Men’s basketball hovers near bottom of GNAC standings

The UAA men’s basketball team was fortunate to have a home court advantage for the weekend of Jan. 25-27 that ended up in one win and one loss.

The Seawolves beat No. 11 Concordia and lost to No. 1 Western Oregon. This was a quite a different turnout compared to the outcomes seen in last year’s mid-January match-ups, with the Seawolves beating out both teams, Concordia by only 2 points (77-75) and Western Oregon by 8 points (81-73).

Jack MacDonald defends against Darius Lubom from Western Oregon University during the game at the Alaska Airlines Center on Jan. 27. Photo credit: Christian Cielo

Their most recent weekend win against Concordia was only the Seawolves second win in the past seven games, with only a total of five wins in GNAC.

“We stayed confident the entire time [during our four-game loss streak], we have shown that we can play and compete against anyone in the league,” Malik Clements, junior guard, said.

UAA started out on Jan. 25 with Concordia’s team traveling up to Alaska from Portland, Oregon. At the back of the GNAC standings, his game only extended Concordia’s streak of 15 losses.

“[Concordia is], in a lot of ways, [similar to us] even though they have a few more losses than we do, but they’ve lost a lot of close ones lately, so I have a lot of respect for Coach Barbaric, he always gets his guys to play hard no matter what point of the season it is or how they’re playing,” Head Coach Rusty Osborne said.

However, Concordia’s loss wasn’t by much. UAA was only able to prevail over them by a meager 5 points.

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Sophomore guard Jack Macdonald was able to see the most playing time of the night with a total of 31 minutes; senior guard D.J. Ursery played a total of 30 minutes.

As the highest scorer for the night, Ursery managed to score 20 points and 6 rebounds. Ursery tied for the second highest rebounder with sophomore forward Curtis Ryan. Junior guard Josiah Wood accumulated 7 rebounds.

Ursery maintained his highest scorer status for the night, not only compared to the Seawolves but also of the Cavaliers, with only Concordia’s Bryan Michaels coming close at 15 points.

Josiah Wood passes to Curtis Ryan over top of Western Oregon’s defense. Wood and Ryan accumulated 6 and 7 rebounds respectively in the Jan. 25 game against Concorida. Photo credit: Christian Cielo

Ursery was able to out-score everyone by at least 11 points, with Peterson as runner-up with 9 points and Macdonald behind him with 8 points.

These players were able to help maintain UAA’s total field goal percentage of 45.5 percent, with a 42.4 percent average in the first half and a 50.0 percent average in the second half. This out averaged Concordia’s by 5.1 percent overall.

At halftime, the Seawolves were up 9 points, after scoring 34 while Concordia scored 25. In the second half, the Cavaliers proved to be the higher scorers, but only missing the win by five points. Concordia finished off with 32 points in the second half while UAA managed 28.

The outscoring by UAA in the first half solidified their largest lead, by ten points, when the Cavs were only at 21 while the Seawolves were at 31, their lead lasted for nine more points until the game tied at 40-40. Only four and a half minutes of the game were spent in a tie until the Seawolves returned to the lead, spending nearly 32 minutes in lead.

“I thought that was a terrific team effort from our guys tonight, I was pleased with our interior defense, and we were able to get contributions up and down the lineup,” Osborne said. “D.J. [Ursery] will have the scoring numbers that jump out at you, but it was because of efforts from people like Wood and Ryan that we were able to win this one.”

The Seawolves suffered a close loss on Jan. 27, trailing the No. 1 GNAC seed and No. 6 national seed Western Oregon Wolves by ten points (62-72).

Senior guard and forward Drew Peterson scored a career-high 15 points over the duration of his 24-minutes of play time, being the highest scorer for the Seawolvess on Saturday evening.

Clements scored a total of 14 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists. Ursery and Brian Pearson both accumulated ten points each, with Ursery picking up 3 assists.

The Seawolves saw a more successful turnover with a game average of 45.2 percent, higher than the 42.9 percent managed by Western Oregon.

UAA did not maintain a lead at all during the game. Western Oregon led for nearly 39-minutes, and even had a 21-point lead in the second half.

The Seawolves travel to Washington on Feb. 1-3 to play against Seattle Pacific and Saint Martin’s Universities.