THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF MEN’S BASKETBALL...
Saturday, Dec. 8 — 2 pm AST — Patty Center — Fairbanks, Alaska
Alaska Anchorage (5-4, 0-1 GNAC) at Alaska Fairbanks (3-5, 0-1 GNAC)
LIVE VIDEO & STATS: gnac.tv or portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAMBB Twitter feed for in-game updates & final scores.
PROBABLE UAA STARTERS (2018-19 stats)
G—Jack Macdonald, 6-0, Jr. (9.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, .433 FG, .417 3FG, .722 FT)
G—Brennan Rymer, 6-0, So. (9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.6 apg, 1.2 spg, .438 3FG, .850 FT)
F—Tyler Brimhall, 6-5, Jr. (17.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.2 apg, .477 FG, .436 3FG, .816 FT)
F—Niko Bevens, 6-6, Jr. (13.3 ppg, 1.6 rpg, 2.2 apg, .451 FG, .377 3FG, .632 FT)
F—Sjur Berg, 6-7, Jr. (6.8 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 0.8 bpg, .548 FG, .577 FT)
SCOUTING REPORT: Alaska Fairbanks has made a habit of close games thus far, playing six of its eight contests within a 6-point margin, including three one-possession games ... coming off a long layoff since a 79-76 loss at MSU Billings on Nov. 27, the Nanooks are led by 6-7 Jr. F Michael Kluting (13.5 ppg, 9.1 rpg, .506, .703 FT) and 6-2 Jr. G Spencer Sweet (12.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.8 apg, .417 3FG, .889 FT).
ALL-TIME VS. UAF: UAA leads 81-22 overall, 35-17 in Fairbanks
Last: UAA 44-43 (2/20/18 at UAF)
Streak: UAA 8
Notes: UAA has won 24 of the last 25 meetings ... UAA has won four straight and 11 of the last 12 in Fairbanks ... last year’s 44-43 final in Fairbanks marked the fewest combined points ever scored in the series and broke the UAA program record for the fewest scored in a victory ... UAF’s 70-68 home win to close the 2013-14 regular season snapped UAA’s series-record 16-game win streak and marked the Nanooks’ lone triumph since 2007 ... nine of the last 14 games have been decided by six points or less, or in overtime … UAA leads 28-6 in GNAC meetings (since 2001-02) and 51-10 since 1990 … teams have met at least twice each year since both became NCAA Div. II programs in 1977-78.
SEAWOLVES FALL IN GNAC OPENER: After finishing with a 5-3 mark in non-conference play, the Seawolves started their Great Northwest Athletic Conference season with an 89-74 road loss to Montana State Billings on Saturday ... Sr. C Brian Pearson led UAA with a season-high 17 points (7-9 FG, 1-1 3FG, 2-2 FT) but the Seawolves were outshot .556 to .469 and outscored 21-10 from the free-throw line ... Jr. F Sjur Berg continued his recent offensive surge with 13 points (6-8 FG), while So. PG Brennan Rymer added 10 points (4-6 FG, 1-1 3FG) and a career-high-tying 6 rebounds as UAA saw a 3-game winning streak halted against MSUB.
TEAM NOTES: UAA ranks in the top 40 of the NCAA national stats in both assists per game (22nd, 17.9 apg) and assist/turnover ratio (40th, 1.36) ... the Seawolves are seeking the program’s 14th straight winning season and the 36th in 42 years ... the Seawolves have earned eight straight winning GNAC records and qualified for the GNAC Tournament every year since its founding in 2011.
PAW PRINTS: Jr. G/F Tyler Brimhall was UAA’s lone representative on the Preseason All-GNAC Team and so far the North Idaho College transfer has not disappointed, ranking 3rd in the league in scoring (17.4 ppg), 6th in rebounding (6.9 rpg), 11th in FT% (.816) and 14th in 3FG% (.436) ... the Utah native has scored at least 23 points in five games thus far, while grabbing at least seven rebounds in six of nine contests ... UAA’s other impact transfer, Jr. F Niko Bevens has tallied double digits in six of nine games, including a UAA season-high 28 points in the 83-79 road win over Hawaii Pacific ... Bevens’ seven first-half treys against HPU were the most ever for a Seawolf before the break and his eight 3FGs in the victory tied for 7th on UAA’s single-game list ... Bevens ranks 14th in scoring (13.3 ppg) and 2nd in 3FGs per game (2.9) in the early GNAC stats ... UAA’s most experienced player, Sr. C Brian Pearson is 7th on UAA’s career list for blocks (65) and 5th in blocks per game (0.8), needing just five more swats to move up to 6th in total blocks ... Pearson is coming off his 3rd-best scoring effort in four seasons with his 17 points (7-9 FG) in the loss at MSUB ... So. Brennan Rymer is showing improvement from his rookie season in all categories, averaging 9.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg and a team-high 3.6 apg ... the Aussie made the all-tournament team at the Seawolf Jamboree and has scored career highs – 19 vs. Lake Superior State and 20 vs. S.D. Mines – in two of the last four games ... Rymer holds GNAC ranks of 5th in assists and 18th in steals (team-high 1.2 spg) ... after a slow start following a season away from basketball, Jr. F Sjur Berg has come on strong with .500-or-better shooting in the last six games and double-figure scoring in the last three contests ... Berg had career-highs of 14 points (5-8 FG, 4-4 FT), 14 rebounds and 4 blocks in the Nov. 23 win over South Dakota Mines, and he has grabbed at least 5 rebounds over the last four games.
TRUST IN RUSTY: Now in his 15th year at the helm, head coach Rusty Osborne (270-156) has led the Seawolves to 13 straight winning seasons, along with five NCAA Tournaments and a trip to the 2008 NCAA D-II Semifinals … the longest tenured coach in program history and in the GNAC, he became the first UAA basketball coach to reach 200 career victories when the Seawolves beat Alaska Fairbanks on Jan. 10, 2015 … Osborne captured his first career GNAC and NABC West District coach-of-the-year awards in 2008 after becoming the second coach to lead UAA to three consecutive NCAA berths (2006-08), and in 2011-12 his Seawolves posted a 24-10 record to equal the 2nd-most victories in program history; Osborne’s 2007-08 club holds that record with a 29-6 mark … before taking over the head job in 2004-05, the Texas native previously served 13 seasons (1991-04) as a UAA assistant, including 11 years as the top assistant … the Seawolves have won over 60 percent of their games with Osborne on the staff, claiming four conference titles and eight trips to the NCAA Division II Tournament ... Osborne is assisted by Ryan Orton (5th season) and Shane Rinner (7th season).