Seawolf comeback downs Highlanders
ANCHORAGE – Freshman Jalen Little and sophomore Teancum Stafford led a late Alaska Anchorage rally Friday as the Seawolves won a 66-65 thriller in the consolation semifinals of the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout at Sullivan Arena.
The Div. II Seawolves (5-1) also got 14 points from junior guard Kyle Fossman as they earned the program’s 54th all-time win over a Div. I program.
The Highlanders (1-5) were led by 16 points and eight rebounds from center Chris Patton, but the visitors from the Big West Conference were outscored 16-5 over the last 7 minutes, 40 seconds.
UAA held a 37-32 halftime lead before UCR took control early in the second half behind the play of Patton. But the Seawolves put together a 14-2 run as Stafford and Fossman sank back-to-back three-pointers, and Stafford gave UAA a 64-62 lead on another trey with 2:32 remaining.
Stafford hit a short jumper in the lane to make it 66-63 with 49 seconds left, however the guard from Auburn, Wash., was called for a foul on the other end, and UCR’s Robert Smith made both free throws.
After a Seawolf turnover, UCR had one last possession with 7.9 seconds left, but guard Chris Harriel’s three-pointer bounced off the front of the rim and into the hands of Little.
Little, a point guard from Colorado Springs, Colo., finished with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2 of 3 from long range. He also had five assists and just one turnover in 27 minutes to earn Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game honors.
Meanwhile, Stafford scored all 10 of his points in the second half and grabbed a team-high five rebounds for UAA. The Seawolves also got nine points and four rebounds from starting guard Mike MacKelvie, while sophomore forward Christian Leckband contributed four points, four rebounds, three assists and no turnovers in 17 quality minutes off the bench.
The Seawolves advance to play the winner of the Loyola Marymount-Texas State contest in Saturday’s 2 p.m. 4th/6th-place game, while the Highlanders will play the LMU/Texas State loser at noon for 7th place.
NOTES: Fossman played 40 minutes for the second straight game and the third time this season … senior forward Abebe Demissie tied his career-high with three steals, all in the first half … the victory improved UAA’s all-time Shootout record to 34-70 … UAA has now won at least one game in the Shootout five straight years and 29 of 35 overall … UAA’s last two D-I victims have come from the Big West, having knocked off UC Irvine in last year’s Shootout.