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UAA men take down Nanooks in OT for 9th straight basketball win

  • Author: Beth Bragg
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published January 16, 2016

Given new life when Spencer Svejcar's 3-pointer tied the game at the end of regulation, the scorching-hot UAA men's basketball team dominated overtime Saturday in Fairbanks to beat the rival Nanooks 100-91.

The Seawolves outscored UAF 24-15 in the extra period to win their ninth game in a row.

The victory kept UAA (15-4 overall, 8-0 GNAC) atop the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings and dropped UAF (12-4, 6-2) into third place.

Sitting in second place at 7-1 is Western Oregon, UAA's next opponent. Those teams play Thursday in Monmouth, Oregon.

Suki Wiggs poured in 30 points and grabbed 11 rebounds, Brian McGill was perfect at the foul line en route to 25 points and Svejcar hit a couple of huge 3-pointers on his way to 22 points for the Seawolves.

"When you get some talented kids and they totally buy into what you want them to do and are committed, anything's possible," UAA coach Rusty Osborne said. "They don't have great practices every day, but they show up and try to do what we ask.

"And they show up on their own too. Suki and Spencer and Brian – they're not just good because they come to our official practices, they're there an hour early when they can be, dragging other teammates with them.

"That's how you're successful."

With UAF up 76-73 thanks to two Travante Williams free throws with 12 seconds left in regulation, Svejcar sent the game to overtime by making a well-defended 3-pointer with 2.9 seconds left.

"We set up a shot for one of our other players," Osborne said. "(UAF) did a good job guarding us but luckily for us we had four shooters out there."

McGill quickly drew a foul at the beginning of the five-minute overtime and hit both free throws.

UAF's Bangaly Kaba answered with a jumper to make it 78-78, and then Svejcar hit another big shot from 3-point range to give the Seawolves the lead for good.

UAA scored its last 14 points from the free-throw line, where the Seawolves were 33 of 39 for the game and 16 of 18 for overtime. UAF was 12 of 14 for the game and didn't shoot a single free throw in overtime.

Leading the way for UAA was McGill, who drained all 16 of his free throws to break a 35-year-old school record for free-throw shooting percentage. The old mark was 14 of 14, set in 1981 by Kirk Abegglen.

"We didn't feel like they could stay in front of our guards," Osborne said. "We were either able to penetrate and make the layup or get the free throws. That's part of our game – they get themselves to the basket and they make free throws."

Williams racked up a double-double for the Nanooks with 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Brandon Davis supplied them with a team-high 21 points. Kaba finished with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Corey Hammell came close to a double-double for UAA with 11 points and nine rebounds. Christian Leckband added nine points and six rebounds.

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