Vikings fall 73-64 to Alaska Fairbanks
Jan. 27, 2007
BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Guard Kenny Barker scored a game-high 20 points, four during a decisive run to begin the second half, as University of Alaska Fairbanks defeated Western Washington University, 73-64, in a Great Northwest Athletic Conference men's basketball game Saturday afternoon on Haggen Court at Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The Vikings dropped to 9-8 overall and 3-4 in conference play, suffering back-to-back home losses for the first time since the 2002-03 season. Forward Lukas Henne (Sr., Bremerton/Central Kitsap) led Western with 16 points, 10 in the first half, and grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
Alaska Fairbanks improved to 13-8 overall and 4-3 in GNAC play. The Nanooks had five players score double figures. Center Steve Sandles had 14 points, forward Jushay Rockett 13, guard Barry Barnes 12 and reserve Colin Matteson 10.
Trailing by two points at halftime, the Nanooks opened the second half with 14 straight points to lead 46-35 with 13:37 remaining in the game. Alaska Fairbanks improved its lead to as many as 14 points, the last time at 63-49 with 7:12 to go.
Western rallied with 10 straight points, eight by guard Ira Graham (So., Fontana, CA), to cut the margin to four, 63-59, with 3:57 left. The Vikings were within three, 67-64, at 1:36, when reserve Brett Weisner (Jr., Spokane/Shadle Park), made two free throws. Graham finished with 13 points and Weisner with 12.
But Alaska Fairbanks scored the last six points of the game, four of them by Barker.
There were 10 lead changes and five ties in the first half. Alaska Fairbanks led by seven points, 22-15, with 9:07 left in the period. Western then outscored the Nanooks, 20-10, to lead 35-32 at the intermission. Guard Harold McAlister (Fr., Vancouver/Mountain View) began that run with five straight points.
Western shot 48.1 percent (13-of-27) from the field in the first half, while the Nanooks managed just 34.5 percent (10-of-29). Alaska Fairbanks hit 56.2 percent (13-of-23) from the floor in the second half.
The Vikings next travel to Central Washington University for a GNAC encounter Thursday (7:30 p.m.). Western edged the Wildcats, 79-77 in overtime on Jan. 20, its only win in the last four games.
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