The Seawolves, coming off their overtime victory against Santa Clara on Thursday, Nov. 23, found themselves playing for fourth place in the final GCI Great Alaska Shootout game on Saturday, Nov. 25.
The College of Charleston Cougars, coming off their own Thursday night victory against Sam Houston State, was looking to stop them.
Coach Rusty Osborne trotted out his current starting lineup in his final Shootout game, but the size of the Cougars gave the Seawolves a glaring disadvantage.
Nick Harris, Charleston center, gave the Seawolves fits in the first half. Listed at 6’ 10” and 260 pounds, Harris ended the first half with 11 points and 4 rebounds on 5 of 6 shooting as the Seawolves’ Jacob Lampkin, listed at 6’ 9” and 235 pounds, had his hands full trying to contain Harris.
Harris kept Lampkin out of the paint on the other end early on, too, forcing Lampkin to settle for outside shots. Lampkin didn’t back down, though. After missing his first several shots, he got himself going with a nice move in the post.
UAA’s perimeter shooting helped open things up. Threes by Malik Clements, Josiah Wood, and Curtis Ryan kept the Seawolves in the game and gave Lampkin room to work down low, as the Cougar’s defense shifted outside.
UAA’s defense gave the rest of the Cougars problems in the first half. Harris aside, Charleston shot 27 percent from the field in the first half.
A 3 by UAA’s Drew Peterson tied the game at 21 with a little more than four minutes to play, but that would be the last points for the Seawolves. The Cougars smothered UAA and took a 26-21 lead into the half. Lampkin led the Seawolves with 6 points on 3 of 8 shooting, while adding a block and 3 boards.
The second half started off with Lampkin putting in a shot down low after securing his own miss. Lampkin cut the lead to 3 after a find by UAA’s point guard Maleke Haynes.
Checking in about midway through the second half, freshman guard Eric Jenkins put his own stamp on the game. In just one minute on the court, Jenkins secured a board and, on the next time down the floor, stole the ball and threw down a fast break dunk to bring the Seawolves within 1, 32-31.
After Woods turned the ball over, Haynes was called for a questionable foul on a block at the rim. In the ensuing exchange of words, freshman guard Kylan Osborne was attested a technical foul. In a show of fury, Osborne lit into the referees, as his players tried to move him back toward the bench.
It looked like the emotional outburst might give the Seawolves a little extra fire to play with as they tried to mount a rally. After the free throws, UAA found themselves down 41-33 with 8:22 to play.
Lampkin split a pair of shots at the line that brought them within 5, but the Cougar’s Joe Chealey found himself open for a three, pushing the lead back up to 8.
Chealey ended the night with 15 points, 6 boards, and 8 assists without a turnover as he was awarded Player of the Game honors.
D.J. Ursery knocked in a triple, his first of the game the only outside shot for the Seawolves in the second half, to again bring UAA within 5 with a little more than three minutes to play, but that was the closest the Seawolves would get.
Charleston pulled away for a fourth place finish at the Shootout with their 55-46 victory.
UAA held Harris to a late free throw and no field goal attempts in the second half, but the lack of shooting was their undoing. Haynes was held scoreless on 0 of 4 shooting. Lampkin ended his night with 13 points on 6 of 15 shooting. He also chipped in 8 boards, 3 assists and 2 blocks.