FAIRBANKS, Alaska. (KTVF) History was made down in Bellingham, Washington as Alaska Nanooks Head Coach Greg Sparling of the men’s basketball team earned his 400th win as a coach. Alaska won 96-85 over the Western Washington Vikings.
“All the memories just started running through," said Sparling after his milestone victory. "When I started at NAIA, I was the youngest coach at four year programs to now. How life is a bunch of twists and turns, but to get me to this point to get me to 400 is pretty cool.”
The Nanooks were down 42-31 at halftime, but in the second half Alaska woke up to complete a wild comeback. Shadeed Shabazz, one of the top players in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, led the Nooks with 43 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 4 steals along with 7-9 from downtown.
“It was huge, it was the most points that opponent had scored in Carver Gym. He’s a special player,” said Sparling about Shabazz’s performance. “He can really score on all facets. Some other guys stepped up, it was a great team win.”
Alaska hit 52.9% of their threes and scored 62 points in the paint. They also went 21-27 from the free throw line. The Nanooks improve to 8-5 in the GNAC, and they are in a three-way tie for second in the standings with Western Washington and Northwest Nazarene.
Alaska now prepare for a their second leg of the road trip as they take on Simon Fraser in Burnaby, British Columbia on February 8.