The UAA men’s basketball team traveled to California for a two-game weekend against San Francisco State and Sonoma State. In an ironic outcome, the Seawolves added two wins to their record with a final score of 81-69 during both games.
Senior guards Jack Macdonald and Tyrus Hosley led the offense during the first game on Nov. 15, accumulating 20 points and 11 points, respectively. Senior forward Niko Bevens also contributed 14 points. Cumulatively, UAA shot 48% from the field.
The night started out slow with the Seawolves earning just 32 points in the first half, in comparison to the 49 they accumulated during the second half. In contrast, the Gators scored 27 and 42, respectively.
Defensively, Hosley led the team with nine rebounds, followed by junior forwards David Riley and Oggie Pantovic with six and five, respectively.
“We did a much better job in our team defensive concepts, which kept us in the game until shots started falling. We also got contributions up and down the lineup, which we needed,” Head coach Rusty Osborne said.
Overall, the Seawolves produced better averages than their rivals in free throws, with an 85.7% average compared to the Gators’ 58.8%. UAA also excelled in field goals, with a 48.3% average versus 46.4%.
However, San Francisco State excelled in 3-pointers with 33.3%, while the Seawolves ended with a 25.9% average.
Osborne was satisfied with the results of the first game.
“I thought this was a great step forward for this group. We used last week to identify what would be best for this team and made some adjustments both offensively and defensively. I am proud of them for fighting through the first half when we missed quite a few shots,” Osborne said.
The Seawolves returned the following night on Nov. 16 to compete against Sonoma State.
In contrast to the previous night, Bevens led the offense with 15 total points. In addition, the Seawolves scored almost equally in both halves of the game, with 37 and 44 points, respectively. Sonoma State started off slower than UAA with 29 points in the first half and 40 in the second.
Along with Bevens, sophomore guard Tobin Karlberg contributed 11 points, while Pantovic managed an additional 10.
The offensive efforts of the Seawolves led them to a 90.0% free-throw average for the night, excelling over Sonoma State’s 69.2% average.
“This was a great team win,” Osborne said. “We had guys step up again in crunch time. Everybody contributed in some way, whether it was scoring, defense or facilitating the offense. We can now get a good 10 days of practice in and correct some weaknesses.”
Defensively, Brimhall and Pantovic led the Seawolves, accumulating six rebounds each, while Riley and Hosley managed five each.
“I think we learned that we play very hard; the effort was great in both games. Obviously, there are still many things we can work on and fix, which is kind of what we’ve been going through [during practice], but I really think we have a good group and look forward to where we are headed collectively,” Macdonald said.
The Seawolves have an extended break of 12 days before returning to competition on Nov. 29 and 30 against Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan at the Alaska Airlines Center.