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Weber State drops Alaska in overtime to open TOWC

Submitted by Jamie Schanback
Phone: (907) 474-6807


Photo caption below.
UAF photo by Todd Paris
Senior Jushay Rockett lays in two of his 31 points against Weber State in the opening round of the 2006 BP Top of the World Classic basketball tournament Nov.16 in the Carlson Center. The Nanooks came back from a 10-point second half deficit, but Weber State held on to defeat the Nanooks 71-66 in overtime.

Despite coming back from a 10-point deficit in the opening game of the BP Top of the World Classic Thursday, the Alaska Nanooks fell to Weber State 71-66 in overtime play.

Wildcats junior guard Dezmon Harris scored the first four points in the extra frame. Weber State went on to outscore the Nanooks 11-3 before UAF junior Barry Barnes, Jr. hit a three-pointer at the final buzzer.

Weber, which had four players in double figures, was led by senior center David Patten's 14 points and five rebounds. Harris finished with 13 points and four assists, while sophomore guard Daviin Davis added 13 points for the winners.

Nanooks senior forward Jushay Rockett finished the game with 32 points, nine rebounds and four steals for Alaska. Rockett's performance is the highest-scoring game by a Nanook in the 11-year history of the TOWC, beating out Bogdan Popescu's 27-point effort in 2000. Sophomore Colin Matteson scored a career-high 11 points, while Barnes chipped in 10.

The Nanooks, who trailed 7-0 just three minutes into the game, led at the half 33-30 with 18 points from Rockett. Alaska held a seven-point lead with 1:51 to go in the half before Patten made back-to-back lay-ups to trim the margin.

Alaska and Weber battled back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the second half. The Nanooks held a 47-46 lead with 11:19 left before the Wildcats went on a five-minute-long, 12-1 run. Davis had four points in the burst that brought the score to 58-48. A Matteson three-pointer started the 12-2 Nanook run that would send the game into OT and his jumper with 1:01 on the clock tied the game 60-60. Alaska forced a turnover and set up for the final shot but Barnes' double clutch jumper missed with 3.5 seconds left. After a Weber timeout, a leaner at the buzzer by Harris bounced off the front of the rim.

The Nanooks, who have just nine players total, had three players play over 40 minutes, while no Wildcat logged more than 27 minutes. Harris and Davis helped the Wildcat bench outscore the Nanooks 40-3.

The Nanooks will now face the loser of the Rhode Island-Troy game at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 18 at the Carlson Center, while Weber State will meet the winner of the Rams- Trojans match-up at 12 p.m.