Coming off a scorching 9-0 start within the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, the Seawolves men’s basketball team have dropped three of their last four games. The most recent of which came on Saturday afternoon in a 74-71 loss to Seattle Pacific Falcons, creating a two-way tie between UAA and SPU for second place in the conference.
However, the defeat did not take place without a fighting effort from the Seawolves. With just over eight minutes left, UAA found themselves down 16 points, but did not feel the game was out of reach.
“We haven’t rolled over in a game yet all year, and I didn’t expect us to roll over today,” said head coach Rusty Osborne.
Seawolves’ starting guard Diante Mitchell injured his right leg in the matchup against Saint Martin’s on Thursday, and was in a walking boot for Saturday’s game. The Falcons were looking to extend their win streak to seven games, and earn a sweep on their Alaska road trip, which began last Thursday in Fairbanks against the Alaska Nanooks.
Junior Spencer Svejcar kept the Seawolves in the game in the first half by scoring 13 of UAA’s first 24 points. Svejcar hit all five of his shots in the first, including three from downtown. Brian McGill closed out the half with a running floater, and the Seawolves trailed by just two points at the break.
The Seawolves went cold from the field to begin the second half – missing 12 of their first 14 shots. Seattle Pacific went on a 19-6 run, capitalizing on the Seawolves 0-for-8 three point shooting.
UAA began chipping away at the lead with the help of freshman Damien Fulp, who totaled a career-high three steals.
“We were able to defend a lot better [in the second half] and it helped us get back into the game,” said Osborne.
A Suki Wiggs lay up trimmed the deficit to just three points with only 49 seconds remaining. A 60-foot desperation shot by McGill at the buzzer was off target, and UAA lost by three points for the second time in a row.
“We can live with physical mistakes…but especially against good teams, you can’t make mental mistakes,” said Svejcar.
Despite not practicing this week, Svejcar netted a career-high 23 points, the bulk of which totaled from three-point land. The transfer guard was in the emergency room on Monday for an undisclosed injury.
“Didn’t practice, but the training staff has been awesome helping me out, getting ready for the two games this week,” said Svejcar. “I just tried to come out and play as well as I could with what I was going through.”
Brian McGill scored his 1,000th career point late in the second half, the 22nd player in program history to reach the milestone.
The Seawolves hit the road next week, squaring off against Western Washington on Feb. 4 and Simon Fraser the following Saturday.