SEATTLE – Junior guard Malik Clements scored 18 points and senior wing D.J. Ursery tallied 12 points and eight rebounds Thursday as the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team rallied from a 14-point deficit to earn a 67-62 victory over Seattle Pacific at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
The Seawolves (10-11, 6-7 GNAC) also got nine points – including two pressure free throws with 8.2 seconds remaining – from junior forward Josiah Wood to earn a split of the season series with their longtime rivals.
The Falcons (12-8, 7-6) were led by 18 points and 17 rebounds from forward Nathan Streufert, but the hosts were outshot 50 percent to 41 percent, even after hitting 10 of their first 15 shots.
“We overcame a slow start where we were playing hard but not competing hard,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “We went with a couple of lineups that had practiced together well all week, and I think that gave us some cohesion.”
UAA trailed 37-23 when SPU guard Nikhil Lizotte nailed a three-pointer with 7 minutes left in the first half, and it was 40-27 after a trey by Gabe Colisimo at the 5:55 mark.
The Seawolves took over at that point, however, going on a 17-0 run that spanned halftime. Ursery scored a pair of layups during the surge and Clements swished threes on back-to-back possessions to give the visitors their first lead at 42-40 early in the second half.
Wood sank a corner three-pointer with 8:34 remaining to give UAA its largest lead at 58-50, and it was 64-57 at the 3-minute mark.
The Falcons sliced it to 64-61 on a tip-in by Streufert, and Harry Cavell split a pair of free throws with 18 seconds left to make it 64-62. UAA’s Brian Pearson missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 16 seconds left, but Wood would rebound Colisimo’s missed layup on the other end, before sinking the clinching charities.
“All 10 guys contributed at some point, which was a key,” Osborne added. “We defended extremely well over the last 26 minutes and had just enough rebounding in the late stages of the game. Malik hit some big shots to get us started in the second half, and D.J. made baskets late to hold off their comeback.”
Clements – a transfer from Div. I North Dakota State – came one point shy of his UAA career high on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3 of 4 from deep. Ursery shot 6 of 8 from the field and dished a game-high four assists, and sophomore guard Jack Macdonald contributed eight points.
The Seawolves will try to avenge another earlier home loss when they visit Saint Martin’s on Saturday in Lacey, Wash., with tip set for 6 p.m. AST at Marcus Pavilion.