Men’s basketball loses in GNAC semi-finals; Max Olex gets runner-up in nationals

Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Mar. 11, 2014

Men’s Basketball

The Alaska Nanooks Men’s Basketball team competed in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournament in Lacey, Washington last Wednesday and Thursday. The Nanooks won their first-round match-up against the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets on Wednesday, but fell short in the semi-finals against the Western Washington University Vikings on Thursday.

Their biggest lead of the first half of Wednesday’s game was 16-6 with less than 14 minutes left. The Yellowjackets responded with a 9-2 scoring run to cut the lead to 18-15 with over 10 minutes left in the half. The Nanooks made 41 percent of their shots in the first half, but were only three of 10 from three-point range. The Nanooks led the Yellowjackets 27-23 at halftime. The Yellowjackets never had a lead in the second half, but tied the game at 49-49. The Nanooks regained the lead and went on to win, 69-59. The Nanooks finished the game making 47 percent of their shots, including 33 percent shooting from three-pointing range. Four Nanook players finished with double-figures in scoring. Junior guard and Communication student Joe Slocum led all scorers with 15 points. Senior forward and 2014 GNAC Defensive Player of the Year Andrew Kelly finished with 14 points, Stefan Tica with 13 and Sergej Pucar with 12.

The Vikings held the Nanooks to only 14 points in the first half as they grabbed a 38-14 lead at the break, scoring 19 straight points to end the half. The Nanooks only made five of the 32 shots they took in the half, amounting to 15 percent. Senior forward and Business Administration student Stefan Tica led the Nanooks with eight points in the half. The Nanooks had a slightly better second half, cutting the Vikings’ lead to 13 with 13:05 left. UAF, however, was never able to get a lead and eventually lost the game 73-52 and thus were knocked out of the tournament. Senior guard and Communication student Ronnie Baker finished the game with 18 points to lead the Nanooks.

Skiing

The Alaska Nanooks Men’s and Women’s Ski teams travelled to Midway, Utah last Thursday and Saturday to compete in the NCAA national championships. The Nanooks finished in 10th place overall with senior Max Olex getting the spot for national runner-up.

Junior Mechanical Engineering student Logan Hanneman finished in 11th place on Thursday for the men’s team in the 10-kilometer classic race, while freshman Elementary Education student Nicole Bathe finished in fourth in the women’s five-kilometer classic race.

After finishing in 21st place in Thursday’s race, senior Business Administration student Max Olex finished in second place in Saturday’s 20-kilometer race for the Nanooks, earning himself a spot on the podium as national runner-up. Olex finished his race in 43 minutes and 56.3 seconds, only seven seconds behind Mads Ek Stroem of Colorado. Sophomore Mechanical Engineering student Michael Fehrenbach finished in 23rd for the Nanooks, followed by Hanneman in 26th. As far as the women’s team goes, Bathe finished in 13th place in the 15-kilometer freestyle race. No other Nanook racers competed in this event for the women’s team.

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