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Alaska's defense shuts down BYU-Hawaii

Submitted by Tom Myrick
Phone: 907-474-6805

12/09/07

If the long plane ride and whirlwind schedule had any effect on Alaska's women's basketball team, they sure aren't showing it. 48 hours, 3,000 miles, and one red-eye flight after winning their game against UTPB in Fairbanks, the Nanooks repeated the feat against BYU-Hawaii, trouncing the Seasiders, 73-48.

As has been the case in many of the team's games so far, the Nanooks stifling defense proved to be a key factor in the contest. Alaska held the hosts to just 12 points in the first half, as the Seasiders hit just four field goals in the opening stanza. The Blue and Gold generated 23 steals in the game, and, more importantly, 39 points off those turnovers, compared to just 16 for the Seasiders.

"We played really tough on defense tonight," head coach Lynne Andrew said. "We came out really strong and really held them down in the first half. It was a very tough, very physical game."

Alaska's focus on pressuring the ball and working on getting steals paid off handsomely, as nine different Nanooks recorded at least one steal during the game, led by Sheena Brown, who had five: a career-high for the junior.

Forcing turnovers opened the game up for the offense as well, resulting in quick, easy buckets on the other end. "That is how our offense gets spread out: it is definitely a tribute to our defense," Andrew said. "Getting steals makes it easier to move the ball around and score some layups. We are pushing the ball around well and getting a lot more assists than we have in previous years, and that is making it difficult for teams to key on any one person."

Brown finished with a game-high 16 points, followed closely by Sarah Herrin, who had 15. All told, the Nanooks had four players score in double-figures, including Kari Reabold (13) and Cristina Bruketta (12). Reabold also matched her career-high in assists, dishing out six for the second time this season.

For the Seasiders, Hoku Holdcraft led the team with 10 points, hitting nearly one-third of the team's total field goals. Amanda Watts just missed out on a double-double as well, scoring eight points and pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Nanooks' tour through Hawaii continues on Monday, as they battle Chaminade before challenging Hawaii-Hilo on Tuesday.

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