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Steve White and the Seawolves sank UAF with a 17-point comeback in a 68-62 victory on Dec. 10.
Courtesy: Michael Dinneen / UAA Athletics

#20 men conclude tight GNAC race at UAF

Courtesy: UAA Sports Information
Release: 02/21/2012
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THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF BASKETBALL…

Thursday, Feb. 23 — 7 pm AST — Patty Center — Fairbanks, AK
#20 Alaska Anchorage (20-5, 14-3 GNAC)
at Alaska Fairbanks (5-22, 2-15 GNAC)


RADIO: Live on FM-93.7 KAFC

ONLINE VIDEO: Free at uaaseawolves.nmtvsports.com

ONLINE AUDIO: Online audio for all UAA men’s games is available at GoSeawolves.com in the ‘SplashZone’ (subscription fee applies).

LIVE STATS: GoSeawolves.com

SOCIAL MEDIA: Halftime and final score updates on Facebook (Alaska Anchorage Seawolves) and Twitter (@UAASeawolves).

UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2011-12 stats)
G—Steve White, 6-0/195, Sr. (7.5 ppg, 5.1 apg, 2.6 rpg, .480 FG, .784 FT)
G—Kyle Fossman, 6-0/180, So. (10.2 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.7 apg, .486 FG, .471 3FG, .875 FT)
G—Travis Thompson, 6-1/195, So. (11.1 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.2 spg, .455 3FG, .863 FT)
G—Colton Lauwers, 6-3/235, So. (4.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.5 apg, 2.2 A-T ratio, .346 3FG)
C—Taylor Rohde, 6-9/255, Sr. (20.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg, .631 FG, .790 FT [128-162])

SCOUTING THE NANOOKS: Alaska Fairbanks snapped a 13-game losing streak with Saturday’s 72-70 home victory over Saint Martin’s … the Nanooks, who will be winding up their season Thursday, are led by a trio of double-digit scorers in 6-7 So. G/F Stefan Tica (14.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, .375 3FG), 6-0 Jr. G Dominique Brinson (12.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.5 spg, .829 FT) and Sergej Pucar (12.0 ppg, 5.3 rpg, .483 FG, .798 FT).

ALL-TIME SERIES: UAA leads 69-21 (29-16 at UAF)
   Last Meeting: UAA 68-62 (12/10/11 at UAA)
   Streak: UAA 12 / Notes: UAA has won 5 straight in Fairbanks … UAF’s last win overall was 76-73 in Fairbanks, Jan. 28, 2006 … the current streak is the third time in series history that UAA has taken at least 12 in a row … UAA leads 16-5 in GNAC meetings (since 2001-02) and 39-9 since 1990 … teams have met at least twice each year since both becoming NCAA Div. II programs in 1977-78.

TEAM COMPARISONS    UAA    UAF
Overall Record      20-5   5-22
Conference Record   14-3   2-15
UAA Road/Opp. Home  6-2    2-9
Points per Game     77.9   68.7
Points Allowed/Gm   64.1   76.6    
Rebounding Diff.    +5.2   -5.3
Assists per Game    19.7   13.9
Turnovers per Game  12.5   13.2
Steals per Game     6.2    7.1
Blocks per Game     2.4    1.7
FG%                 .504   .428
3-pt FG%            .410   .321
FT%                 .757   .766


WHAT’S AT STAKE: UAA is still chasing Western Washington for the GNAC regular-season title while trying to fend off 3rd-place Seattle Pacific in the league standings … should the Seawolves beat UAF, they would need WWU to lose one of its remaining two games (vs SPU & MSUB) to forge a tie for the GNAC regular-season title; two WWU losses and a UAA win would give the Seawolves the outright title … in case of a tie, WWU would be the top seed for the GNAC Tournament due to its season sweep of UAA … meanwhile, UAA has already clinched no worse than a tie for second place, but the Seawolves must beat UAF (or get one loss by SPU in one of its final two games) to earn the No. 2 seed for the GNAC tourney, which features first-round byes for the top two seeds … also at stake is UAA’s standing in the West Region rankings (currently No. 2), which determine seeding for the NCAA Tournament.

