PORTLAND, Ore. - As the last standing undefeated basketball team in GNAC play, the Alaska Anchorage men's squad was selected the GNAC's Red Lion Team of the Week after home wins over Simon Fraser and Western Washington.
'Having had to battle through some adversity early in the season, this group has already proven to be a very hard-working and cohesive team,' said head coach Rusty Osborne. 'It's nice to be recognized for that effort, but we still have a lot of work left.'
The Seawolves entered the week as one of three teams in all of GNAC basketball undefeated in conference action, but were the lone team to escape the week unscathed. They used two strong offensive performances to defeat Simon Fraser 96-83 on Thursday and Western Washington 87-84 on Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center.
'It's certainly ideal to be unbeaten right now, but we know we're only just past the quarter mark of league play and this is an extremely competitive conference,' Osborne said. 'We're looking forward to seeing how we measure up the next two weeks against some very good opponents.'
Alaska Anchorage won their seventh straight game, moving to 6-0 in GNAC play and 13-4 overall. Against Simon Fraser, the Seawolves were led by Sekou Wiggs (6'4''-PG-94)' 23 points and eight rebounds. Seniors Christian Leckband and Brian McGill came off the bench to add 21 and 17 points, respectively, as the Seawolves cruised to a double-digit victory. They shot 31 of 60 (51.7 percent) from the field and held an advantage of 29 on free throw attempts. The Seawolves never trailed in the contest.
After Western Washington defeated previously unbeaten Alaska in a thrilling overtime contest, Alaska Anchorage got its shot at the Vikings. The Seawolves took a 43-35 lead into halftime, but had to hold off a furious rally from the visitors. Western Washington knotted the game up at 77 apiece with just over five minutes remaining, but the Seawolves finished on a 10-7 run to claim their seventh straight victory.
'We showed a real lack of intensity on Thursday night against a Simon Fraser team that played very hard in its first game without its leading scorer,' said Osborne. 'Luckily, we turned that around Saturday and took the lead early against Western Washington. That was important because we put ourselves in position to withstand their run and come up with the big plays at the end of the game.'
Wiggs led the team once again with 21 points, six assists and three rebounds. Spencer Svejcar added 18 points with five assists and McGill chipped in 14 points, seven assists and five rebounds off the bench. The Seawolves shot over 50 percent from the field again, finishing 30 of 59, and scored 25 points off of the bench.
'We took much better care of the ball Saturday with just 10 turnovers (after 18 vs. SFU) and we continued to move the ball well on offense, which led to good shooting percentages in both games,' Osborne said.
The Seawolves lead the GNAC in scoring margin (+14.5) and free throw percentage (.786) this season. They rank first in Division II in free throws made (370), third in free throw attempts (471) and third in total assists (295). Wiggs leads the GNAC in scoring with 23.8 points per game and is third in the nation in total points (405), while teammate Corey Hammell is first in the GNAC in rebounding with 10.0 boards per contest and leads the nation in offensive rebounds per game at 4.71.
Alaska Anchorage returns to action Tues., Jan. 12, hosting Montana State Billings. They then travel to face Alaska in a battle of two of the top teams in the GNAC standings this season on Sat., Jan 16.
Player of the Year: Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State NABC NCAA D2 All-America Team Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) of Fairmont State Joshua Blaylock (6'2''-G) of Fort Lewis Luquon Choice (6'3''-G-93) of Lincoln Memorial Devin Gilligan (6'5''-F) of Southern New Hampshire Zach Hankins (6'10''-C) of Ferris State Jeremiah Hill (6'2''-G-95) of Valdosta State Aaron Lien (6'4''-G-95) of MSU Moorhead Justin Pitts of Northwest Missouri State Justin Reyes (6'4''-G/F) of St. Thomas Aqu... [read more]
Player of the Year:Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) of Northwest Missouri State
Northwest Missouri wins Division II title - 20 hours ago
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Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin... [read more]
Northwest Missouri State has pulled off the double. The Bearcats defeated Fairmont State 71-61 victory for the NCAA Division II men's basketball championship on Saturday in Sioux Falls, S.D. Northwest became the first Division II program to win football and men's basketball titles in the same school year. The Bearcats finished the season 35-1. Northwest Missouri State scored the game's first seven points and never trailed. The Bearcats extended an 11-point halftime lead to 14 on a Justin Pitts (5'9''-PG) three-pointer. Fairmont's Matt Bingaya (6'4''-G-94) went on a personal 6-0 run before Pitts responded with another triple. Fairmont entered the game averaging 95 points, but it couldn't muster much offense and its press defense was largely useless against the Bearcats. Pitts, the NABC Division II player of the year, finished with 23 points and was voted most outstanding player of the Elite Eight. The junior from Blue Springs played all 40 minutes and committed just one turnover. Chris-Ebou Ndow (6'6''-F-93) was the work horse on the boards with 18 rebounds to go along with 17 points. Anthony Woods (6'2''-G, college: NW Missouri St.) added 13. Northwest Missouri State had been the regional runner-up each of the past three years. But the Bearcats finished the job for the program's first men's basketball national championship. Courtesy of: kansascity.com
Player of the Year: Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange of Newberry College Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne College Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin of Dominican College Hunter LeVeau of King University Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Matthew Dogan of Gannon University [read more]
Player of the Year: Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Rookie of the Year: Marshall Lange of Newberry College Coach of the Year: Patrick Beilein of Le Moyne College
Honorable Mention Gerrel Irvin of Dominican College Hunter LeVeau of King University Michael Mallory of Southern Connecticut State University Matthew Dogan of Gannon University
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