Wolves fall in Alaska during three-game road trip

 Staff Writer

The women’s basketball team traveled far north this past weekend to take on the pair of Alaska schools. On Thursday, Feb. 5, the Wolves suffered a tough defeat at the hands of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, falling 60-47.

“The two losses in Alaska have made our team really motivated to get wins at home this week,” said guard Jordan Mottershaw. “We have to refocus and take care of our home court. We know from our last two games that we need to put more emphasis on rebounding.”

Western (5-14, 2-9 GNAC) started slowly and trailed by as many as 14 points in the first half before battling back behind the duo of forward Dana Goularte and Mottershaw (11 points each) to cut the deficit to three points early in the second half.

The Wolves, however, would never get closer as the Nanooks (13-9, 5-7 GNAC) used a 20-point performance by Benissa Bulaya to pull away and secure the victory.

“We’re working on controlling what we can control and playing together,” said forward Sami Osborne. “We’re striving to finish these last few weeks off strong, fighting our way up for the sixth spot and working towards playing to our full potential as a team.”

On Saturday, Nov. 7, the Wolves faced one of the best teams in the country, No. 2 ranked Alaska-Anchorage. The Seawolves (22-1, 12-1 GNAC) flexed their muscles from the opening tip, jumping out to a 19-0 lead in the first six minutes of the game en route to a 77-51 victory.

Goularte and Mottershaw led Western (5-15, 2-10 GNAC) in scoring for the second straight game, scoring 10 points each while Osborne pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. Alaska-Anchorage got a major boost from their bench as Sierra Afoa and Jenna Buchannon scored 15 and 14 points respectively in reserve.

“Anchorage is one of the best teams in the nation and I credit that to their work ethic and mental toughness,” said head coach Holli Howard-Carpenter. “A takeaway from that game is that we have to do everything with a purpose: cut hard, set solid screens, make the extra pass, finish every play with a box out.

“It really is about how well we can execute the “little things” and also being mentally tough when faced with adversity. Basketball is a game of runs and we must focus on limiting our opponent’s runs and extending our own,” Howard-Carpenter said.

The Wolves return home to host Simon Fraser University on Thursday, Feb. 12 and Western Washington University on Saturday, Feb. 14 for the Play4Kay game to raise Breast Cancer Awareness.