Alaska Sports News

Tarver and Northern Arizona set to kick off spring season
Northern Arizona University's Sarah Tarver, right, is shown in college soccer action. Tarver, a JDHS graduate, and her Lumberjacks' teammates begin the spring soccer season this weekend. PRESTON TRAUSCHT / NAU Media Relations


FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Former Juneau-Douglas Crimson Bears athlete Sarah Tarver and her Northern Arizona soccer teammates kick off the spring season on Saturday, March 2, with a doubleheader in Phoenix. The Lumberjacks will square off against Arizona State and BYU, both of whom were NCAA Tournament participants in the fall, at the Reach 11 Sports Complex Field #4.

“This is a great way for us to begin our preparation for the 2013 season,” said head coach Andre Luciano. “Having two teams that have participated in the NCAA Tournament this past season as opponents will give us an accurate measuring stick of where our development is at this time from a physical, tactical and technical standpoint. I have challenged myself to prepare our student-athletes for a return to the Big Sky Conference championship, and this will be the first step in that journey.” Among the returning Lumberjacks slated for the spring season heading into the fall 2013 campaign are a trio of All-Big Sky performers in junior Lauren Weaver, sophomore Emily Roth and freshman Demi Schmieder. The three players were each named all-conference honorable mention in 2012. In all, the Lumberjacks are bringing back 13 players who started at least eight games last season in which they finished 5-9-5 overall and 3-3-3 in the Big Sky for a tie for sixth in the conference. Arizona State finished the 2012 season fourth in the Pac-12 and made its third NCAA Tournament appearance in four years. The Sun Devils fell to third-seeded Baylor, 3-1, in the opening round of the national tourney and completed the season at 10-9-2. Meanwhile, BYU was one of four teams to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and was one of the final eight teams remaining before they fell to the eventual national champion North Carolina, 2-1, in the quarterfinals. The Cougars, the defending West Coast Conference champions, ended the 2012 season ranked No. 5 in the nation with a 20-2-2 record.

Alaska Senior Games honored

Congratulations to the Alaska International Senior Games for their “Excellence in Games Promotion Award” presented by the National Senior Games Association at the 2013 Annual Conference held in Kissimmee, Florida in early February 2013.

The National Senior Games Association (NSGA), owner of the largest multi-sport event in the world for adults 50 and over, identifies and honors organizations that have demonstrated excellence in their State Games.

“We are very excited to receive this honor. Our games are continuing to grow by attracting more athletes locally and from outside of Fairbanks every year. To be recognized for our promotional material on a national level for the second year in a row is great!” said Diann Darnall, the President of the Alaska International Senior Games.

“By recognizing and honoring these creative ideas through the NSGA Awards Program, we hope to provide a platform that fosters information sharing throughout the Association,” said NSGA CEO Marc T. Riker. The 2013 Alaska International Senior Games will be held in Fairbanks, August 9-18. The games will host over 20 events for those 50 and over.

Three Men’s Basketball Players Named to GNAC All-Academic Team

PORTLAND, Ore. – Three members of the Alaska men’s basketball team have been named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, the league office announced Wednesday morning.

Senior forward Zach Ngawaka (Keysborough, Australia/History), junior center Sergej Pucar (Belgrade, Serbia/Business administration) and junior forward Stefan Tica (Belgrade, Serbia/Business administration) were among those honored for their academic excellence. To be eligible for the academic team, student-athletes must have at least a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average, earn a letter and be completing at least their second year of eligibility at the current university. There is an exception for one-year transfer seniors, which allowed Ngawaka to be named to the team.

Ngawaka, a History major, holds a 3.78 GPA and has played in 23 games this season, making 17 starts. He averages 5.7 points and 4.7 rebounds and has season-highs of 16 points against Multnomah and 16 rebounds versus Colorado State-Pueblo.

Pucar, a Business administration major, currently has a 3.53 GPA while starting in 22 of 24 games this season. He averages 11.6 points, a team-best 7.2 rebounds and is the GNAC’s second-leading three-point shooter (.485). He scored a career-high 26 points last Thursday against previously unbeaten Western Washington and garnered a career-high 16 rebounds on two separate occasions earlier this season.

Tica, a Business administration major, maintains a 3.83 GPA and has made nine starts in 24 games this year. He scores 8.5 points per game while also contributing 2.6 rebounds. His season highlights include 20 points against Multnomah and seven rebounds versus CSU-Pueblo.

