ANCHORAGE – Oakland guard Martez Walker scored 25 points and the Golden Grizzlies did just enough down the stretch Friday to hold on for a 71-65 victory over host Alaska Anchorage in the consolation semifinals of GCI Great Alaska Shootout at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Golden Grizzlies (5-1) also got 12 points and four assists from reserve Nick Daniels as they advanced to the tournament’s fourth-place game on Saturday (2 p.m. AST) against the winner of the Drake/UC Davis matchup.
The Seawolves – who played the game as a discretionary exhibition – were led by 22 points from point guard Diante Mitchell, who shot 7 of 11 overall, 4 of 6 from three-point range and 4 of 4 at the foul stripe. The senior from Syracuse, Utah, also dished three assists and committed just one turnover while logging a game-high 38 minutes.
UAA trailed 47-32 early in the second half before mounting an impressive comeback. A three-pointer by Mitchell sliced it to single digits, 47-39, at the 14:16 mark, and Suki Wiggs found Curtis Ryan open for a layup to cut it to 54-49 three minutes later.
After the visitors from eastern Michigan responded with the next seven points, the Seawolves counterpunched with a 10-0 run of their own, with Mitchell feeding Spencer Svejcar on a trey that made it 61-59 with 5:24 left.
Hayes answered with a short jumper in the lane and Walker canned the last of his four three-pointers on back-to-back possessions, however, and UAA could make it a one-possession game just once more.
Svejcar finished with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting (2-3 3FG) and six rebounds, senior center Connor Devine had 10 points, three assists and two blocks, and senior forward Corey Hammell grabbed a game-high nine rebounds for UAA.
The Seawolves will play the Drake/UC Davis loser at noon AST Saturday in the 7th-place game.
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