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Liam Gibcus and the Seawolves start GNAC play with critical contests against a pair of longtime rivals this week.
Courtesy: Sam Wasson/UAA Athletics

#25 UAA hosts 'Jackets, #13 Falcons

Courtesy: UAA Sports Information
Release: 11/27/2012
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THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF MEN’S BASKETBALL…

Thur., Nov. 29 — 7 pm AST
Wells Fargo Sports Complex — Anchorage, AK
Montana State Billings (4-2, 0-0 GNAC)
at #25 Alaska Anchorage (6-1, 0-0 GNAC)

&
Sat., Dec. 1 — 7:30 pm AST
Wells Fargo Sports Complex — Anchorage, AK
#13 Seattle Pacific (5-1, 0-0 GNAC [11/29 @UAF])
at #25 Alaska Anchorage


MEDIA DETAILS …
RADIO: Live locally on FM-93.7 KAFC
TV: Catch the delayed telecast at 11 p.m. each night on KCFT (GCI Ch. 19)
LIVE STATS: GoSeawolves.com
ONLINE: All UAA home games feature free live video and live stats. Surf to GoSeawolves.com and follow the links in the upper right-hand corner … follow Seawolf Athletics as well on Facebook (Alaska Anchorage Seawolves) and Twitter (@UAASeawolves).)

UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2012-13 stats)
G—Mike MacKelvie, 6-4/190, Jr. (7.3 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.3 apg, .400 FG)
G—Kyle Fossman, 6-0/180, Jr. (14.9 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.9 apg, 36.3 mpg, .526 3FG, .865 FT)
G—Teancum Stafford, 6-5/205, So. (13.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.4 apg, .478 FG, .400 3FG)
G—Colton Lauwers, 6-3/215, Jr. (7.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.1 apg, .400 3FG, .842 FT)
C—Liam Gibcus, 6-10/245, Sr. (9.0 ppg, 4.6 rpg, 1.3 apg, 0.9 bpg, .596 FG)

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Montana State Billings has posted a 4-2 mark in non-conference play, with its last four games all decided by 6 points or fewer … the Yellowjackets have a win at West Region foe Hawaii-Hilo and losses to Dixie State and BYU-Hawaii … MSUB is led by 6-7 Sr. F Jarrell Crayton (14.3 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 1.3 spg, .524 FG) and 6-2 Sr. G David Arnold (12.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, .742 FT) … ranked No. 13 in the latest NCAA Div II top-25 poll, Seattle Pacific suffered its first setback, 60-55 on a neutral-court against San Francisco State last week … the Falcons have won their other five games by double digits, all against West Region opponents … SPU features four double-digit scorers, including 6-2 Jr. G David Downs (13.5 ppg, 4.5 apg, .574 FG, .800 FT) and 6-6 Sr. F Jobi Wall (12.8 ppg, 5.0 rpg, .410 3FG, .867 FT).

ALL-TIME vs MSUB: UAA leads 37-27 (26-4 in Anchorage)
   Last Meeting: UAA 80-68 (3/9/12 at Bellingham, WA) / Streak: UAA 1 / Notes: This will be the fifth meeting between the teams in 11 months … UAA won 3 of 4 last season, sweeping the regular season series, losing in the GNAC Tournament title game, and finally winning in the NCAA Tournament 1st Round … UAA leads 8-2 in GNAC regular-season meetings since MSUB joined the GNAC in 2007-08, with both Yellowjacket victories coming in Billings … UAA has won nine straight in Anchorage since a 91-73 MSUB win on Jan. 29, 1998 … MSUB is UAA’s 2nd-most common opponent with this being the 65th all-time meeting … first meeting was in 1977-78 and teams were rivals for many years in the Pacific West Conference.

ALL-TIME vs SPU: UAA leads 35-28 (27-6 in Anchorage)
   Last Meeting: SPU 80-67 (3/10/12 at Bellingham, WA) / Streak: SPU 1 / Notes: The home team has won the last 13 regular-season games … UAA has won seven straight in Anchorage since a 68-65 SPU win on Jan. 4, 2007 … neither team has swept the season series since SPU in 2006-07 … nine of the last 12 games have been decided by 11 points or fewer, including the last matchup in Anchorage — a 78-69 UAA win on Feb. 2 … SPU leads 14-8 in GNAC regular-season meetings (since 2001-02), with four of those games going to overtime … SPU is tied with MSUB as UAA’s 3rd-most common opponent (63 meetings) … series started in UAA’s first year of Div. II competition in 1977-78.