A combined 53 student-athletes from both men’s and women’s basketball were named to the All-Academic Team, including 23 men. Saint Martin’s has a GNAC-best six men’s players on the list, followed by Seattle Pacific, with five. Joining Alaska with three members is in-state rival Alaska Anchorage

UAF’s Atoruk Tabbed to GNAC All-Academic Team

PORTLAND, Ore. – Junior guard Marissa Atoruk (Kiana, Alaska/Business administration) of the Alaska women’s basketball team has been named to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference All-Academic Team, the league office announced Wednesday morning. To be eligible for the academic team, student-athletes must have at least a 3.2 cumulative grade-point average, earn a letter and be completing at least their second year of eligibility at the current university.

Atoruk, a Business administration major, holds a 3.55 GPA and has played in all 25 games this season, making two starts. She averages 4.3 points and 1.3 rebounds and has made 30 three pointers this season. Her season highlights include 14 points against Dallas Christian, six rebounds against Upper Iowa and four three pointers on two separate occasions.

A combined 53 student-athletes from both men’s and women’s basketball were named to the All-Academic Team, including 30 women. Montana State Billings leads the league with seven women on the All-Academic list. Seattle Pacific has four while Central Washington, Northwest Nazarene, Simon Fraser and Western Oregon each have three members.

Five Seawolves make GNAC All-Academic hoops squads

PORTLAND, Ore. – Five Alaska Anchorage players were among the 53 student-athletes honored Wednesday as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced its All-Academic teams for men’s and women’s basketball.

The Seawolves accounted for three of the 23 men’s honorees, with senior Liam Gibcus capturing his third straight award. On the women’s side, senior Alysa Horn also became a three-time GNAC All-Academic pick

Gibcus was one of four players on the men’s side to post a combined grade-point average of 3.8 or better. The Lysterfield, Australia, native recently became the second Seawolf men’s player in program history to earn CoSIDA/Capital One Academic All-America honors, thanks to his 3.80 GPA in civil engineering. The 6-10 center leads UAA with 6.8 rebounds per game, along with a 11.6 ppg scoring average

Meanwhile, junior guard Kyle Fossman captured his second consecutive league all-academic nod. The Haines product owns a 3.50 GPA in accounting and is the Seawolves’ leading scorer on the court at 15.2 ppg. Senior center Chris Weitzel, from Gresham, Ore., also made the team thanks to a 3.23 GPA in business management

Horn, a 6-foot forward, earned her third career GNAC All-Academic award with a 3.67 GPA in physical education. The Kodiak native is the Seawolves’ second-leading scorer (15.2 ppg) and ranks second in the GNAC with 9.2 rebounds per game. She was joined by junior teammate Kylie Burns, who was recognized for the second year in a row. Burns, from Kansas City, Kan., maintains a 3.45 GPA in dietetics, along with averages of 10.1 ppg and 7.3 rpg on the court.

To be eligible for the all-academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum grade point average of 3.2 and be in at least his or her second year of competition at a GNAC university.


**Alysa Horn, UAA (Physical Education, Sr., 3.67, Kodiak, AK)

*Kylie Burns, UAA (Dietetics, Jr., 3.45, Kansas City, KS)

Marissa Atoruk, UAF (Business Administration, Jr., 3.55, Kiana, AK)

Tayler Fettig, CWU (Undeclared, So., 3.59, Olympia, WA)

Jessica VanDyke, CWU (Clinical Physiology, Sr., 3.49, Yakima, WA)

Courtney Johnson, CWU (Undeclared, So., 3.37, Kent, WA)

Annie DePuydt, MSUB (Business Administration, So., 4.00, Saco, MT)

*Brooke Tolman, MSUB (Biology, Sr., 3.64, Honeyville, UT)

*Bobbi Knudsen, MSUB (Biology, Jr., 3.62, Malta, MT)

Austin Hanser, MSUB (Education, Jr., 3.47, Billings, MT)

Janiel Olson, MSUB (Business Administration, So., 3.43, Billings, MT)

Quinn Peoples, MSUB (Elementary Education, So., 3.38, Butte, MT)

Kayleen Goggins, MSUB (Elementary Education, So., 3.32, Shepherd, MT)

**Heather Adams, NNU (Biology, Sr., 3.90, Boise, ID)

*Leslie Warwick, NNU (Athletic Training, Jr., 3.41, Boise, ID)

Megan Hingston, NNU (Business Administration, Jr., 3.21, Keizer, OR)

Jori Skorpik, SMU (Math, So., 3.39, Kennewick, WA)

Britanie Lining, SMU (Biology, Jr., 3.33, Lacey, WA)

Suzanna Ohlsen, SPU (Biochemistry, So., 4.00. Monroe, WA)

