November 30, 2013

Bobcats Invade the Northwest: A Friday of Firsts

Follow along with the Bobcats Go West Blog this week as the Lees-McRae College women's basketball team embarks on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Fairbanks, Alaska to play in the North Star Invitational, hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Saturday, November 30

This week has flown by and before we knew it, Friday was here and it started earlier for some than others.

A group of seven went outside of town around 3 a.m. to try to see the Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights). The best way to view the lights is to go to the outskirts of town, where the city lights will not interfere with the viewing. The lights were faint, but identifiable.

After that we all gathered again for a morning walk through at 9:30 a.m., and we were greeted by temperatures around negative 15 degrees Fahrenheit. When practice was over, we went back to let the group pick up some last minute gifts at Wal-Mart, Old Navy and a couple of other stores, along with some bottles of water. When the shopping was done, it was pregame meal time and we went back to the May Flower buffet for Chinese and Japanese offerings.  We returned for the Westmark to prepare for Alaska Fairbanks.

We left around 2:15 p.m. for the Patty Arena to take on the Nanooks. The squad arrived early enough to warm up during halftime of the opening contest of the day. Then it was time to tip off and the game went back and forth for the first half. Unfortunately, the home squad pulled out the win over the Bobcats. Layana De Souza led Lees-McRae with 17 points from the bench. Lauren Lewis added 16 more points while Alyssa Munson contributed 10 points and seven rebounds.

Munson has 34 points and 16 rebounds over two games in the event. In order to enter the Top-10 in tournament rankings for each, she needs 13 points and four rebounds Saturday against Dominican (Calif.). Kerri Belcher has to get four rebounds to enter the Top-10 in Tournament rebounding in the history of the event.

We dined at Great Alaska Pizza and then loaded up to go to the Alaska Fairbanks hockey game. Only a handful in the group had ever seen hockey in person, and we caught about half of the contest Friday night. Alaska Fairbanks took on Michigan Tech and trailed 3-2 after two periods, which turned out to be the final score. We were not the only people there as the attendance was announced at 2,634.

On Saturday, your Bobcats will take on Dominican at 2 p.m. (AKST) and it will be a quick turnaround as we will leave Fairbanks towards Anchorage at 6:05 p.m. before the long trek back to Banner Elk via planes and vans. The next game will be another tune up before Lees-McRae opens Conference Carolinas play Tuesday at Converse (S.C.).