ANCHORAGE, Alaska. – Another hot shooting night and four players in double figures to score helped the Western Oregon University men’s basketball team to a big 85-78 road win at Alaska Anchorage Thursday night in action of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. It was the first home defeat for the Seawolves who came in 9-0 this season and had won their last 12 home games since last season.
“Tonight the guys were locked in and connected on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Winning on the road is tough, especially against an opponent like Alaska Anchorage, but the guys stayed the course. That finishing group of John, Yosani, Tyreek, Cam and Q suffered a run towards the end to end the game,” the head coach said. Wes Pifer noted.
WOU (6-16, 6-9 GNAC) went over 50% from the field for the sixth time this season and went over 55% for the fourth time this season. Wolves shot almost exactly the same percentage from the field as they did the first time around against the Seawolves as WOU shot 55.6 percent on Thursday and 55.4 percent on Dec. 4 at Monmouth.
Wolves went 30-54 (55.6) from the field, 11-26 (42.3) from three and 14-17 (82.4) from the foul line. It was the 11and times this season, WOU has made at least 10 three-pointers in a game. Yosani clay led the way with 21 points, while adding eight assists and five rebounds. Cameron Cranston had 19 points, eight rebounds and three blocks while playing all 40 minutes. John Morrill Keeler was also close to a double-double with 18 points and nine rebounds. He also added three assists. Tyrek Award completed the double-digit four with 17 points, along with five rebounds and three assists. Qiant Myers went for six points and six assists.
WOU limited Alaska Anchorage (13-8, 8-6 GNAC) to just an 8-32 (25) effort from three-pointers and went 29-71 (40.8) overall from the field. They also went 12-13 (92.3) at the foul line.
UAA came out on fire on their home court scoring the game’s first seven points two minutes later. After that, WOU took over and never looked back. Wolves came back with a 13-2 run and never gave up the lead. Price and Cranston hit three straight goals before Morrill-Keeler finished the run with a layup for the 13-9 lead.
After the Seawolves came within a point, WOU raced 14-2 to extend the lead to 13. RJ Veliz set up an impressive two-basket streak in the paint and after Price converted a three-point play, Cranston wrapped up the run with an offensive rebound and comeback for the 30-17 lead with 8:32 left in the half.
UAA moved seven points closer the rest of the half before Morrill-Keeler and Clay scored five points in the stretch to send WOU into the break with a 44-34 lead.
The Seawolves cut the deficit to eight nearly two minutes into the second half, but just like earlier in the game, WOU had an answer. Cranston converted a Clay steal by connecting on a three-pointer, then a Clay three-point play on a Myers steal extended the lead to 14.
WOU had a lead as high as 17 on a Clay three-pointer and then again on a Morrill-Keeler layup with 12:50 left in play WOU had a 62-45 lead.
UAA made one more push to close in on the sevens with just over a minute to play, but WOU hit their foul shots down the stretch to seal the win. Clay went 9-10 in the final minutes from the foul line to help WOU to an 85-78 win.
The win gives WOU a regular season sweep of the Seawolves and has now earned three straight series wins. Wolves improved to 6-14 at UAA since 2002 and the road win ended a two-game losing streak at Anchorage. After the teams split for the past two seasons, this is the UAS’ first regular-season sweep since the 2017-18 season.
WOU is also keeping the momentum going after winning four of their last five games and staying alive for a possible top-six seed at the upcoming GNAC Championships, which would give Wolves a first-round bye to the quarterback. final.
Oggie Pantovic led the UAA with 21 points and seven rebounds. Tobin Karlberg had 17 points and five rebounds. David Rowlands and Hunter Sweet each scored 12 points. Rowlands added seven assists and five rebounds. Sweet added eight rebounds.
WOU will close out the regular season playing at Alaska Fairbanks on Saturday starting at 4:15 p.m. (Pacific).