ANCHORAGE – D.J. Ursery and Malik Clements led a dominant rebounding effort and the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team used balanced scoring to snap its four-game losing streak with a 53-46 win over Simon Fraser on the Alaska Airlines Center on Thursday night.
The Seawolves (8-9, 4-5 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) got nine points, 12 rebounds and two blocks from Ursery, while Clements chipped in eight points, two assists, two steals and a career-high 10 rebounds.
The Clan (8-9, 2-7) were led by 11 points apiece from Iziah Sherman-Newsome, Kedar Salam and Michael Provenzano, but the NCAA’s lone Canadian school was beaten 46-35 on the boards as it remained winless in 18 all-time meetings against UAA.
“It’s good to get a win,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne, whose team had lost four straight games by a combined 10 points, including two one-point overtime losses. “We’d been knocking on the door, and when you have some close losses, I think you have a tendency to tighten up. And I think we did tighten up some in the second half, but we persevered, we continued to defend, and we got it done.”
UAA led for most of the contest, taking over for good at 18-16 on a three-pointer from Josiah Wood with 11:54 on the clock. The Seawolves led 34-26 at halftime and pushed the advantage to 44-30 when Brian Pearson dished one of his career-high three assists to Wood for a layup, again with just 12 minutes remaining.
SFU sliced it to a 48-44 game with 5:41 left, but neither team could find the basket again until Clements scored on a rebound putback with 1:32 to play, and the visitors did not score until a meaningless layup by Salam with two seconds showing.
Pearson finished with six points, six rebounds, no turnovers, one steal and a block in 30 minutes, while Wood scored nine and had two blocks. Sophomore guard Jack Macdonald added eight points in the win.
The Seawolves also got a pair of blocks from Curtis Ryan as their 10 team swats were just one shy of the program record (11 vs Seattle Pacific, Feb. 22, 1986) and their most in a GNAC game since the league formed in 2001-02.
The Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center for the second of a four-game homestand Saturday at 7 p.m. when they face GNAC leader and nationally 21st-ranked Western Washington (14-3, 9-0). Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com for tickets.