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UAA men upset fifth-ranked Minnesota State 83-72

Jeremy Peters

Apparently, the UAA men's basketball team is equipped with morning people.

Despite getting no more than six hours of sleep the night before the game, the Seawolves upset nationally fifth-ranked Minnesota State 83-72 Saturday morning at the CCA Division II Tip-Off Classic in Aneheim, Calif.

The game tipped off at 9 a.m. at the Anaheim Convention Center. The night before, the Seawolves played the late game -- beating Lindenwood University 74-57 -- and didn't get to bed until midnight, following dinners and a brief game-planning session.

Wakeup calls came at 6 a.m. Saturday.

"In my 25 years (of coaching), it might be the toughest thing we've had to do," UAA coach Rusty Osborne said. "It's a huge win in a lot of ways."

Teancum Stafford showed no ill-effects from the brief respite, hitting 10 of his first 11 shots on his way to a career-high 29 points. Travis Thompson pumped in 18, with Brian McGill adding 12 points and Kyle Fossman tossing in all 11 of his points in the second half.

Fossman, the Seawolves' leading scorer last season, was coming off an 18-point performance and Osborne said Minnesota State honed in on him early, leaving Stafford with some good open looks.

"It was the first time he was able to get in a rhythm," Osborne said.

The game was close for the first 16 minutes, with nine ties and nine lead changes, but Stafford sparked a surge when he drilled a 3-pointer to put the Seawolves up 32-31 with 4:22 to play in the first half.

The 6-foot-5 forward drained another 3-pointer 32 seconds later and added two mid-range jumpers to put the Seawolves up 41-35. The Seawolves led 44-35 at the break when McGill connected on a jumper at the buzzer.

The Mavericks (1-1), led by 16 points from Gage Wooten, came out strong in the second half and cut the UAA lead to 49-45. The Seawolves came right back with an 18-8 run over the next six minutes, a streak punctuated by a Thompson 3-pointer.

Thompson came through with another big play late, helping to seal the win with an old-fashioned three-point play when he penetrated for a close-range score and drew a foul from Wooten. His made the free throw to give UAA a 78-69 lead with four minutes to play.

"They prepared, zeroed in and they were rewarded," Osborne said of his team.

The win was UAA's first against a top-5 team since beating a fifth-ranked Seattle Pacific team 89-75 on Feb. 12, 2006 in Anchorage.

"It's a Division II win against a team that will be, barring any serious injuries, one of the best in the country," Osborne said.

The Seawolves can go undefeated in the tournament with a win Sunday over Cal State-Dominguez Hills in a game that starts at 6:30 p.m. AST.

UAA plays its first home game Friday at 7 p.m., against Holy Names, part of the AT&T Jamboree at Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

Reach Jeremy Peters at jpeters@adn.com or 257-4335.

MINNESOTA STATE (72) -- O'Brien 2-5 3-3 8, Marei 3-8 5-11 11, Hanks 0-2 0-0 0, Monaghan 5-12 0-2 11, Wooten 8-14 0-1 16, Moten 2-6 0-0 6, Busack 1-4 0-0 3, Brown 2-3 6-8 10, Romashko 0-1 2-2 2, Okafor 2-4 1-4 5. Totals 25-59 17-30 72.

UAA (83) -- Mears 0-1 0-0 0, McGill 4-12 4-4 12, Thompson 6-15 3-3 18, Stafford 10-16 4-5 29, Fossman 3-8 3-5 11, Leckband 2-4 2-2 7, Baisa 0-0 0-0 0, Lauwers 1-5 1-2 4, McTier 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 27-62 17-21 83.

Minnesota State 35 37 -- 72

UAA 44 39 -- 83

3-point goals -- Minnesota State 5-16 (O'Brien 1-1, Hanks 0-2, Monaghan 1-5, Moten 2-5, Busack 1-2, Romashko 0-1). UAA 12-28 (McGill 0-1, Thompson 3-7, Stafford 5-7, Fossman 2-6, Leckband 1-3, Lauwers 1-4). Rebounds -- Minnesota State 39 (Marei 7), UAA 40 (McGill 7, Thompson 7). Assists -- Minnesota State 14 (Monaghan 5), UAA 10 (McGill 4). Turnovers -- Minnesota State 14 (Marei 6), UAA 15 (McGill 4, Stafford 4). Steals -- Minnesota State 7 (Monaghan 4), UAA 5 (Thompson 4). Blocks -- Minnesota State 1, UAA 2. Total fouls -- Minnesota State 19, UAA 23. Fouled out -- Mears, McTier. Technical foul -- Marei. Officials -- Molina, Patton, McNeilly.

 


By JEREMY PETERS
jpeters@adn.com