FAIRBANKS, Alaska - Tonight we're coming at you from the UAF Patty Center where the Alaska Nanooks hosted the Oregon Ducks.
1,603 fans crowded in to the UAF Patty Center to watch the Alaska Nanooks host the Oregon Ducks in a homecoming for West Valley Graduate Ruthy Hebard. The Ducks, who are ranked #3 in the Nation and have been to the Elite 8 of the Division 1 National Championship Tournament the last two seasons, were dominant taking home a 115-36 victory. They outscored the Division 2 Nanooks by at least 13 points in each of the 4 quarters to secure the victory. Satou Sabally led the Ducks with 21 points while Hebard dropped 17. The Nanooks were led by Emily Evans, who earned 12 points while Marian Wamsley finished with 10, shooting a perfect 5 for 5 from the field. Despite the final score, this was a benefitial experience for both sides. The Ducks got to make a rare trip to Fairbanks, Ruthy was able to return home, playing in front of her friends and family for the first time, and the Nanooks got to share the court with one of the best teams in the nation, an experience that will help them as they start GNAC play at the end of the month.
"I mean it was super fun, I want to thank Coach Graves because he let me come back home and show them Alaska and I was so happy. It was crazy, just glad to see everybody here and some familiar faces and it was fun to see," said Hebard.
"We shot some things really well, so we're hopeful that when we are not facing the number three team in the country that they will be a little more effective," said Kerri Nakamoto, Head Coach - Alaska Nanooks.
"The only thing it counted for was to make us better. So we could work on our game against somebody who is really good and just try to get better," said Marian Wamsley, Alaska Nanooks.
"They were super fun and athletic. And there are some really good teams in our conference so that kind of sets a goal for how we want to practice now. It made us tougher for sure," said Kylie Wallace, Alaska Nanooks.
It was a wild contest and a great homecoming to say the least.