With only the annual Alumni game and the Green and Gold game under their feet, the UAA men’s basketball lined up to start their conference season off. To prove what the 2016-17 Preseason Men’s Basketball Coaches’ Poll already suspected of them, by ranking them at No. 1, the Seawolves started the season off right with two back to back wins.
Coming into the new season, it’s all about starting fresh and getting team dynamics back into the competition, senior guard Suki Wiggs has years of experience with this.
“[Whey] have to focus on the little things, playing hard and playing smart to get back into things,” Wiggs said.
Friday, Nov. 4 – Portland Bible College
For the first half, the Seawolves prospered and proved their strong teamwork with debuts from senior Wiggs and senior forward Corey Hammell scoring early on, bumping UAA up 7 points for an initial lead.
With quick action between both teams, it wasn’t long before the Wildcats started racking in the points, but UAA nearly doubled the score every time the Wildcats even got close to the net.
Slowly but surely, the Seawolves continued to pull their lead higher, until reaching a halftime with a 39 point lead. With a brief timeout, the teams were allowed to recoup momentarily; Wiggs, being a senior and standout played, helped keep the team in the right frame of mind. He realizes that “with all the seniors we have, [they] have to focus on leadership,” to keep the rest of the team going.
The final half of the game proved to be a complete success. The lead the Seawolves initially attained sky rocketed with help from standouts junior forward Augustus Simmers and senior guard Diante Mitchell.
With a quick second half, the Seawolves not only closed out their first official season game with a win, but they did it with a 63 point lead. Of that, 26 of the total points are credited to Wiggs with an additional 15 credited to Simmers.
After a game full of plentiful points, 13 of the 15 Seawolves were able to get in playing time, with 11 of them being able to score.
Saturday, Nov. 5 – Portland Bible College
Returning for a rematch on Saturday, UAA and Portland Bible took to the Alaska Airlines Center at 2 p.m.
After the previous night, UAA had a good outlook. Winning with a 63 point lead gave them a lot of optimism, but that didn’t mean everything went smoothly. Being only the first official game of the season the Seawolves knew that there would be things that they needed to work on, especially communication according to senior Suki Wiggs.
“We played good but we have to focus on communicating on the court, we lapsed a little bit in the first half but the second half was great,” Wiggs said about the previous night.
With their optimism high and their needed corrections on their minds, the Seawolves came through and dominated yet again. With slightly less of a point lead, but a higher final score at 108-51, the Seawolves are already beginning with an undefeated status.
The start of the game was led off with a series of points accumulated from senior guard Spencer Svejcar, specifically 7 points all back to back. This sparked the rest of the team’s offensive to get aggressive and rack in the points.
The stream of points coming in on UAA’s side barely allowed Portland Bible to get the ball, by halftime the Seawolves were already up 29 points at 49-20. This initiated an even stronger second half.
Svejcar, Wiggs and Hammell all making standout performances for the remaining time, they accumulated over 10 points in the first part of the second half alone.
With the lead stretching to 76-36 and still over 10 minutes left in the game, the Seawolves had plenty of time getting players off the bench and got a good rotation going; at this point, a 40 point lead would be a reach to cut.
Rounding up towards the end the game, the Seawolves continued to increase their score until the very end of the buzzer. All in all, the Seawolves accumulated their 2 win for the season at 108-51, with 18 points from Svejcar, 14 points from Wiggs and 11 points and 11 rebounds from Hammell.