LAST TIME VS UAF: Sr. C Taylor Rohde had 24 points (11-21 FG) and 9 rebounds as UAA completed a 17-point second-half comeback to hold home court in its GNAC opener against Alaska Fairbanks, 68-62, on Dec. 10 …  the sophomore guard duo of Kyle Fossman and Travis Thompson also came up big, combining for 34 points, 16 assists and just one turnover … Fossman scored all of his then-career-high 19 points (7-11 FG, 5-9 3FG) after halftime, while Thompson finished with 15 points (6-11 FG, 2-4 3FG), 11 assists, no turnovers and 2 steals … UAA trailed 33-23 at halftime and 45-28 with 16:47 remaining before Fossman started a 35-10 surge with back-to-back three-pointers … the Seawolves took the lead for good with 5:11 to play when Sr. PG Steve White (5 reb., 4 asst.) found So. G Colton Lauwers (6 pts, 2-4 3FG, 3 reb.) open for a trey on an out-of-bounds play with one second showing on the shot clock, making it 58-55 … Sr. G Phillip Hearn tallied a career-high 3 steals in the win.

FINE HOME FINALES: The Seawolves put together big second halves both nights to end their 2011-12 home campaign with a pair of victories, knocking off Saint Martin’s, 81-59, on Feb. 16, and Western Oregon, 83-70, on Feb. 18 … in the first game, So. G Travis Thompson scored 21 points (7-8 FG, 4-5 3FG) to spark a comeback and So. C Liam Gibcus (10 pts, 5-5 FG) made a huge contribution off the bench to lead No. 21 UAA to its 16th win in 17 all-time meetings with SMU at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex ... the Seawolves also got 17 points (7-11 FG) and 9 rebounds from Sr. C Taylor Rohde as they gained a half-game over idle Seattle Pacific in the race for 2nd place ... So. G Kyle Fossman tallied 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG), 4 assists and no turnovers, Sr. G Lonnie Ridgeway chipped in 11 points and a pair of assists, and Sr. PG Steve White dished a game-high 8 assists to help the Seawolves overcome an early 20-9 deficit … after starting 2 of 9 from the floor, the Seawolves made 31 of their final 45 shots to finish over 60 percent (.611, 33 of 54) for the second straight game … on Saturday, Rohde (25 pts, 8-12 FG, 9-10 FT, 8 rebs), White (career-high 12 assists) and Ridgeway (16 pts, 7-11 FG, 2-2 3FG, 9 rebs) all produced big numbers to lead UAA past regionally 5th-ranked Western Oregon and clinch no worse than a tie for 2nd in the GNAC standings ... after trailing 35-30 at halftime, UAA got a boost from Fossman (17 points, 6-7 FT, 2 assts, 0 TOs) and Jr. F Abebe Demissie (10 points, 4-6 FG, 2-2 3FG, 3 assts, 0 TOs) to sweep the season series from WOU … the Seawolves shot 61 percent from the floor in the 2nd half as their bench outscored WOU’s 30-6.

TEAM NOTES: UAA has earned its 14th 20-win season and the first back-to-back 20-win campaigns since doing it three straight years from 1991-92 to 1993-94 … this marks UAA’s seventh consecutive winning season and the 29th in the program’s 35 years … win or lose Thursday, UAA will post its 2nd-best league record in 11 years of GNAC play, trailing only the 16-2 record of the 2007-08 championship squad … the Seawolves finished their Wells Fargo Sports Complex season with a 13-1 record to account for the second-best mark in the past 15 years (18-0 in 2007-08) … the Seawolves lead the GNAC team stats in five categories — scoring margin (+13.), FG% (.504), 3FG% (.410), assists per game (19.7) and asst.-turnover ratio (1.6) — and rank second in five others, including scoring defense (64.1 ppg) … in the NCAA Div. II national stats, the Seawolves rank in the top 50 in an impressive 14 of 18 possible categories, including top-10 marks in asst.-TO ratio (2nd), assists per game (5th), scoring margin (9th) and 3FG% (10th); the Seawolves are also 12th in FG%, 21st in FT% (.751) and 32nd in 3FGs per game (8.0)  … the unbeaten stretch from Jan. 19-28 marked the first time since 1985-86 that the Seawolves won four straight uninterrupted road contests … UAA has set one school record thus far, allowing its fewest-ever rebounds in a road game when it outboarded Northwest Nazarene 32-16 on Jan. 28.

