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Nanooks say 'aloha' to Hawaii with win over Hilo

Submitted by Carla Browning
Phone: 907-474-7778

12/12/07

Alaska concluded their three-game Hawaiian road trip in grand fashion, dispatching a tough Hawaii-Hilo team, 73-62 on Tuesday night. The win extended the Nanooks winning streak to six games, and extends their overall record to 7-1: the team's best start since the 2000-01 season, when they also won seven of the first eight games.

The Blue and Gold got a double-double from Kari Reabold, her first on the season, as she grabbed 12 boards to go along with her 13 points. Scoring leader Sheena Brown also had another monster game, putting in 22 points on 7-of-13 shooting while snatching three steals as well. Cristina Bruketta and Nicole Bozek continued their solid seasons as well, breaking double-digits by scoring 13 and 10 points apiece, respectively.

Despite ending the game with comfortable winning margin, Hawaii-Hilo made life tough for the Blue and Gold throughout the forty-minutes, even grabbing their first lead just before halftime. The Nanooks showed their quality, however, pulling away by as many as 17 in the second half before holding off a late surge from the Vulcans.

"I knew going in that this was probably going to be our toughest game," said head coach Lynne Andrew. "First of all, it was our fourth game in six days. Plus I knew it was going to be a battle: this team is very physical. We just hoped that we had enough gas left in our tanks to finish this trip with a sweep. It took every ounce of our effort: our players really gave everything they had."

The win brings to an end a frantic and grueling period for the Blue and Gold, one that saw them play four games in six days, while traveling over 3,000 miles in the process. In the end, however, it was a successful journey, as Andrew and the Nanooks come away with four wins as well as a deeper understanding about the character of their team.

"I learned that I just have some warriors on this team," said Andrew. "These were probably more physical games than we will face in the conference. Everyone was getting hit and knocked around: really getting crushed. This is really made us a tougher team in being able to handle this kind of physical game. I am really proud that we didn't let their physicalness take us out of our game."

The Vulcans got the majority of their points from Krystlelyn Omlan, who had 13, and Chrystal Hodson, who had 12. Samantha Nordstrom just missed out on a double-double as well, scoring nine points with 10 rebounds.

The Nanooks now face a three-week layoff for Christmas before returning to the Patty Center to open their Great Northwest Athletic Conference play against Seattle on January 3. Tip-off in that game comes at 7 p.m.

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