To kick off the winter break, the UAA men’s basketball team arrived at the Alaska Airlines Center prepared to meet UAA alumni on the court. The game is an annual tradition, allowing previous Seawolves to compete against current team players.
With the winter break progressing, Head Coach Rusty Osborne has had ample time to spend with the team in practice making improvements. The alumni game allowed them a competitive atmosphere to make some changes.
“We had a good week of practice and worked on a lot of things we felt we were deficient at,” Osborne said. “We made a few little slight adjustments with the things we are doing, both defensively and offensively, and I think we came out and tried to do those.”
This year, recent stars including Christian Leckband (2012-16) and Corey Hammell (2015-17) appeared on the alumni team, as well as much more seasoned players such as Carl Arts (2004-08) and Lonnie Ridgeway (2007-12). These players were also joined by an additional nine other players to take on the current UAA roster of ten men.
The alumni put up a good fight, scoring a total of 90 points and solidifying a field goal average of 43.5 percent. However, that was not enough to beat out the current Seawolves who finished the game off with 127 points and an impressive field goal average of 67.1 percent.
The alumni improved as the game moved forward; in the first half, they scored 31 points, but they scored 59 in the second half to almost double they previous points. While the Seawolves improved just slightly, they beat the alumni out by consistently scoring high in both halves, 61 and 66, respectively.
Individually, both teams excelled with the every single player scoring for the Seawolves and all but four players scoring for the alumni.
The Seawolves had four players scoring over twenty points; junior forward Niko Bevens and senior guard Matt Seymour scored 20 points each, freshman guard Tobin Kalberg scored 21 points, and junior guard Tyler Brimhall scored 25 points.
For the alumni, two players tied as the highest scorers. Ridgeway and Hammell each accumulated a total of 17 points. Following them was Leckband with 16, Arts with 12, Travis Thompson (2010-15) with 11 and Boomer Blossom (2011-15) with 10.
“We had good contributions all over and we were really happy with it for sure,” Osborne said.
Osborne made sure to let every player get some time on the court, with a minimum amount of individual minutes played being 11 and a maximum being 26. All ten Seawolves were able to attempt and successfully make a field goal, while an additional six of the players successfully making at least one 3-pointer.
The Seawolves will use the rest of the holiday to relax and recover until they are back in action on Jan. 3 against Western Oregon at the Alaska Airlines Center.
For a full schedule and more results, visit www.goseawolves.com.