PORTLAND, Ore. – Junior Tyler Brimhall scored a career-high 34 points and grabbed 10 rebounds Thursday to lift the Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team to its fifth consecutive victory, knocking off Concordia-Portland 99-94 in overtime at LCEF Court.
The Seawolves (12-7, 7-4 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 19 points on 5-of-8 three-point shooting from junior forward Niko Bevens, plus 11 points and eight assists from sophomore point guard Brennan Rymer as they swept the season series from the Cavaliers.
Concordia (7-12, 2-9) was led by 19 points and 11 assists from reserve guard Cody Starr, but the hosts could not capitalize on a 53 percent overall shooting effort, including 11 of 25 (.440) from three-point range.
“That was a very gutty win against a Concordia team that was playing well – they came out and got us on our heels early,” said UAA head coach Rusty Osborne. “We were poor offensively but kept grinding until we found some consistency. I am proud of our guys for persevering this tough stretch of travel. All of our starters had some struggles but they also make some big plays. Our bench guys played some big minutes, including Keenan Dowell, who delivered an outstanding defensive stop on their last three-point attempt in overtime.”
Playing its third of four straight road games, the Seawolves recovered from a 43-33 halftime deficit and a 47-35 hole with 18:30 remaining.
Junior guard Jack Macdonald – who finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting – started the game-changing run with a three-pointer, and Bevens tied it 52-52 with another trey at the 13:41 mark.
The game was tied for the sixth time when Starr dished to Dominique Bradley for a layup to make it 70-70 with 4:32 left, before Macdonald staked UAA to a 76-72 edge on a traditional three-point play with 3:15 remaining.
Although the Seawolves never trailed again, the Cavs would earn an extra five minutes when Tyler Wells drove for an open layup with three seconds on the clock.
After trading baskets to start the extra period, Bevens gave the Seawolves the lead at 88-85 with his final three-pointer, and Rymer added a trey moments later for a 91-87 edge. The game remained a one- or two-possession affair, with Rymer slicing to the bucket for a 95-92 Seawolf lead with 44 seconds left.
Wells hit another layup with 16 seconds left to make it 95-94, but Rymer answered with two free throws and grabbed the rebound on Starr’s potential game-tying three-pointer in the waning moments. The Aussie hit two more free throws to account for the game’s final points and finish 6 of 6 from the line.
Brimhall – a 6-5 transfer from North Idaho College – shot 12 of 20 from the floor and 6 of 7 at the charity stripe to earn his second 30-plus and career-high effort in the last three games. It was also the fourth double-double of the year for UAA’s leading scorer and rebounder.
Meanwhile, Bevens shot 5 of 8 from long range, and junior power forward Sjur Berg had 10 points (4-5 FG) and seven points.
The Seawolves connected on 12 of 26 (.462) three-pointers and outrebounded the Cavs 35-29.
UAA finishes its road swing Saturday with a 2 p.m. AST tip in Monmouth, Ore., against defending GNAC champion Western Oregon, which lead the Seawolves by just one game in the current battle for third place in the league. That game can be seen live online at gnac.tv.
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