’t answer the offensive firepower of Simon Fraser, a three-point trigger-happy team that dropped 12 threes during their match. Elisa Homer had 25 points and Alisha Roberts brought 24 points. They exposed the Nanooks from both mid-range and from the three-point line as they kept pouring in baskets to separate themselves from the Nanooks. The third quarter was a beatdown, with Simon Fraser outscoring the Nanooks 24-15 to pull away and win 68-83.
“You know, it was unfortunate because I felt like we forced them to take a lot of tough shots in the first and second quarters,” Head Coach Cody Bench said. “We knew they were good, and I was hoping we would have done a better job at contesting their shots.”
This issue was Simon Fraser was making the tough shots. Homer went off in the second half erupting to eliminate the Nanooks’ chances to make a comeback in the game. This game though had the Nanooks fighting back, battling back and trying to get back into the game. Much like most of the season, it had them battling against all adversity.
Against Western Washington, the Nanooks were destroyed by the Vikings 99-54. The Vikings had the height advantage, the pedigree, and the chemistry to break the back of the Nanooks who had no answer to Kiana Gandy and Kayla Bernsen. Both kept breaking the defense to the Nanooks, they put on a show with Gandy dropping 23 points and Bernsen scoring her 1,000 points for career with her getting a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.
“It’s always sad to see your seniors go and I tried to give them all an opportunity to compete and play tonight,” Bench said. “We were playing our normal game in the first two quarters of play, but in the third and fourth they were shooting on fire. This was an important game for them in terms of conference tournament seeding, and they were fired up for that. Give them credit, they’re a good shooting team and we just weren’t able to keep up.”
The Nanooks now have to prepare for next season, and try to make the GNAC tournament in Jordan Wilson’s last season.