**Rachel Murray, SPU (Psychology, Sr., 3.85, Eglington, New South Wales, Australia)

*Katie Benson, SPU (Communications, Jr., 3.69, Snohomish, WA)

*Michelle Teng, SPU (Accounting, Sr., 3.67, Bellevue, WA)

**Kristina Collins, SFU (Biomedical Physiology, Sr., 3.70, Port Coquitlam, BC)

Kaitlyn Lowen, SFU (Bachelor of Arts, So., 3.39, Lethbridge, AB)

Kia Van Laare, SFU (Kinesilogy, Jr., 3.27, New Westminster, BC)

*Melissa Fowler, WOU (Biology, Jr., 3.44, Canby, OR)

Dana Goularte, WOU (Business, So., 3.25, Port Richard, WA)

Amber Reade, WOU (Biology, So., 3.23, Phoenix, AZ)

Brandi Benner, WWU (Kinesiology: Health & Fitness, Jr., 3.67, Lynden, WA)

**Corinn Waltrip, WWU (Psychology, Sr., 3.63, Tigard, OR)


**Liam Gibcus, UAA (Civil Engineering, Sr., 3.80, Lysterfield, Australia)

*Kyle Fossman, UAA (Accounting, Jr., 3.50, Haines, AK)

Chris Weitzel, UAA (Business Management, Sr., 3.23, Gresham, OR)

Stefan Tica, UAF (Business Administration, Jr., 3.83, Belgrade, Serbia)

Zach Ngawaka, UAF (History, Sr., 3.78, Keysborough, Australia)

Sergej Pucar, UAF (Business Administration, Jr., 3.53, Belgrade, Serbia)

Jordan Starr, CWU (Physical Education & School Health, So., 3.49, Yakima, WA)

Jordan Coby, CWU (Exercise Science, Sr., 3.31, Tacoma, WA)

*Robby Trabing, MSUB (Environmental Studies, Jr., 3.42, Buffalo, WY)

Jonathan Hawkins, NNU (Christian Ministries, Sr., 3.20, Phoenix, AZ)

**Brady Bomber, SMU (Business Administration, Sr., 3.62, Lynden, WA)

Will Bond, SMU (Finance and Management, So., 3.58, Troutdale, OR)

Garrett Stoney, SMU (Accounting, So., 3.42, Elma, WA)

*Kyle Karnofski, SMU (English, Jr., 3.36, Castle Rock, WA)

Brad Norman, SMU (Biology, Jr., 3.36, Eatonville, WA)

**Roger O’Neill, SMU (Business Administration, Sr., 3.30, Edmonds, WA)

Riley Stockton, SPU (Business Administration, So., 3.92, Spokane, WA)

*David Downs, SPU (Accounting, Jr., 3.82, Kirkland, WA)

Jobi Wall, SPU (Accounting, Sr., 3.77, Arvada, CO)

Ryan Todd, SPU (Business Administration, So., 3.39, Mill Creek, WA)

**Scott Morse, SPU (Physiology, Sr., 3.27, Central Point, OR)

Damien Fisher, WWU (Kinesiology: Movement Studies, Sr., 3.83, Fife, WA)

**Chris Mitchell, WWU (PE – Pre-Healthcare, Sr., 3.46, Everson, WA)

*Repeater/ **Two-time repeater

UAF men take final trip to end the regular season

The Nanooks conclude the regular season schedule this week with a road trip at Montana State Billings Thursday and at fourth-ranked Seattle Pacific Saturday. Live stats and video are available for the contest and Thursday night’s contest at MSUB can be heard live on KCBF 820 AM.

Nanooks at a Glance

Alaska currently sits 15-9 on the season with a 10-6 mark in GNAC play following last week’s stunning 77-73 upset over then-No. 2 Western Washington and a come-from-behind 63-61 victory against Simon Fraser on Senior Day. The Nanooks are currently tied for third in the GNAC standings with Alaska Anchorage and can finish anywhere from third to fifth place for the GNAC Championship, which takes place March 7-9 in Lacey, Wash.

Dominique Brinson leads the team with 12.8 points per game while Sergej Pucar averages 11.6 points and 7.2 rebounds. Pat Voeut contributes 11.5 points and 5.3 assists while Andrew Kelly is tied with Pucar with a team-high 7.2 rebounds. Alaska averages 72.9 points per game while holding opponents to 68.5 points per game. The Nanooks rank third in field goal percentage defense (.422), rebounding margin (+4.3) and assists (16.5).

