PORTLAND, Ore. – Senior guard D.J. Ursery tallied career highs of 22 points and 12 rebounds Tuesday, along with three key assists, to power the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team to a 59-55 victory over Concordia-Portland at LCEF Court.
The Seawolves (7-5, 3-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 10 points, three assists and four steals from senior point guard Maleke Haynes, who sank the game-clinching free throws with 6.5 seconds remaining.
The Cavaliers (4-8, 0-4) got a game-high 23 points and eight rebounds from guard Bryan Michaels, but the rest of his teammates shot just 11 of 37 (.297) from the field as CU lost its eighth straight, following a 4-0 start.
“I thought our guys showed a lot of mental toughness tonight,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne, whose team’s shooting improved from .357 in the opening 20 minutes to .448 in the second half. “We didn’t let our offensive struggles affect our defense, which allowed us to hang around until we could make shots.”
UAA erased a 29-22 halftime deficit, tying the game three times before Ursery’s jumper made it a 40-39 Seawolf advantage at the 10:51 mark. After CU went up 44-40, the Seawolves began a game-changing 13-3 run when Jack Macdonald’s three-pointer rolled around the rim and through at the 8-minute mark.
With the momentum continuing to swing either way, Ursery assisted on another Macdonald trey that made it 49-47 and gave UAA the lead for good. Brian Pearson hit Haynes for a backdoor layup and Macdonald swished a 12-foot jumper in the lane for a 53-47 advantage, and Pearson helped fend off a late Cavs rally, converting a dunk and a layup on back-to-back trips – both on feeds from Ursery.
Pearson, a 6-9 junior center, tied his career high for the second game in a row with eight rebounds, along with two assists and a block. Macdonald tied his career high with all eight of his points coming after halftime, while Curtis Ryan and Josiah Wood chipped in seven points each.
Meanwhile, Ursery – a one-year transfer from Div. I program Pacific – had his finest day as a Seawolf, shooting 10 of 12 from the field, along with three assists, two steals and a block.
“We had some guys step up at different times,” Osborne added. “Maleke sparked us early, Curtis gave us good minutes, and D.J. played well on both ends, guarding (Jarrett) Gray most of the night. Hopefully we can heal up, recover mentally and get ready for the rest of the season. With the injuries and unsettled lineup, we feel good about sitting at 3-1 right now.”
Gray, who entered as the GNAC’s second-leading scorer with 19.2 points per game, was held to two points on 0-of-8 shooting in 34 minutes.
The Seawolves are off for two weeks until resuming action at home on Jan. 4 with a 7 p.m. tip-off against Saint Martin’s at the Alaska Airlines Center. Call 907-786-1562 for ticket information or visit GoSeawolves.com.
NOTES: Ursery’s 22 points matched UAA’s highest total this season for the fourth time (Haynes vs. Santa Clara; Jacob Lampkin vs. Santa Clara and vs. Alaska Fairbanks) … Lampkin – UAA’s leading scorer, rebounder and shot blocker – missed his second straight game with an injury … Ursery became the first Seawolf other than Lampkin to record a double-double this season … UAA improved to 4-3 all-time against CU, with five of those contests decided by four points or fewer … Ryan came one point shy of his career high on 3-of-5 shooting and had his first career game with multiple steals.