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That's a wrap: UAA men fall in GNAC hoops tourney

  • Author: Doyle Woody
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published March 3, 2016

The third time was the harm for the UAA men's basketball team.

After twice beating Western Washington by three points in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference's regular season, the Seawolves on Thursday fell 78-73 to the Vikings in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament in Lacey, Washington.

The loss ended the season for the Seawolves (21-11), who entered the game ranked 10th in the West Region, where eight teams make the NCAA Division II tournament.

UAA was knocked out in the conference quarterfinals for the fourth straight year.

Western Washington (16-14) advanced to play No. 2-seeded UAF (21-7) in Friday's semifinals.

The Seawolves were undone by poor shooting. They hit just 37.9 percent of their field goal attempts and just 23.1 percent from beyond the arc. Those percentages were well below their regular-season numbers of 46.1 percent from the field and 37.0 percent on 3-pointers.

UAA junior transfer guard Suki Wiggs, the conference's leading scorer (24.2 points per game), an All-GNAC first-teamer and the circuit's Newcomer of the Year, paced his club with 20 points and 12 rebounds. But he shot 5 of 16 from the field and 1 of 8 from distance.

Seawolves senior guard Brian McGill, a second-team All-GNAC pick, contributed 16 points on 5 of 13 shooting in his final game in green and gold. All-GNAC second-teamer Corey Hammell had 12 points and nine boards.

UAA had no answer for Western Washington junior forward Jeffrey Parker, who dropped a game-high 31 points on the Seawolves. He drained 11 of 15 shots, including 5 of 8 from beyond the arc.

Ricardo Maxwell added 18 points for the Vikings, and Kyle Impero generated 11 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Colby Mitchell of Chugiak hit all four of his free throws in the second half for Western Washington.

UAA started well, jumping to a 15-8 lead. But the Vikings went on a 20-3 run later in the first half and secured a 39-30 halftime lead.

Yet the Seawolves forged a 44-44 tie inside the first five minutes of the second half. But Parker delivered 16 points in a span of seven-plus minutes – the Vikings took a 62-59 lead on his 3-pointer with 7:33 to go and never trailed again.

UAA loses only two players heading into next season -- seniors McGill and Christian Leckband.

Seawolves notes

UAA made 23 of 27 free throws Thursday and finished with a team-record free-throw percentage of .804, topping the previous program record of .782 in 2008-09.

McGill made all four of his free throws and finished the season 98 of 105 for a school-record .933 percentage.

Reach Doyle Woody at dwoody@alaskadispatch.com, check out his blog at adn.com/hockeyblog and follow him on Twitter at @JaromirBlagr

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