BILLINGS, Mont. – Senior Brian Pearson had his most productive game of the season with 17 points but it was not enough for the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team in an 89-74 loss to a hot-shooting Montana State Billings squad Saturday at Alterowitz Gymnasium.
The Seawolves (5-4, 0-1 GNAC) also got 13 points on 6-of-8 shooting and five rebounds from junior power forward Sjur Berg in their first Great Northwest Athletic Conference contest of the season.
The Yellowjackets (5-3, 2-0) were led by 30 points from Zack Rollins, who shot 9 of 15 from the field and 9 of 9 at the foul stripe, helping snap a three-game losing streak against UAA. Brendan Howard added 19 points on 7-of-11 marksmanship as MSUB shot 55.6 percent (30 of 54) from the field.
“Congrats to Billings – they were the better team tonight,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “We played hard but they competed harder and played with more urgency as a team. We have to get better defensively when our shots don’t fall. This was a good learning experience for our players new to the league.”
The Seawolves fell behind early before getting within 25-23 on a layup from Pearson at the 6:36 mark of the first half. Rollins answered with a three-pointer just seconds later, however, as the Yellowjackets went on a 15-2 run before Pearson scored again at the 2:07 mark.
The 6-9 center from Elko, Nev., shot 7 of 9 from the field and claimed all five of his rebounds on the offensive glass, producing the third-highest scoring total of his career, but UAA could never get its deficit under 10 points in the second half.
Berg scored double figures for the third straight game, while senior wing Tyler Brimhall and sophomore points guard Brennan Rymer added 10 points apiece.
The Seawolves have one more GNAC game before the winter break, playing Saturday, Dec. 8 at Alaska Fairbanks. Tip time is 2 p.m. at the Patty Center, with live video and stats at gnac.tv.
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