11 different St. Martin’s Saints scored in Thursday night’s game against UAA, but it was Cole Preston’s four points late in the second half that fans likely stewed over as they exited the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (9-2 GNAC, 16-6) were upended by the Saints (3-8 GNAC, 9-10) 73-70.
With the game tied, 66-all, the 6’4″ shooting guard grabbed his own miss underneath the basket before laying the ball up again, putting the Saints up two. The Seawolves didn’t answer on the other end, and Preston forced the issue again — scoring two more points by way of two free throws. The Seawolves nearly tied the game at the buzzer, but Suki Wiggs’ 80 feet heave was just off the mark, giving the Saints the win.
“For us, it was really about limiting our mistakes, trying to play simple basketball, and find the open man,” said Alex Pribble, St. Martin’s head coach.
After going 14-2 for a two-month stretch beginning the second week of November, the Seawolves have now lost two of their last three games. UAA lost to Western Oregon last Thursday before getting a win against Concordia two days later.
“We were hard to guard, we were shooting high percentage, we were getting to the free throw line, we were aggressive,” UAA head coach Rusty Osborne said of his team’s play during that stretch. “And then against Western Oregon all our problems just stemmed from poor decision-making and it has continued all the way up into today.”
Corey Hammell, Brian McGill, and Wiggs scored 16 points a piece. Wiggs, who is averaging 24 points a game this season, shot only 4 of 19 from the field. Meanwhile, along with Preston’s 12 points and 7 assists, the Saints also got a boost from Fred Jorg’s 16 points.
The Seawolves fell behind early in the game but kept it close through out the first half. Christian Leckband put the Seawolves up 54-52 near the mid way point the half. The Saints responded five minutes later, putting together an 8-2 run. St. Martin’s took the lead for good when Preston went to work several possessions later.