NAMPA, Idaho – Senior center Liam Gibcus had team-highs of 15 points and seven rebounds Thursday, but it wasn’t enough for 25th-ranked Alaska Anchorage as host Northwest Nazarene used blazing three-point shooting to earn a 61-60 men’s basketball victory at the Johnson Sports Center.
The Seawolves (8-3, 1-2 GNAC) also got 10 points apiece from junior guards Kyle Fossman and Colton Lauwers as their four-game winning streak over NNU came to an end.
The Crusaders (8-3, 2-1) were led by 19 points, four assists and two steals from forward Jonathan Hawkins, who nailed 5 of 7 three-pointers and all four of his free throws. Reserve guard Grayson Moore and center Michal Kurimsky had 11 points apiece for NNU, which shot 71 percent (10 of 14) from long range to stay unbeaten in five home games this year.
UAA led 52-44 with 10 minutes remaining before NNU went on a 7-0 run over the next five minutes. Gibcus pushed the advantage back to 55-51 with three free throws, and Lauwers nailed a go-ahead three-pointer to snap a 55-55 with 3:05 left, but that would be the Seawolves’ final field goal.
NNU took a 60-58 lead on Hawkins’ final trey at the 1:58 mark, and Moore was called for a charge on Fossman with 25 seconds remaining, giving UAA the ball with a 61-59 deficit.
After Fossman missed a corner three-pointer, Mike MacKelvie grabbed the rebound and fed Fossman again for a midrange baseline jumper which went long and into the hands of NNU’s Mario Donaldson. Donaldson missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 5.2 seconds left, and UAA called a timeout at midcourt with 0.5 showing. Fossman was able to catch the inbounds pass cleanly, but his three-pointer was blocked by Hawkins at the buzzer.
Gibcus, a 6-10, center from Australia, finished shooting 5 of 6 from the field and 5 of 7 at the charity stripe. Starting forward Christian Leckband added eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, while Lauwers added three steals in UAA’s first road game this season.
UAA returns to action Saturday when it travels to Ellensburg, Wash., to face Central Washington at 6 p.m. AST.