ANCHORAGE – Alaska Anchorage forward Tyler Brimhall scored a game-high 26 points but Seattle Pacific’s Gavin Long converted a rebound basket with 2.5 seconds remaining Thursday to lift the visitors to a 65-64 men’s basketball victory at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The host Seawolves (12-9, 7-6 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 11 points and seven assists from sophomore point guard Brennan Rymer, whose last-second three-point try bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
The Falcons (12-6, 9-4) were led by 15 points from guard Nikhil Lizzotte and 14 points and eight rebounds from forward Coleman Wooten as they shot 56.8 percent and earned a regular-season sweep of UAA.
Despite falling behind 20-11, the Seawolves fought back to take the lead and trailed just 35-33 after Lizotte drained a three-pointer as time expired in the first half. The game remained a one-possession affair for all but 15 seconds of the second half, with a total of 12 ties and 13 lead changes.
UAA went ahead 59-56 when Rymer beat the shot clock with an off-balance three-pointer with 4:30 remaining, but SPU retook the advantage on layups by Sam Simpson and Divant’e Moffitt. Brimhall gave the Seawolves a 62-60 edge with his sixth three-pointer of the night at the 2-minute mark, and Long forged another tie with a jumper in the lane.
Rymer beat the shot clock again on with 1:05 left when he used a ball fake to get free and drained a 12-foot jumper to give UAA a 64-62 lead. After Long split a pair of free throws, the Seawolves missed a chance to extend their lead when Niko Bevens missed a three-pointer and the Falcons grabbed the rebound.
With seven seconds left, UAA fouled Wooten – a 35 percent free-throw shooter – who missed the front end of the one-and-one. Long was able to grab the offensive rebound, however, and bank home a short shot in the lane for the winning basket.
Following a Seawolf timeout, Rymer got the ball and took three dribbles over midcourt, but his 35-foot heave would not fall.
“We did a lot of things well tonight, but that was negated by not blocking out on a free throw at the most critical juncture of the game,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “This is a disappointing loss, but we’ll have to recover quickly and focus on another excellent opponent (19th-ranked and league-leading Saint Martin’s) coming to town Saturday.”
Brimhall recorded his sixth 25-plus scoring effort of the season on 10-of-17 shooting, including 6 of 8 from long range. The transfer from North Idaho College also grabbed a team-high five rebounds and dished a pair of assists.
Junior guard Jack Macdonald added 11 points on 4-of-7 shooting for the Seawolves, who suffered their first GNAC home loss in five games this year, while reserve point guard Travis Adams collected four points and three assists.
UAA returns to the Alaska Airlines Center on Saturday at 7 p.m. to face the 19th-ranked Saints (18-3, 11-2). Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com or AlaskaAirlinesCenter.com for tickets.