BELLINGHAM, Wash. – A balanced scoring effort was not enough to pull off an upset Thursday for the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team as host Western Washington got 17 points and seven rebounds from forward Deandre Dixon to earn a 66-56 victory at Carver Gymnasium.
The Seawolves (12-13, 8-9 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) were led by 11 points, four rebounds and three assists from senior D.J. Ursery, plus 10 points from junior guard Malik Clements, but the visitors were hurt by a 35-21 rebounding disadvantage.
The Vikings (19-6, 14-3) also got 14 points and six rebounds from Daulton Hommes, along with 10 points from Trey Drechsel, to sweep the regular-season series and maintain a slight edge on Saint Martin’s for second place and the accompanying quarterfinal bye in the Mar. 1-3 GNAC Tournament.
“I thought we continued to defend well, and we showed a lot of fight against a very good team tonight,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “I’m encouraged that we’re continuing to do the things that made us successful last week, and we’ll try to carry that momentum into our last three games.”
Sophomore forward Curtis Ryan scored eight of his career-high nine points in the first half, hitting a three-pointer to give the Seawolves a 24-22 lead with 2:11 on the clock. The Vikings scored on their last three possessions of the first half, however, and started the second on a 10-2 run to grab a 41-29 lead.
A Dickson dunk made it 50-35 with 11:41 left, and UAA could get no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Despite the setback, the Seawolves remain tied for sixth place with rival Alaska Fairbanks and the accompanying final spot in the GNAC Tournament – set for Mar. 1-3 at UAA’s Alaska Airlines Center. UAA plays at Simon Fraser on Saturday at 6:30 p.m., before closing the regular season Tuesday at UAF and Feb. 24 at Montana State Billings.