Anchorage — The UAA men's basketball team begins the second half of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference season this week by hosting two opponents that beat the Seawolves earlier this month.
The Seawolves, winners of three of their last four games, host Central Washington on Thursday and seventh-place Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.
The UAA women will complete the second half of a four-game road trip. Continued success will require upsets of two nationally ranked teams -- No. 13 Simon Fraser on Thursday and No. 5 Western Washington on Saturday.
The UAA men have their own challenges, like the five players who average double figures for Central Washington. Junior guard Mark McLaughlin leads the Wildcats and the rest of the conference with an average of 23.7 points per game.
UAA and Central Washington share third place in the GNAC with 5-4 records, but the Seawolves' 12-4 overall record is a game better than Central Washington's 11-5. Both teams are four games behind first-place Western Washington, which is still unbeaten.
UAA is 15-13 all time against Central Washington, having lost 81-72 to the Wildcats in a road meeting Jan. 5. Two nights earlier the Seawolves lost 61-60 at Northwest Nazarene (9-8, 3-6 GNAC), which is on a four-game losing streak. Senior guard Kenny Jones leads the Crusaders with an average of 15.4 points per game.
Junior guard Kyle Fossman leads the Seawolves in scoring at 15.2 points per game, but senior center Liam Gibcus (11.3) has come on strong lately, posting the team's highest point total in three of the last four games.
Arctic Valley open
There still isn't enough snow to open the tube park, but the long wait for skiing at Arctic Valley is just about over.
The mountain opens for the first time this winter, Saturday at 10:30 a.m., and will stay open until 3:30 p.m. Sunday skiing will also be available from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.