FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Tonight for Nanook Corner, we're going to talk to members of the Women's Basketball team about their historic victory last week, something they had been working towards for a long time.
Last Thursday the Patty Center witnessed something that they hadn't seen in two years when the Nanook Women's Basketball team defeated a conference opponent. The Nooks beat Western Oregon 68–65, snapping a 36 game conference losing streak in the process.
"It was really validating to finally pull one out so I think it just goes to show that they have never given up. They kept working... knew it's a process you know? Having that pay off and getting at least one conference win so far was really special. To see the excitement was really special. The whole crowd, everybody was super pumped. It was really fun," said Kerri Nakamoto, Head Coach – Nanook Women’s Basketball.
This team is mostly made up of the same players as last year, where they suffered an 0–20 conference record. For senior Emily Evans and redshirt Junior guard Sabrina Ungaro, this win was the byproduct of years of hard work.
"This year I think we were really determined. Last year we lost a bunch of games and then got down, but this year we got a new coach and were still the same team, but I think we had the will to win, like, the will to fight to work hard this year. I think it paid off,” said Sabrina Ungaro, Nanook Women’s Basketball.
"It helps a lot that we have this group who stuck together in the seasons, through the ups and downs. We all could have crumbled but we all decided to come together and no matter what it was, at the end of the day, keep fighting. And finally it paid off for us this past week,” said Emily Evans, Nanook Women’s Basketball.
Although the Nooks have a 100% improvement in their conference record from a year ago, they know the work isn't done just yet. They have four games left on the schedule, and look to finish strong.
"It took a lot out of us. Especially when we only had nine healthy bodies. So it's just the focus and the determination. Looking forward, we've got a couple more opportunities,” said Nakamoto.