NAMPA, Idaho – Career-high efforts from juniors Brian Pearson and Malik Clements were not quite enough Saturday as the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team suffered its second one-point, overtime loss in three nights, falling 79-78 to Northwest Nazarene at the Johnson Sports Center.
The Seawolves (7-9, 3-5 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) got 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting, 10 rebounds and six blocks from Pearson – all career bests for the 6-9 center from Elko, Nev. – plus 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting from Clements in the loss.
The Nighthawks (8-6, 4-4) were led by 27 points from guard Obi Megwa and 25 points from Jayden Bezzant, who tied the game with a basket at the buzzer in regulation. Megwa shot 12 of 19 from the floor as both teams connected at 52 percent overall.
“We shot the ball well but we allowed it to affect our defensive intensity. Instead of grinding on the defensive end, we got lackadaisical,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “Brian had a phenomenal effort, and Malik had a nice game. But again we had turnover late and we did not hit our free throws to put the game away.”
After leading 38-25 late in the first half and 43-33 at the break, the Seawolves saw their lead slowly worn down by the hosts, and the Nighthawks went up 60-59 on a three-pointer by Bezzant with 8:06 remaining.
The lead would switch hands seven times over the next five minutes, and the game was tied for the sixth time, 71-71, when Bezzant’s jumper fell through with 50 seconds left. Clements gave UAA the lead with a free throw at the 28-second mark, and D.J. Ursery split a pair of free throws after grabbing a defensive rebound to make it 73-71 with six seconds left.
Inbounding at midcourt, the Nighthawks got the inbounds pass to Bezzant, who just beat the regulation buzzer.
Playing two nights after a 72-71 overtime loss at Central Washington, the Seawolves grabbed a 78-75 lead midway through the extra period on a three-point play from Clements. NNU would account for the rest of the scoring, however, as Bezzant and Megwa scored with 1:57 and 1:07 left, respectively.
After a Seawolf turnover, Pearson gave the Seawolves a last chance when he blocked Bezzant at the rim and grabbed the rebound to secure his first double-double. Pearson dished to Brennan Rymer, who called timeout at midcourt with 3 seconds remaining. Rymer received the inbounds pass and drove to the basket, but the freshman point guard was stripped by NNU’s Sam Roth as time was expiring.
The Seawolves have now lost four straight games by a total of 10 points, including a pair in overtime.
UAA returns to action Thursday at 7 p.m. against Simon Fraser at the Alaska Airlines Center. Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com for tickets.