ANCHORAGE – Point guard Brennan Rymer scored a career-high 20 points and forward Niko Bevens added 16 points and five assists Saturday to lift the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team to a 73-68 victory over South Dakota Mines at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (5-3) also got 12 points and four rebounds from reserve guard Jack Macdonald as they led nearly the entire game, outshooting the visitors .479 to .393.
The Hardrockers (2-5) got 16 points and six rebounds from Damani Hayesm and 15 points and seven assists from fellow starting guard Allec Williams, but the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference club was outrebounded 33-25.
“That was another good win for us tonight, and we are continuing to grow as a team,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne, whose team defeated the same opponent on Friday, 75-55. “There aren’t many teams around the country that have to play the same team on back-to-back nights, and it’s way more difficult than it appears. We did an excellent job of spreading the offense around tonight with our leading scorer in foul trouble, so that’s pleasing as well.”
Despite missing that leading scorer – junior forward Tyler Brimhall – for much of the first half, the Seawolves still took a 35-25 into the locker room, thanks to 5-of-6 three-point shooting in the opening 20 minutes.
Brimhall fed junior forward Sjur Berg for a layup to give the Seawolves their largest lead of the second half, 40-29, at the 15:51 mark, but the Hardrockers responded with a 12-2 run. UAA answered with the next six points – including a steal and layup by Rymer – to retain the advantage, and went up 57-47 on two free throws from Niko Bevens with 6:39 left.
South Dakota Mines cut it to a one-possession game twice in the final four minutes, and UAA responded with long jump shots each time, first by Bevens to extend it to 61-56, then by Brimhall to make it 63-59 at the 1:45 mark. The Seawolves sealed the win from the foul stripe, making all 10 of their attempts in the final 39 seconds.
A sophomore from Sydney, Australia, Rymer shot 6 of 12 from the field, including 2 of 3 on three-pointers. Along with his second career-high scoring effort in the last three games, he tied his career high in rebounds, and came away with two assists, two steals and no turnovers in a team-high 35 minutes.
A junior transfer from Div. I Montana, Bevens shot 5 of 9 overall and 3 of 5 on three-pointers, while dishing his most assists as a Seawolf.
One night after his first career double-double, Berg added 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting and five rebounds.
The Seawolves hit the road next week to begin Great Northwest Athletic Conference play with a single game on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Montana State Billings (5 p.m. AST). Live video for that contest will be available at gnac.tv.
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