LANCASTER, Calif. – Josiah Wood scored 18 points to lead a second-half comeback and Maleke Haynes drained the game-winning three-pointer with 2.5 seconds remaining Saturday to lift the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team to a 70-69 victory over NAIA host Antelope Valley at the AVC Gymasium.
Playing their first counting game of the season, the NCAA Div. II Seawolves trailed virtually the entire way, falling behind by 16 points late in the first half and 34-25 at halftime.
UAA got hot at the right time, however, as Wood drained consecutive three-pointers to put the visitors on top 61-60 with 3 minutes left.
The Pioneers (1-1) pushed their lead back to three points on three occasions, going up 68-65 on two free throws with 22 seconds remaining. Following a timeout, Haynes drove for an uncontested layup at the 15-second mark, and the Seawolves sent the Pioneers back to the line, where they made one of two charities.
With 10 seconds remaining, Haynes drove for a layup that was swatted out of bounds with 5 seconds left. The Seawolves inbounded under their own basket to junior guard Malik Clements, who dished in the corner to Haynes – 0 of 3 on three-pointers at that point – who caught the ball in rhythm and swished the game-winner.
Antelope Valley brought the ball across midcourt with one second left and called timeout, but the Seawolves intercepted the inbounds pass to seal the win.
“We showed a lot of resiliency against an up-and-coming NAIA program that will do very well this year,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “These are the kinds of early games that really pay off at the end of the year when you get into down-to-the-wire situations. We’ll continue to work on our chemistry and are excited to take the court at home next week for some big D-II West Region games.”
The Seawolves make their regular-season home debut at the Alaska Airlines Center on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10-11, when they host the Alaska/Hawaii Challenge. Friday’s action begins at 5:30 p.m. when Alaska Fairbanks faces Chaminade, followed by UAA vs. Hawaii Pacific at 8 p.m. Call 907-786-1562 for tickets or visit GoSeawolves.com to learn more.