STERLING SHOOTOUT: The Seawolves equaled their best-ever finish with a 4th-place showing at the 35th annual Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, Nov. 21-24 at Sullivan Arena … after a nationally televised 74-60 loss to Belmont in the opening round, UAA bounced back with a 66-65 victory over UC Riverside in the consolation semifinals and then beat Loyola Marymount 83-77 in the 4th/6th-place contest … in the UCR game, Fr. PG Jalen Little came off the bench for a career-high 14 points (4-6 FG, 2-3 3FG, 4-6 FT), plus 5 assists and just 1 turnover to earn Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game honors … Jr. G Kyle Fossman played 40 minutes for the second straight game and also tallied 14 points (4-10 3FG), while So. G/F Teancum Stafford had 10 points and a team-high 5 rebounds … against LMU, Stafford was player-of-the-game with 19 points (8-13 FG, 3-5 3FG), 6 rebounds and 4 assists, nailing three straight field goals in the final five minutes … Jr. G Colton Lauwers had 14 points (4-8 3FG) and 5 assists, Fossman tallied 12 points (2-3 3FG, 6-8 FT), and Sr. F Abebe Demissie came off the bench for 12 points (3-7 3FG, 3-4 FT), 5 rebounds and 3 assists … Stafford and Fossman were both selected to the All-Tournament Team.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Seawolves broke into the top 25 in the second regular-season NABC Division II Top 25 poll, joining fellow GNAC squads Western Washington (No. 6) and Seattle Pacific (No. 13) … Cal Poly Pomona (No. 14) is the only other West Region team in the rankings … get the complete poll at NABC.com.

NABC Division II Top 25 — Nov. 27, 2012
(UAA & opponents in bold; West Region teams in italics)
Rk Team (1st pl. votes)      Rec.  Pts  Last
 1 West Liberty (13)         4-0   395  1
 2 Washburn                  5-0   377  2
 3 Metro State               4-0   361  3
 4 Alabama-Huntsville (1)    5-1   343  4
 5 Bellarmine (1)            4-0   339  5
 6 Western Washington (1)    5-0   328  6
13 Seattle Pacific           5-1   193  7

14 Cal Poly Pomona           4-0   175  18
25 ALASKA ANCHORAGE          6-1    30  —
Others West Region Teams Receiving Votes: 28) Chico State 21.
Full poll at nabc.org/coaches_corner/divII

TEAM NOTES: UAA’s 6-1 start equals the best 7-game record in program history, joining the 1986-87 squad that started 12-1 …  UAA’s last three Div. I victories have come over teams from Southern California — UC Irvine, UC Riverside and Loyola Marymount … the 15 3FGs made against LMU tied for the 10th-most in program history and were the most ever against a D-I opponent … the Seawolves are an incredible 5-0 when being outrebounded this year … UAA leads the early GNAC stats with 5.1 blocks per game … the 9 blocks Nov. 15 against Washington Adventist were the most for a Seawolf squad since Dec. 2005 and just two shy of the program single-game record … the 83-77 win over LMU marked UAA’s 19th straight victory when scoring 80 points or more, dating to start of the 2011-12 season … the Seawolves have now won 21 of their last 22 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, with the only loss coming to eventual NCAA champ Western Washington last season.

PLAYER NOTES: A Preseason All-GNAC selection, Jr. G Kyle Fossman has responded to expectations with 7-game averages of 14.9 ppg (.510 FG, .526 3FG, .865 FT), 3.4 rpg and 1.9 apg … by going 8 of 17 last week, Fossman maintained a slight lead over former All-GNAC performer Kemmy Burgess (.474, 2003-06) as UAA’s career 3FG% leader, currently at .479 … he also moved up to 20th in 3FGs made with 99, needing two more to catch volunteer assistant coach Carl Arts (2004-08) for 19th and eight more to catch currently redshirting teammate Travis Thompson for 16th … with 32 of 37 free-throw shooting, the Haines product has already equaled his career production from his first two seasons … after backing up All-American Taylor Rohde the past two seasons, Sr. C Liam Gibcus is coming into his own as a starter, averaging 9.0 ppg and 4.6 rpg, while shooting a team-high .596 FG% ... the Aussie shot 11 of 19 last week to move up to No. 7 UAA’s career FG% list at .560 … the team’s only 4th-year senior also stands tied for 19th in games played (90) and tied for 10th in games won (67), needing two more victories to reach No. 9 … So. G Teancum Stafford has made an immediate impact since transferring from Snow (Utah) College, averaging 13.1 ppg, 3.9 rpg and 2.4 apg … the Auburn, Wash., native has scored double figures in six of seven games so far, shooting 48 percent from the field and 40 percent from long range … Stafford was the MVP of the season-opening AT&T Jamboree after scoring 23 points and grabbing 7 rebounds against CSU-Pueblo, and he joined Fossman as a Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team pick  … Jr. G Colton Lauwers and Fr. G Jalen Little have complemented each other well at the point, combining to average 13.8 ppg, 7.4 apg, .405 3FG and .829 FT … Little dished a UAA season-high 9 assists in the win over LMU last week, while Lauwers tied for a team season-best with 4 three-pointers against the Lions … Jr. G Mike MacKelvie is the only Seawolf averaging at least 5.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, leading the team with 5.0 rpg … the Eastern Arizona transfer is second on the squad in assists (3.3 apg), dishing at least two in all six of his appearances … Fr. F Collin Spickerman leads the early GNAC stats with 2.0 blocks per game after pacing the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout with 8 swats … the Portland, Ore. (Jesuit HS) product is already tied for 5th on UAA’s freshman list for blocks with 14, putting him on early pace to break the program’s rookie record (51 by Stefan Arntz, 1991-92) … Sr. F Abebe Demissie broke out for his best all-around effort of the season with 12 points and 5 rebounds in UAA’s win over LMU in the Shootout … the Seattle (Rainier Beach HS) product has scored double figures in four of the seven contests so far … after averaging just 1.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 0.7 assists over the first 3 games, So. F Christian Leckband has picked up his contributions by averaging 5.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 1.5 apg over the last 4 contests … the former Alaska 3A Player of the Year from Nome is making his debut this season after missing his rookie campaign with a hand injury.