GNAC Team of the Week, Pucar Player of the Week

Alaska was named GNAC Team of the Week and Sergej Pucar was tabbed GNAC Player of the Week after the Nanooks did what no other team could do in nearly a calendar year as it upset Western Washington 77-73 last Thursday, ending the Vikings’ program- and GNAC-record 30 game win streak. Pucar scored a career-high 26 points while Ronnie Baker had 18 points. WWU was paced by John Allen, who scored 26 of his game-high 33 in the second half.

Two days later, Alaska held Simon Fraser scoreless for the final three and a half minutes and ended the game with a 7-0 run to rally for a 63-61 Senior Day win. Pucar had a game-best 16 points while Pat Voeut and Dominique Brinson had 14 and 13 points, respectively.

‘Nooks in the GNAC and National Rankings - Dominique Brinson ranks 14th on the GNAC’s scoring list (12.7) while Sergej Pucar is tied for 20th in scoring (11.6). Pat Voeut leads the league in assists (5.3) while also ranking third in steals (1.7) and ninth in free throw percentage (.827). Pucar is the GNAC’s second-leading three-point shooter (.485) while being tied with Andrew Kelly for fifth in rebounding (7.2). Kelly is also 10th in blocks (0.9) while Ronnie Baker is seventh in steals (1.4) and Brinson is sixth from the free throw line (.857) and tied for sixth in treys made (2.2).

Nationally, Alaska is 19th in assists (16.5), 47th in rebounding margin (+4.3), 56th in assist/turnover ratio (1.1) and 78th in free throw percentage (.725).

Scouting the Yellowjackets - Montana State Billings split on the road last week as it stands at 15-12 overall with an even 8-8 mark in GNAC play. MSUB scores 76.0 points per game while allowing opponents to score 74.9 per contest. Jarrell Crayton ranks third on the GNAC’s scoring list (16.5) and fourth in rebounding (7.2). Kalob Hatcher is third in assists (4.7) and eighth in free throw percentage (.841). Crayton is also fifth in steals (1.5) and eighth in shooting percentage (.556).

Scouting the Falcons - Seattle Pacific won both games on the road last week to improve to 21-3 on the year and 14-2 in conference play as it moved up one spot to fourth in this week’s national poll. SPU averages 77.0 points per game while holding foes to a GNAC-best 62.0 points per game. The Falcons lead the league in shooting defense (.399), three-point shooting (.411) and rebounding (+10.8) while also placing second in shooting (.486), three-point defense (.322) and assists (17.5). David Downs is ninth in scoring (14.3) while two others rank just outside the top 10. Riley Stockton is second in rebounding (7.4) and tied for seventh in assists while Downs is second in assists (5.3) and Cory Hutsen is third in shooting (.577). Patrick Simon is fourth from downtown (.462) while Jobi Wall is fifth from long range (.462). Wall also leads the GNAC in treys made (2.8) and Simon is fourth (2.3).

Seawolves fall to 9th in rankings

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team fell one spot to No. 9 in this week’s Division II West Region rankings, released Wednesday by the NCAA.

With a 14-6 record against Division II competition, UAA is now just out of the final position to reach the NCAA West Regional Championships, which will take postseason tournament winners from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, California Collegiate Athletic Association and Pacific West Conference, along with the next five highest-ranked teams.

The Seawolves were leapfrogged by San Francisco State (15-9) for the No. 8 ranking after the Gators swept their weekend series, including a buzzer-beating win over regionally 2nd-ranked Cal Poly Pomona. UAA split its two games, with its loss coming against region No. 1 and nationally 2nd-ranked Western Washington.

The Seawolves join WWU (22-1 vs D-II) and No. 3 Seattle Pacific (19-3) to represent in the GNAC in this week’s poll.

UAA has a chance to move up in the final week of the regular season as it visits SPU on Thursday (6 p.m. AST) and Montana State Billings on Saturday (5 p.m. AST).

The regional rankings will be released one more time – Mar. 6 – before the NCAA selection committee announces the playoff fields on Sunday, Mar. 10.

NCAA Div. II West Region Men’s Basketball Rankings

(Rk Team vs DII vs West Conf.)

1 Western Washington 22-1/18-1 GNAC; 2 Cal Poly Pomona 20-2/20-2 CCAA; 3 Seattle Pacific 19-3/19-3 GNAC; 4 Dixie State 17-6/16-5 PWC; 5 Grand Canyon 19-5/19-3 PWC; 6 CS San Bernardino 16-6/16-6 CCAA; 7 Chaminade 15-5/15-4 PWC; 8 San Francisco State 15-9/15-8 CCAA; 9 Alaska Anchorage 14-6/12-6 GNAC; 10 Cal State Chico 13-9/13-9 CCAA



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