Nanooks conquer Concordia
The Alaska Nanooks Men’s basketball team turned their halftime lead into a victory over the Cavaliers from Concordia on Thursday night, ending their two-game losing streak. The Nanooks were led by senior guard Nahjee Matlock and his 22 point outburst. With this win the team ended their two game losing streak.
“Tonight was a much-needed win.” Head Coach Mick Durham said following the game It’s almost weird to be home. Thirteen of our first 17 games were on the road and six out of our eight conference games were also on the road, so it’s been tough. It’s nice to come home and play well. I thought the pace and the flow of the game was good and definitely in our favor.”
The Nanooks used their home court advantage to start a run in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference as they beat the Cavaliers 83-75. Before their match, the Nanooks were 2-6 in the GNAC, which usually spells trouble for a team. However, a lot of their upcoming matches will give them a chance to fight at home.
The Nanooks locked down the defensive front, as they forced 19 turnovers, with senior guard, Brandon Davis, grabbing four steals throughout the match. Matlock’s efficiency was impressive as well; he attempted nine shots and made eight of them. He also chipped in with six assists.
The match only saw two lead changes, but the Cavaliers did not go quietly. Both Drew Martin and Christopher Edward dropped double-doubles in the match. Martin had 18 points and 10 rebounds. Edwards was a scoring machine with 24 points and 14 rebounds. Seven of his rebounds came on the offensive glass. Rebounding has been an area of concern for the Nanooks, as they do not have a player that is a true center to compete with the taller players for rebounds. That didn’t stop them from walking away with the win to help their GNAC record, which stands at 3-6.
This season now rests on whether the Nanooks take the next steps towards getting back into the GNAC race. The top six teams from the conference go into the GNAC tournament. They are two games out of the playoffs, but there are still many games to be played.
“We needed to start our homestead off right and Saturday’s a key game for us,” Durham said. “I’ll be curious to see how our guys come into Saturday after feeling pretty good about tonight’s game.”