ROHDE CHASING TRIPLE CROWN: Sr. F/C Taylor Rohde has shown why he was tabbed a preseason All-American by Div. II Bulletin, leading the GNAC in scoring (20.6 ppg), FG% (.631) and rebounding (8.1 rpg), and ranking 2nd with seven double-doubles … nationally, he is 9th in FG%, 21st in scoring and 61st in rebounding … the 2010-11 First Team All-GNAC and 2nd-team all-region pick has scored double figures in 21 of the last 23 games (52 of 59 career), and he has shot 50-plus percent from the floor in 20 of the last 21 games, including 12 straight currently … his 30 points vs. MSUB was his fourth career game with 30-plus, and his 25 vs. Western Oregon was his 23rd outing with 20 or more … he is on pace to be UAA’s first 20-point scorer since Kemmy Burgess averaged 21.1 ppg in 2005-06, as well as the first Seawolf to lead the GNAC in scoring … Rohde became the 7th-fastest UAA player to reach 1,000 career points — doing it in 57 outings — and now ranks in UAA’s top 20 in 11 statistical categories — FG% (1st, .622), points per game (10th, 18.0), points (15th, 1,062), rebounds (17th, 425), rebounds per game (11th, 7.2), FT made (5th, 268), FT made per game (4th, 4.5), FT attempted (6th, 352), double-doubles (10th, 11) and games started (18th, 58); he needs five more rebounds to move into the top 15 on that list.

’WOLF BITES: Sr. PG Steve White is enjoying the most productive scoring offensive stretch in his 4-year career, averaging 9.8 points and 6.1 assists over the last eight games … with 20 assists last week, White has taken over the GNAC lead with 5.1 apg (41st nationally), while ranking 6th in assist-turnover ratio (1.93, 57th nationally) and 16th in FT% (.784) … with 16 games of 5-plus assists this season, White has become the sixth player in UAA history to rack up 300 for his career; he needs just one more to catch Chris Bullock (321, 1982-84) for 5th place and five more to catch Butch Lincoln (325, 1992-97) for 4th … White owns other UAA career ranks of 18th in FG% (.508), 7th in games played (110) and 5th in victories (74) … So. G Travis Thompson has emerged as perhaps the most dangerous pass-or-shoot threat in the GNAC, leading the league and ranking 3rd nationally in assist-turnover ratio at 3.24 … Thompson also ranks 5th in the GNAC in assists (4.4 apg, 54th nationally), 6th in 3FG% (.455) and 9th in 3FGs per game (2.2) … UAA’s 2nd-leading overall scorer (11.1 ppg) has upped his average to 11.8 in GNAC games, shooting .500 from 3FG range in 17 contests … on UAA’s career averages list, Thompson ranks at No. 6 in 3FG% at .449 … after going 21-of-36 from long range in the last six games, So. G Kyle Fossman currently holds the Seawolf career record with a .476 3FG%, barely ahead of Kemmy Burgess (.474, 2003-06) … after averaging just 7.8 ppg in the non-conference season, Fossman’s production has soared to 11.4 ppg in league action … the Haines native ranks among the league’s overall leaders in 3FG% (3rd, .471), assist-turnover ratio (3rd, 2.3), 3FGs per game (7th, 2.3) and assists per game (18th, 2.7) … trailing only Thompson and Fossman’s outstanding numbers, So. Colton Lauwers ranks 3rd on the team with a 2.2 assist-turnover ratio and 28 3FGs made … with 2.6 rebounds per contest, Lauwers is one of nine Seawolves averaging between 2.1 and 3.7 rpg … 5th-year Sr. G Lonnie Ridgeway has averaged 9.8 points in eight games since returning from an 8-week absence with a broken wrist … the team’s 4th-leading scorer (8.6 ppg) and 2nd-leading rebounder (3.7) is averaging 15.0 ppg during UAA’s current 3-game winning streak, shooting 18 of 30 (.600) from the field … a local product from Heritage Christian HS, Ridgeway ranks among UAA’s career leaders in rebounds (34th, 289), games played (t-14th, 99) and victories (8th, 70) … Jr. F Abebe Demissie is UAA’s 6th-leading scorer (6.4 ppg) and 4th-leading rebounder (2.8 rpg) … with Thompson, Fossman and Demissie (4th, .458), the Seawolves feature three of the top six 3FG% shooters in the GNAC … the entire trio also ranks among the top 11 on UAA’s single-season list … Jr. C Liam Gibcus produced his best offensive showing against a fellow D-II opponent this year with 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting in UAA’s win Thursday over Saint Martin’s … a 55.7 percent career FG shooter, Gibcus has not missed a shot in the last four games (8 of 8) and has not committed a turnover in five straight outings …  Jr. G Marcus Jackson provides UAA with another offensive threat off the bench, averaging 5.6 ppg on .539 FG shooting … along with Thompson (.863) and Fossman (.875), Jackson gives UAA three 85-percent charity shooters, knocking down 34 of 40 (.850) thus far.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Seawolves rose one spot to No. 20 in this week’s NABC Division II Top 25 poll … UAA has stayed among the top 25 for all but two polls in mid-January, reaching as high as No. 17 on two occasions … the Seawolves and fellow GNAC squads Western Washington (No. 14) and Seattle Pacific (No. 24) are the only West Region teams in this week’s rankings … here is an abbreviated look at the poll:

