ANCHORAGE – Tyler Brimhall scored 22 points and fellow junior Niko Bevens had 18 points and five assists Saturday to spark the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team a 75-66 victory over Concordia-Portland at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Cavaliers (6-6, 1-3) were led by 18 points and six assists from senior guard Jarrett Gray, but the visitors were outshot .533 to .367 in the second half.
“We came out (in the second half) and were more engaged defensively, we stopped turning the ball over, and then we made shots,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “Concordia is a very disciplined team, but we were able to do the things we’ve been practicing and be successful.”
After Gray hit a three-pointer to put his team up 40-30 at the start of the second half, the Seawolves rallied immediately, getting a traditional three-point play from Brimhall, followed by consecutive three-pointers from Bevens.
Rymer drove for a layup to make it a 46-45 UAA advantage with 16 minutes remaining, and Brimhall pushed the lead to 52-47 on a trey at the 13-minute mark. The Cavaliers responded with a 7-0 run, however, as the game stayed a one-possession affair for seven minutes.
Macdonald – who scored all 10 of his points in the second half on 4-of-5 shooting – made it 65-61 on a backdoor cut off a feed from Brian Pearson, and repeated with layups on the next two possessions as well. Rymer – who dished a team season-high six assists – provided the clincher with a running bank shot with 55 seconds left that made it 71-64.
“Jack was the beneficiary of some very good passes as the offense started to open up,” Osborne said. “He was aggressive there for the last 15 minutes of the second half, and we need him to be that way.”
In addition to shooting 43 percent (12 of 28) from long range and a season-best 92 percent (11 of 12) at the free-throw line, the Seawolves tied their season low by committing only 11 turnovers.
A transfer from Div. I Montana, Bevens equaled his most assists as a Seawolf and knocked down 6 of 13 three-pointers in a team-high 35 minutes. Meanwhile, Brimhall collected his sixth 20-plus scoring effort as a Seawolf, shooting 8 of 15 from the field and 5 of 7 from long range. The former North Idaho College star also grabbed a season-high three steals.
Junior forward Sjur Berg added six points and six rebounds in just 12 minutes despite foul trouble, while senior center Brian Pearson collected five rebounds, two assists and a UAA season-high five blocks.
The Seawolves return to the road next week to face GNAC preseason favorite Saint Martin’s on Thursday at 6 p.m. in Lacey, Wash.