The UAA men’s basketball team did not look up to the task of upsetting No. 20 Western Oregon last week. The Great Northwest Athletic Conference first-place Wolves looked quick, long and skilled on the first sequences of the game Feb. 26.
But basketball games aren’t decided in the first five minutes of the game — they are decided in the last five minutes of the game.
The Seawolves went on an 11-5 run with under five minutes left in the game and upset Western Oregon University 80-78 last Thursday night at the Alaska Airlines Center.
“(I’m) very proud of this group,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne following the game. “I thought we had a very good mental game. We had some physical errors for sure that we need to clean up, but those are always a lot easier to clean up than the mental ones.”
After the Wolves took an early first half lead, UAA kept in game, trailing by single digits until 3:28 in the half when guard Derrick Fain scored and tied the game at 35. The Seawolves finished the first with a four-point edge, leading 41-37.
The Seawolves did not lose focus in the second half. UAA only gave up 16 points in the paint to Western Oregon, with forwards Sjur Berg and Kalidou Diouf clogging the driving lanes.
Forward Christian Leckband had perhaps the biggest game of any Seawolf, going 4-4 from three-point range.
As a team, the Seawolves shot 53 percent from the field in the second half.
Leckband and Fain both finished with 16 points, followed by guard Dom Hunter with 14. Guard Brian McGill finished with eight assists.