ANCHORAGE – Senior D.J. Ursery scored 20 points and grabbed six rebounds Thursday to power Alaska Anchorage to a 62-57 men’s basketball victory over Concordia-Portland at the Alaska Airlines Center.
A 6-4 wing, Ursery posted his fourth 20-point effort of the season on 9-of-12 shooting, while sophomore guard Jack Macdonald collected eight points and five assists for the Seawolves (9-10, 5-6 Great Northwest Athletic Conference).
The Cavs (4-15, 0-11) were led by 15 points from Bryan Michaels and 13 points, seven assists and six rebounds from guard Jarrett Gray, but the visitors could not complete a second-half comeback and suffered their 15th straight defeat.
“I thought that was a terrific team effort from our guys tonight,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne, whose team improved on its GNAC-leading 64.1 ppg defensive average. “I was pleased with our interior defense, and we were able to get contributions up and down the lineup. D.J. will have the scoring numbers that jump out at you, but it was because of efforts from people like Josiah Wood and Curtis Ryan that we were able to win this one.”
UAA earned its largest lead at 31-21 and took a 34-25 advantage into the break, but the Cavs rallied quickly behind Michaels, who tied it 40-40 on a tip-in with 15:26 remaining.
Ryan – a 6-9 junior from Warrnambool – started a 10-2 run for the hosts with a pair of free throws, and junior center Brian Pearson made it 52-44 on a jumper with 8:10 left. The Cavaliers sliced it to a one-point game twice in the final four minutes, however Ursery provided the answer each time, nailing a fadeaway three-pointer with 3:01 left, then hitting a jumper in the lane to make it 60-57 with 53 seconds to go.
Ursery blocked a putback attempt by Concordia’s Christopher Edward with 38 seconds left, and Macdonald sealed the game with two free throws at the 12-second mark.
Edward finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for the third-year NCAA Div. II and GNAC program as the Cavs lost by single digits or in overtime for the eighth time in their 15-game skid.
UAA shot a solid 45.5 percent from the field as Ryan and fellow Aussie Brennan Rymer both shot 2 of 3 overall. Ryan had six points and career highs of six rebounds and two blocks in his most effective outing of the season. Wood, meanwhile, finished with four points and a team-high seven rebounds, along with a pair of assists.
The Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center on Saturday to complete a four-game homestand, facing nationally 6th-ranked Western Oregon at 5:15 p.m. Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com for tickets.