Since the spring semester has picked back up, both UAA basketball teams have been back on the court twice for games. While the men’s basketball team has traveled down to Washington and British Columbia, the women’s team stayed in Alaska to play at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Both teams had a successful start with wins in all of the games played.
The men’s team started out by playing Simon Fraser on Jan. 24 and then Western Washington on Jan. 26.
Against Simon Fraser, the Seawolves won by over 20 points, 74-53. Nearly half of the points accumulated by UAA can be credited to junior Tyler Brimhall who made a total of 31 points. 15 of those points were 3-pointers and 13 were field goals.
This game proved to be the first GNAC away win of the season and also extended their all-time record against SFU to 20-0.
Head Coach Rusty Osborne was satisfied with the outcome.
“Tyler [Brimhall] really carried us in the first half with his hot hand, and our defense did a good job all night of denying their jump shooters open looks. Sjur [Berg] also did an amazing job of fighting for some tough rebounds and getting us some key extra possessions,” Osborne said.
In contrast, their win against Western Washington was more wide-spread on the team. With a final score of 70-63, junior Jack Macdonald made the most points for the Seawolves by accumulating 17.
Following him, sophomore guard Brennan Rymer made 14 points, junior forward Niko Bevens made 12 points and Brimhall made 11.
This game extended their win streak to four games, which also lifted them in the GNAC standings to be tied at fourth.
Osborne thought that the game was played well both defensively and offensively.
“After the first two minutes, I thought we really dialed in with our game plan defensively. On the other end, the guys did a good job executing one of our secondary offenses,” Osborne said.
The women’s basketball team excelled during their two games as well.
They first played Saint Martin’s on Jan. 24 and then Seattle Pacific on Jan. 26, both at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves beat out SMU by a significant 30 points, 88-58.
The overall success was the sum of individual successes, five players were able to score over 10 points and all players on the team scoring at least once.
Junior guard Safiyyah Yasin and sophomore guard Sala Langi tied to have the team high with 15 points each, followed by freshman forward Kimani Fernandez-Roy with 12 points, with junior guard Yazmeen Goo and senior guard Sydni Stallworth tied with 11 points each.
Head Coach Ryan McCarthy is thankful for the opportunity to have made it this far and this successful.
“In terms of the win, it’s been the ladies who have gotten that done. A lot of players have made a lot of sacrifices to get the program to this point, so it’s really their accomplishment,” McCarthy said.
The next game proved to be an even larger win for the Seawolves at 78-37. UAA beat out Seattle Pacific by 41 points.
This game was led by senior forward Hannah Wandersee who accumulated a game-high 18 points.
Significant contributions were made by others on the team as well. Sala accumulated 12 points, followed by Tara Thompson and Goo with 11 points each.
“I’m really happy that it could be this group to get this win [against Seattle Pacific] because right now they are executing the kind of basketball that we strive to play,” McCarthy said.
After the completion of these two games, the Seawolves boosted their GNAC standings to be tied at first. Both with a conference record of 9-1, UAA is tied with Northwest Nazarene. In addition, the Seawolves currently hold the better streak with a 10 game win streak.
The men’s team will be back in action on Jan. 31 against Concordia University. The women will play next on Jan. 31 against Western Washington.