THE OSBORNE FILE: Ninth-year head coach Rusty Osborne (163-85) has now led the Seawolves to seven straight winning seasons, five NCAA Tournaments and a trip to the 2008 NCAA D-II Semifinals in his tenure at the helm … 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 last year 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 Cameron Turner (2nd season), graduate assistant Tim Mollerstrom (1st season), and volunteer coaches Brad Lauwers (2nd season) and Carl Arts (1st season).

INJURY REPORT: Jr. G Mike MacKelvie missed the LMU game due to illness but is probable to return to the lineup this week.

LOOK OUT, GOLIATH: After this year’s Shootout, Division II UAA owns a 55-135 all-time record against Division I opponents (regular season only) … the Seawolves’ biggest upset came during the 1988-89 campaign when they beat then-No. 2 and undefeated Michigan, 70-66, at the Utah Seiko Classic; the Wolverines went on to win the NCAA title that year ... with the UC Irvine win in 2011-12, UAA has now beaten at least one Division I school in 26 of the last 28 seasons.

SEAWOLVES IN THE SHOOTOUT: The Seawolves, the only Division II team and the only school to appear in every Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, now sport a 35-70 (.333) all-time mark in the tournament, including 13-20 since 2002 … the Seawolves have won at least one game in 29 of the 35 Shootouts, including a current string of five straight … UAA won at least one game in 13 straight Shootouts from 1985-97 … UAA’s best finish has been 4th place, accomplished seven times (1986, 1987, 1991, 2003, 2009, 2010, 2012), although the 2009 finish came in a 6-team field … UAA has pulled first-round upsets four times (Maine 1996, Wake Forest 1993, Texas Tech 1990, and Pacific 1979) … UAA’s other Shootout victims are Auburn (1989), Ball State (2010), Canisius (2003), Dayton (1992), Grambling State (1999), High Point (2004), Houston Baptist (2010), Idaho (1991), Iona (1988), Jackson State (1994), Louisiana Tech (2008), Loyola Marymount (2012), Miami, Fla. (1987), Missouri (1985), Missouri-Kansas City (2006), Montana (2002), New Mexico (1983), Nicholls State (1980, 2009), Notre Dame (1998), Penn State (1978), Rhode Island (2000), Santa Clara (1991), Southern Illinois (2005), Texas State (1987, 2003), Texas (1986), TCU (1995), UC Irvine (2011), UC Riverside (2012) and Washington (1986).

SEAWOLVES PICKED 4TH IN GNAC: UAA has been picked to finish 4th in the 10-team Great Northwest Athletic Conference coaches’ poll, released Oct. 23:

2012-13 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
2012-13 GNAC Coaches Poll  2011-12 Recs., Pl.  Pts   
 1. Seattle Pacific (8)    23-8 (13-5, 3rd)    97
 2. Western Washington (2) 31-5 (16-2, 1st)    90
 3. Central Washington     15-13 (8-10, 6th)   79
 4. Alaska Anchorage       23-7 (15-3, 2nd)    70
 5. Montana State Billings 18-12 (10-8, 5th)   49
 6. Western Oregon         18-10 (11-7, 4th)   41
 7. Northwest Nazarene     12-14 (6-12, 7th)   34
 8. Alaska Fairbanks       5-23 (2-16, 10th)   31
    Saint Martin’s         10-17 (6-12, 8th-T) 31
10. Simon Fraser           8-18 (3-15, 10th)   28

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