ANCHORAGE – Freshman point guard Brennan Rymer posted career bests of 14 points and 10 assists Thursday as a shorthanded Alaska Anchorage squad pushed Saint Martin’s to the limit before falling 71-66 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball action at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Missing three regular starters, the Seawolves (7-6, 3-2 GNAC) got career-high scoring performances from four players – including 11 points from junior guard Malik Clements – and a season-high 13 points from senior guard Drew Peterson.
The Saints (10-3, 3-2) were led by 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, six rebounds and five assists from guard Luke Chavez, plus 14 points and four steals from Rhett Baerlocher, as they won for just the third time in 23 trips to Anchorage and snapped the Seawolves’ 12-game winning streak in GNAC home games.
“It was tough playing shorthanded, with eight guys – and sometimes six – tonight, but I was very proud of the effort and heart they displayed out there,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne, whose team was missing top scorers Jacob Lampkin and D.J. Ursery (injuries), plus point guard Maleke Haynes (academics). “Obviously we’re somewhat disappointed because that was a game we had the opportunity to win, but on the positive side we got a lot of experience for our young players, especially Brennan, who played extremely well.”
Tied 50-50 after a pair of free throws by UAA freshman forward Eric Jenkins with 7:56 remaining, the visitors from Lacey, Wash., took control with three-pointers on three straight possessions, including a pair by Chavez.
UAA sliced the deficit to 63-61 with 2:14 left on two free throws by Jack Macdonald – who had career highs of nine points and five rebounds – and kept it a one-possession affair, 66-63, on two more Jenkins free throws at the 1:05 mark.
Chavez provided another dagger, however, dishing to teammate EJ Boyce for a three-pointer with 37 seconds remaining.
Rymer joined Lampkin and Ursery as the third Seawolf to pick up a double-double this year, while his 10 assists were the most for a Seawolf against a fellow NCAA Div. II opponent since Brian McGill had 10 in a home win over Western Oregon, Feb. 22, 2014. The Australian also made three steals and grabbed four rebounds in a team-high 35 minutes.
UAA shot a season-best .905 (19 of 21) from the free-throw line, including 4-of-4 efforts by Jenkins and Macdonald, and 3 of 3 by Peterson, who missed several minutes after turning his ankle in the first half.
The Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center on Saturday when they host longtime rival Seattle Pacific at 7 p.m. Call 907-786-1562 for tickets for visit GoSeawolves.com for complete information.