NABC Division II Top 25 — Feb. 21, 2012
(UAA & opponents in bold; West Region teams in italics)
Rk Team (1st pl. votes)    Rec.  Pts  Last
 1 West Liberty (6)        25-1  198  2
 2 Bellarmine (2)          23-2  190  1
 3 Colorado Mines          22-2  183  4
 4 Alabama-Huntsville      20-3  175  6
 5 Midwestern State        22-2  171  7
 6 Shaw                    22-2  155  9
 7 Tarleton State          22-4  145  5
 8 Northern Kentucky       21-4  124  15
 9 Southern Indiana        20-5  110  11
10 Missouri Southern       22-5  108  16
14 Western Washington      22-3  104  10
20 ALASKA ANCHORAGE        18-5   55  21
24 Seattle Pacific         20-5   22  —-

Others West Region Teams Receiving Votes: 28) Dixie State 9.
Full poll at nabc.org/coaches_corner/divII


REGIONAL RANKINGS: The Seawolves premiered at No. 2 in the first week of the NCAA Division II West Region rankings (Feb. 15) … those rankings – compiled by the NCAA for all eight Division II regions – are the lone determining factor for NCAA Tournament qualification, including the opportunity to host the regional tournament … the next polls will be released Feb. 22 and Feb. 29, leading to the announcement of the playoff field on Mar. 4 … the rankings consider only games against Div. II competition and put an added emphasis on games against in-region opponents.

NCAA Div. II West Region
Men’s Basketball Rankings

Feb. 15, 2012
Rk  Team                vs DII vs West Conf. Last Wk
 1. Western Washington  19-3   19-1    GNAC  1-1
 2. Alaska Anchorage    14-3   14-3    GNAC  2-0
 3. Seattle Pacific     19-5   19-5    GNAC  1-0
 4. Dixie State         17-4   17-4    PWC   2-0
 5. Western Oregon      13-6   13-6    GNAC  1-1
 6. Humboldt State      14-5   14-5    CCAA  0-2
 7. Cal Poly Pomona     14-5   14-5    CCAA  1-1
 8. Chico State         15-5   15-5    CCAA  1-1
 9. MSU Billings        12-7   12-7    GNAC  0-1
10. BYU-Hawaii          11-6   11-6    PWC   1-0
(D-II & West Region records as of Feb. 12)
(Next poll: Feb. 22)


INJURY REPORT: Jr. F/C Chris Weitzel suffered a knee injury in practice Jan. 6 and is out indefinitely … Fr. F Christian Leckband and Sr. G Mario Gill are both out indefinitely with hand injuries.

SEAWOLVES FAVORED IN GNAC: UAA was a narrow favorite to win the 2011-12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference title, according to the league’s 11th annual coaches’ poll, released Oct. 12 … UAA polled in nearly a dead heat with Seattle Pacific, edging the Falcons 95-94 … UAA and SPU tied with four 1st-place votes, while Western Washington claimed the other two … this year marked just the second time the Seawolves have been favored in the preseason poll, with the original prognostication coming true in UAA’s Final 4 season of 2007-08.

2011-12 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rk  Team                   10-11 Rec. (Place) Pts Act
 1. Alaska Anchorage (4)   24-10, 13-5, 2nd   95  ?
 2. Seattle Pacific (4)    20-10, 12-6, 3rd   94  ?
 3. Western Washington (2) 16-11, 11-7, 4th   86  ?
 4. Central Washington     26-4, 16-2, 1st    75  ?
 5. Western Oregon         13-16, 8-10, 6th   54  ?
 6. Saint Martin’s         14-15, 7-11, 7th   44  ?
 7. Montana St. Billings   8-18, 6-12, 8th    36  ?
 8. Alaska Fairbanks       8-17, 5-13, 9th    33  ?
 9. Northwest Nazarene     15-12, 10-8, 5th   31  ?
10. Simon Fraser           3-21, 2-16, 10th   12  ?
Note: Points awarded on 11-9-8-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis.



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