Thur., Jan. 24 — 6 pm AST — Carver Gymnasium — Bellingham, WA Alaska Anchorage (11-4, 4-3 GNAC)
at #2 Western Washington (16-0, 7-0 GNAC)
& Sat., Jan. 26 — 6 pm AST — SFU West Gym — Burnaby, BC Alaska Anchorage at Simon Fraser (5-10, 0-7 GNAC [1/24 vs UAF])
MEDIA DETAILS …
TV: None RADIO: Live on FM-93.7 KAFC ONLINE: Catch free live video and live stats for both games via Stretch Internet … follow Seawolf Athletics on Facebook (Alaska Anchorage Seawolves) and Twitter (@UAASeawolves) to get halftime and final-score updates.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Defending GNAC and NCAA D-II national champion Western Washington comes in riding a league-record 22-game win streak, including a 7-0 mark at Carver Gymnasium this year … coming off a 104-56 road romp over Saint Martin’s last week, the Vikings are led by reigning the GNAC player-of-the-week, 6-1 Sr. G John Allen (17.6 ppg, 4.1 apg, .396 3FG, .895 FT), and 6-4 Sr. F Paul Jones (15.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.0 apg, .619 FG, .600 3FG, .774 FT) … Simon Fraser is looking to snap a 9-game losing streak when it starts its Alaska trip in Fairbanks on Thursday … the Clan, in their third year in the GNAC, are led by 6-1 Jr. G Elijah Matthews (13.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, .481 3FG) and 6-6 Jr. F Anto Olah (12.8 ppg, 8.4 rpg, .507 FG).
THE SERIES vs WWU: WWU leads 12-11 (7-4 in Bellingham) Last Meeting: WWU 59-50 (2/9/12 at WWU) / Streak: WWU 4 / Notes: WWU has swept the last two season series, winning all four games by single digits … WWU is seeking its longest streak ever against UAAA … UAA’s last win overall came 68-53 at home, Feb. 11, 2010 … the Seawolves have lost three straight in Bellingham since a 3-game win streak at Carver from 2007-09 … WWU leads 13-9 in GNAC meetings (since 2001-02) … first and only non-GNAC meeting came when both teams were Pac West foes, with UAA winning 89-77 at home, Jan. 20, 2000.
THE SERIES vs SFU: UAA leads 7-0 (3-0 in Burnaby) Last Meeting: UAA 85-75 (2/11/12 at SFU) / Streak: UAA 7 / Notes: UAA has won all four meetings since SFU joined the GNAC in 2010-11 … the teams met twice in UAA’s first year of Division II membership in 1977-78, with UAA winning twice at the Sports Center … teams also met when SFU was a provisional NCAA member in 1999-00 and both teams were in the Pacific West Conference … first meetings came in Feb. 1978 with a pair of UAA home wins.
SEAWOLVES EDGE NANOOKS AGAIN: Powered by big nights from seniors Sr. C Liam Gibcus (18 pts, 6 rebounds, career-high 6 assists) and Sr. F Abebe Demissie (17 pts, career-high-tying 10 rebounds, 4-8 FG, 2-4 3FG, 7-8 FT), UAA rallied for a 65-60 victory over Alaska Fairbanks at the Patty Center on Jan. 19 … the Seawolves also got 11 points from Jr. G Kyle Fossman — who played 40 minutes for the fifth time this season — as they won despite the absence of injured So. G Teancum Stafford, the team’s 2nd-leading scorer … UAA trailed 32-25 at halftime before rallying for a 14th straight victory in the rivalry … Gibcus scored 14 of his points after the break, outscoring the Nanooks 8-1 in a two-minute span that gave UAA the lead for good … Jr. G Mike MacKelvie provided a spark off the bench with 7 points (3-5 FG) and 7 rebounds as UAA won its 7th straight in Fairbanks and improved to 50 games over .500 (71-21) in the all-time series.
TEAM NOTES: UAA leads the GNAC in 3FGs made per game with 9.7 per contest, while ranking 2nd in assists (18.7 apg), asst.-turnover ratio (1.3), rebounds allowed (31.7) and 3FG% (.404) … in the NCAA Div. II national stats, the Seawolves are in the top 20 in four categories — 10th in assists, 12th in assist-TO ratio, 10th in 3FGs per game and 19th in 3FG% … UAA is 9-1 when leading at halftime and 6-1 when outrebounding its opponent … the 82-56 win over Western Oregon on Jan. 10 marked UAA’s 21st straight victory when scoring 80 points or more, dating to start of the 2011-12 season … the Seawolves have won 25 of their last 27 at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex, with the only losses coming to eventual NCAA champ Western Washington last season and 13th-ranked SPU this year … UAA’s 7-1 start equaled the best 8-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 LMU … 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 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.
