UAA men fall to Western Washington

sports@adn.comJanuary 24, 2013 

— The UAA men's basketball team was in position to pull off a big upset on the road Thursday, but the Seawolves stumbled down the stretch against defending NCAA Division II national champion Western Washington.

UAA, paced by 13 points and seven rebounds from Liam Gibcus, ended a three-game winning streak with the 75-62 Great Northwest Athletic Conference loss in Bellingham, Wash., falling to 11-5 overall and 4-4 in the GNAC.

Western Washington, ranked No. 2 nationally, improved to 17-0 overall and 8-0 in conference play and extended its league-record winning streak to 23 games.

John Allen scored all of his game-high 21 points in the second half to spark the Vikings' come-from-behind win.

Western Washington trailed 32-25 at halftime, but steadily worked its way back, taking its first second-half lead at 44-42 on an Allen drive with 12:07 left to play.

Allen's layup was part of a 13-0 run that gave the Vikings a 52-42 lead, and Allen all but sealed the victory at the 4:22 mark when he nailed a 3-pointer from the right wing to stretch the lead to 65-51.

Western Washington's balanced attack included points from eight players, with Austin Bragg pumping in 15 and Paul Jones adding 12. Petersburg's Cameron Severson scored 10 to help the Vikings beat UAA for the fifth straight time.

UAA came out of the gate fast, leading by as much as nine in the game's first six minutes, but Western Washington battled back to gain its first lead at 18-17 near the midpoint of the first half.

The Seawolves, who also got 11 points from Teancum Stafford and 10 from Kyle Fossman, used physical play to regain the lead and build a seven-point advantage by intermission. The Seawolves closed the half on an 8-3 run capped by a Jalen Little buzzer-beating layup.

Abebe Demissie buried a 3-pointer to pull UAA within 52-45 with 8:11 left to play, but Allen answered with a trey to put the Vikings back up by 10. UAA never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Gibcus made 5 of 7 shots from the field and hit all three of his free throws. Colton Lauwers handed out a team-high five assists for the Seawolves.

UAA continues its road trip Saturday against Simon Fraser, a team the Seawolves have beaten in seven straight meetings. Simon Fraser picked up its first GNAC win of the season against visiting UAF on Thursday.

UAA (62) -- Leckband, 3-5 1-3 8; Stafford 4-12 1-2 11; Gibcus 3-7 3-3 13; Lauwers 2-5 0-0 6; Fossman 4-16 0-0 10; Heard 0-2 0-0 0; MacKelvie 0-0 0-0 0; Erickson 0-1 0-0 0; Little 3-5 0-0 7; Demissie 2-6 0-0 5; Spickerman 0-2 0-0 0; Weitzel 1-3 0-0 2; Totals: 24-64 5-8 62.

WWU (75) -- Jones 3-10 6-8 12; Bragg 6-7 3-4 15; Mitchell 2-6 1-1 6; Woodworth 0-4 5-7 5; Allen 8-13 2-2 21; Wilkins 3-8 0-0 6; Turner 0-1 0-0 0; Severson 2-4 6-6 10; Totals: 24-53 23-28 75.

UAA 32 30 -- 62

WWU 25 50 -- 75

3-point field goals -- UAA 9-28 (Leckband 1-3; Stafford 2-7; Lauwers 2-3; Fossman 2-10; Heard 0-1; Little 1-2; Demissie 0-0); WWU 4-20 (Jones 0-3; Bragg 0-1; Mitchell 1-4; Woodworth 5-7; Allen 3-5; Wilkins 0-4). Rebounds -- UAA 36 (Gibcus 7); WWU 36 (Jones 7, Allen 7). Total Fouls -- UAA 21; WWU 16. Fouled out -- Gibcus. Assists -- UAA 15 (Lauwers 5); WWU 12 (Allen 5). Turnovers -- UAA 13 (Gibcus 4); WWU 10 (Allen 4). Blocks -- UAA 1 (Weitzel); WWU 6 (Mitchell 2, Bragg 2). Steals -- UAA 3 (Fossman 3); WWU 9 (Bragg; Woodworth 2). Officials -- Somers, Marshal, Witt. A -- 975.

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