Alaska basketball starts 2014 with home victory

FAIRBANKS-The Nanook men's basketball team really likes playing in the Patty Center. After tonight's 67-58 victory over the Simon Fraser Clan UAF is 5-0 at the Patty. That's the best start at home in 11 years for the Nanooks.

What is it about the Patty Center? Tonight the Nanooks play staunch defense as they held the Clan to 39 percent shooting. When the Nanooks hold opponents under 40 percent shooting good things happen because their record is 4-0.

It didn't look as if all those circumstances would equal a UAF win early on. The Clan (7-4, 0-3 GNAC) went crazy from beyond the arc hitting they're first four shots from three land. They jumped out to a 9-2 lead and had 12-6 lead after their fourth three ball dropped. Simon Fraser finished 10-26 from three.

The Nanooks (6-4, 1-1 GNAC) were not phased and worked their defense into the game. Trailing 12-6 they used a 16-3 run and would not give up their lead for the rest of the game. UAF was up 34-24 at the hald. Here's another stat. All of Alaska's wins this season have come when the Nanooks are up at the break.

The way the Nanooks didn't give up the lead is that they took care of the ball. The forced 22 turnvovers which led to 22 points. The Nanooks had just seven turnovers in this one. Joe Slocum led the charge with a team high 14 points on 4-6 shooting, three assists and zero turnovers.

UAF was balanced with four players getting double digit scoring nights. Ronnie Baker also had 14 points and 10 of those points were in the second half. Andrew Kelly scored 12 points and added a team high eight rebounds. Sergej Pucar had 12 points as well.

The Nanooks now welcome no.15 Western Washington on Saturday for a 3pm tip-off. The Vikings come in fired up after dismantling UAA tonight 104-89.