Nanooks sweep the GNAC/PAC WEST challenge

by Aaron Walling

Sun Star

The UAF Nanooks woman’s basketball team, led by forward Kailee Skjold’s 22 points and 10 rebounds, defeated the Hawks of Holy Names to win 94-48.  They are now (2-0) overall.

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Freshman Heather Heild outreaches two players of the opposing team during the second period of the Nanbooks game on November 15. The Nanooks won both their games this weekend. – Max McKernan / Sun Star

Behind the new offense, the Nanooks are scoring at a 94.5 points per game in the early part of the season, but the big story is the larger role the defense played in the victory.

Nanooks’ Coach Cody Bench has to be thrilled to see her offense coming along so well to start the season.

“The team is really resonating with, ‘hey it’s my minutes I’ll get in and I’ll give it my best’ and they capitalize off that.” Coach Bench said. All players on the Nanooks contributed points except, guard Benissa Bulaya who played well on defense and got four steals and three assists.

It was a rough outing for the  Hawks as they couldn’t get anything going on either side of the ball. As a team they shot an abysmal 30 percent from the field, with only one player getting into double digit scoring. What doomed them was the amount of turnovers they had as a team, they had 24 turnovers and only eight assists. Compare that to the Nanooks, who had 14 turnovers but 26 assists.

The offense was creating opportunities for everyone in transition, like center Daron Mainville who made her season debut by scoring eight points and grabbing five rebounds.

Guard Victoria Milton continued her impressive play tallying four steals and six assists.

“Everything we have done up to this point in our preseason practices and preseason conditioning has led us to this kind of offense,” Skjold said.

The Nanooks  will play next in the Dixie’s Women’s Basketball Thanksgiving Classic on the Nov. 19. They’ll play Dixie State, Cal State San Marcos, and Chico State.

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