PLAYER NOTES: A Preseason All-GNAC selection, Jr. G Kyle Fossman has responded to expectations with averages of 15.5 ppg (.456 FG, .468 3FG, .873 FT), 3.8 rpg, 2.3 apg and 1.3 spg … Fossman just trails record-holder Kemmy Burgess (.475, 2003-06) on UAA’s career 3FG% list, currently at .468 … on the other Seawolf career lists, he is 4th in FT% (.861) and 14th in 3FGs made (123) … Fossman also barely trails Burgess on UAA’s season list for 3FGs per game at 2.9, along with other single-season ranks of 8th in FT%, 3rd in minutes per game (36.2), and 6th in 3FG% … Fossman’s 2.9 treys per game leads the GNAC stats, along with other league ranks of 6th in scoring, 4th in FT%, 6th in 3FG%, 2nd in minutes played and 10th in steals … in the NCAA Div. II national stats, he is 8th in 3FG%, 22nd in 3FGs per game and 34th in FT% … Fossman made the all-tournament teams at both the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout and the AT&T Jamboree … after backing up All-American Taylor Rohde the past two seasons, Sr. C Liam Gibcus has come into his own as a starter, averaging 10.9 ppg and team-highs of 6.2 rpg and .596 FG% … in the GNAC stats, the Aussie is 4th in FG%, 11th in rebounding, 2nd in offensive rebounding (2.9 orpg) and 15th in blocks (0.7 bpg) … he ranks No. 7 on UAA’s career FG% list at .568, while the team’s only 4th-year senior also stands tied for 14th in games played (100) and 7th in games won (72) … Gibcus’ 6 assists at UAF on Saturday broke a career-high that had stood since the final week of his freshman season (4 at SPU, 3/6/10) … despite missing last week’s game with an injury, So. G Teancum Stafford has made an big impact since transferring from Snow (Utah) College, averaging 12.6 ppg (18th in GNAC), 4.0 rpg and 2.4 apg … the Auburn, Wash., native has scored double figures in 10 of 14 games so far, shooting .474 from the field and .345 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 12.7 ppg, 6.8 apg, .376 3FG and .763 FT … Little dished a UAA season-high 9 assists in the win over Loyola Marymount and currently ranks 10th in the GNAC in assists (3.6 apg) and 5th in asst.-TO ratio (2.3) … Lauwers is 9th in the GNAC in FT% (.814) and ranks 7th in asst.-TO ratio (2.2) and 11th in assists (3.2 apg) … Jr. G Mike MacKelvie has shown a well-rounded arsenal since donning a Seawolf uniform, averaging 7.7 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game, ranking among the top four on the team in all three categories … the Eastern Arizona transfer upped his offensive in GNAC games, averaging 8.4 ppg on .568 FG% in seven league contests … Fr. F Collin Spickerman is 2nd in the GNAC with 1.4 blocks per game, having paced the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout with 8 swats … the Portland, Ore. (Jesuit HS) product is already 3rd on UAA’s freshman list for blocks with 20, putting him just one behind Hansi Gnad (21, 1983-84) for 2nd place on the program’s rookie list … Spickerman’s per-game average also ranks 7th on UAA’s single-season list … Sr. F Abebe Demissie has scored 6 or more points in nine straight appearances and has tallied double figures seven times this year … the Seattle (Rainier Beach HS) product had his second career double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds at UAF last week, setting a career-high for boards against a D-II opponent.
LECKBAND GRANTED YEAR: The Seawolves got good news this week when as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference granted a medical hardship redshirt to forward Christian Leckband, whose eligibility now reverts back to freshman status … the former Alaska 3A Player of the Year from Nome has started 10 of 15 games this year and currently leads the GNAC in 3FG% at .563 (18 of 32) … after averaging just 1.0 ppg, 2.0 rpg and 0.7 assists over the first 3 games, Leckband has picked up his cumulative numbers to 5.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg and 1.4 apg over the last 12 contests … he is the team’s 2nd-best FG% shooter (.525), while his current 3FG% has him on pace to threaten Chris Hamey’s school-record of .560 (28-50) from 1997-98.
INJURY REPORT: The Seawolves have no major injuries … So. G Teancum Stafford, who missed last week with an upper-body injury, is questionable for this week’s games.
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