One of the stingiest defenses in the nation put the UAA men's basketball team in the win column Thursday night.
The Seawolves beat Concordia-Portland 62-57 with a defensive effort at the Alaska Airlines Center that was excellent even by their standards.
UAA was giving up an average of 64.1 points coming into the game, the best in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and the ninth-best nationwide in Division II. The Seawolves improved on that average to hand Concordia its 15th straight loss.
UAA (9-10 overall, 5-6 GNAC) limited Concordia (4-15, 0-11) to 34.5 percent field goal accuracy in the first half. The Seawolves blocked five shots, made five steals and outrebounded the visitors 33-29.
Senior guard D.J. Ursery hit 9 of 12 shots for a game-high 20 points to lead the Seawolves, who had lost five of their previous six games.
Ursery was clutch in the final minutes. Concordia twice cut UAA's lead to one point, and both time Ursery answered with a bucket.
Then, with 38 seconds left and UAA protecting a three-point lead, Ursery blocked a put-back attempt by Concordia's Christopher Edwards. Josiah Wood grabbed the rebound for UAA, and with 12 seconds left Jack Macdonald hit a pair of free throws to cement the win.
"I thought that was a terrific team effort from our guys tonight," UAA coach Rusty Osborne said in a press release. "I was pleased with our interior defense, and we were able to get contributions up and down the lineup.
"D.J. will have the scoring numbers that jump out at you, but it was because of efforts from people like Josiah Wood and Curtis Ryan that we were able to win this one."
Wood finished with a team-high seven rebounds to go with four points, two assists and a well-timed block with the game on the line in the final two minutes.
Ryan added six points, six rebounds, two blocks and one assist. Macdonald supplied eight points and five assists, Drew Peterson had nine points, two assists and a steal and Brian Pearson had six points, two assists and a steal.
Concordia got 15 points from Bryan Michaels and 12 points, nine rebounds and two blocks from Edward.
UAA's defense will be put to the test Saturday when the Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center for a 5:30 p.m. game against league-leading Western Oregon. The Wolves were averaging 85.8 points a game coming into a Thursday game against UAF in Fairbanks.