UA Statewide Briefs

Chico State claims North Star

FAIRBANKS – Alaska came agonizingly close to grabbing their first Mt. McKinley Bank North Star Invitational tournament title, only to see it slip away at the end, as a late Chico State run propelled them to a 74-65 win over the Nanooks.

Trailing by 16 at the half, an explosive second half from Alaska saw the hosts grab a two-point lead with just five minutes left to play. A three-point play from Christine Vest, however, put the Wildcats back in the lead for good, as the visitors responded with a late 14-4 run that would see them crowned tournament champions.

Despite the tough loss, the Nanooks’ fight-back against a tough opponent gave head coach Lynne Andrew plenty of reasons for optimism as they head into the season.

“I am very, very proud of them,” she said. “To be in the second game of the year and to be this close to a team that is ranked 15th in the nation, and for them to continue to battle and not roll over – I am very proud of that. We just have to continue to find that fire for 40 minutes.”

While their defensive intensity enabled Alaska to get back into the game, a tough night from the free-throw line may have cost them a win: The Nanooks could shoot just 47.6 percent from the line for the game, including hitting just 13 of 31 in the vital second half.

“It was a very physical game, so you know there are going to be fouls, and we’ve just got to knock them down,” Andrew said. “It was one of those things that if somebody fouls you, you’ve got to make them pay. Bottom line is that in a tense situation, we just need to be able to block everything out: just relax, shoot it and not think about missing.”

Chico State got 18 points from tournament MVP Audriana Spencer, and 10 points apiece from Renee Goldoff and Jessica Von Tillow. The Wildcats showed their depth as well, getting 28 points from their bench as opposed to just 12 for the Nanooks.

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Alaska’s Kari Reabold wrapped up a tremendous tournament with a game-high 19 points and six boards. Friday night’s hero Sheena Brown, who joined Reabold on the all-tournament, also finished with 15 points, while Cristina Bruketta turned in 13 points and three steals.

Professor at Prince William Sound wins photo contest

PRINCE WILLIAM SOUND – Copper Valley Electric Association (CVEA) has announced the winners of the first ever Ruralite Magazine Cover Photo Contest, and among them is PWSCC professor JoAnn Benda for the pictures “Cinnamon Black Bear” and “Eagle in Flight.” The winning photos were chosen from 52 submissions by CVEA employees. Six photos were selected. The winning photographs will be featured on the cover of issues of Ruralite magazine.