Nanook men's basketball team faces UAA on Saturday

FAIRBANKS-The UAF men's basketball team will face their arch rival UAA this weekend in the first GNAC game of the season for both teams. Both teams have lost their last two games. UAA, has lost three in a row and are 5-4 overall.

Four Seawolves average at least 15 points per game led by Travis Thompson's 21. UAA loves threes. They have made and attempted more threes than any division 2 or division 1 team in the nation. Only division three Grinnell has attempted more threes.

UAF has four players in double figures as well led by Ronnie Baker's 17 per. Andrew Kelly is shooting 70 percent so far, second in the GNAC.

This will come down to perimeter defense and doing better on the road. The Nooks have one win away from Fairbanks.

"Like the last couple of road games we haven't been playing with the level of urgency we need to be playing with," said Kelly, a senior forward for UAF. "So this weekend that's our theme to focus on playing with an urgency on offense and defense and just being prepared."

Kelly also talked about UAA's playing environment when this rivalry game happens.

"Being down in Anchorage in this weekend is going to be really tough because they got a really good home crowd, so they're going to have that home court advantage, so that means we have to bring our A game," Kelly said.
 
Reshirt senior forward Mike Stepovich says his team has to pay attention to the samll details in order to execute sound perimeter defense on UAA's shooters.

"UAA lots to throw a lot of head fakes. Fossman and Thompson like to throw a lot of head fakes so a lot of it is being disciplined and remembering to stay down and always have a hand up," Stepovich said.
 
"It's UAA, we haven't beaten them in a long time, they're ranked 17th so you know we got to go play well," head coach Mick Durham said.