Men's basketball team defeats alumni
Submitted by Dave Geringer
The University of Alaska Fairbanks' men's basketball team took advantage of their last chance to get ready for the 2004 BP Top of the World Classic when they hosted their alumni Saturday afternoon.
The Nanooks scored 52 points in each half, made 48.6 per cent of their shots from the field and defeated their alums, 104-82 in an exhibition game at the Patty Center.
Alumnus Devin Dawkins drilled a three-pointer at the start of the game, and baskets by Kevin McHenry and Jason Williams gave the alumni a 7-3 lead. However, the Nanooks responded with a 12-0 run to make it 15-7, then outscored the alums, 35-20 to make it 50-27 with 1:39 remaining in the first half.
Senior guard Brad Oleson (North Pole, AK/North Pole HS/Peninsula College) led the way for UAF, making nine of 16 shots from the field for 24 points. Freshman guard Chris Jordan (Houston, TX/Milby HS) added 16 points, making all seven of his free throw attempts. Senior forward Tristan Below (Houston, TX/San Jacinto College) made seven of his eight shots from the field and added 14 points, junior forward Andrew Smith (Anchorage, AK/Bartlett HS) added 13, and freshman guard Mike Titus (Fairbanks, AK/Lathrop HS) contributed 12.
Tim Church, who graduated in 2000, led the alumni with 26 points, current graduate assistant Ryan Jones added 17, and Devin Dawkins, a 2000 graduate, scored 13.
Below grabbed nine rebounds and Titus added eight as UAF outrebounded their alumni, 51-32. Bill Baily led the alums with six boards. Dawkins had seven assists, while Oleson led the Nanooks with five.
"¯Those guys can still play, and the game showed us some things that we need to do to get ready for Central Florida,"¯ said UAF Head Coach Frank Ostanik. "We have to compete every time we step on the floor. Tristan had a wonderful game. When we made a run, it was basically our pressure defense that got us started. (Freshman) Kenny Barker (San Diego, CA/Clairemont HS) did a great job against Devin Dawkins, who is one of the toughest guys to ever play here."¯
Ostanik wants to use the game as a way to build a connection between UAF's past and present. "It's vital to keep the alumni involved, and it's a great chance to let them talk to our kids and know what it means to play basketball here,"¯ said Ostanik."¯
The Nanooks will take a 2-0 record into their next game. They will return to action Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. when they host Central Florida in the first game of the 2004 BP Top of the World Classic at the Carlson Center.