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UAA Athletics

UAA men ride defense to low-scoring victory over Nighthawks

  • Author: Anchorage Daily News
  • Updated: February 8, 2018
  • Published February 8, 2018

Defense is what the UAA men's basketball team does best, and Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center the Seawolves were at the top of their game.

UAA limited Northwest Nazarene to 15 points in the first half en route to a 59-48 victory that puts it in a three-way tie for sixth place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

The Seawolves (11-12 overall, 7-8 GNAC) led 30-15 at intermission after holding the Nighthawks to 28 percent shooting (7 of 25).

UAA, which leads the GNAC and ranks 12th in the nation in scoring defense, was allowing 64.7 points per game coming into the contest.

But the Seawolves were a stingy bunch Thursday. Northwest Nazarene scored 33 points below its scoring average and 16 points below its previous season-low.

"I'm extremely proud of that defensive effort tonight," UAA coach Rusty Osborne said in a press release. "We showed great intensity from the opening tip, and we did a nice job of hitting our open looks, especially with our 3-point shooting in the first half.

"Josiah (Wood) and our other primary ball handlers were also able to control the tempo, which was important in helping maintain a healthy lead throughout the game."

Five players scored nine or more points for UAA, a group led by Drew Peterson, who hit three of his six 3-point attempts to finish with 13 points.

Brian Pearson added 10 points and shared team rebounding honors with D.J. Ursery with seven. Wood finished with nine points and seven assists against two turnovers, and Malik Clements chipped in nine points, five rebounds and three steals.

Jayden Bezzant led all scorers with 20 points for Northwest Nazarene.

The Seawolves share sixth place in the conference with UAF and Northwest Nazarene, putting them in contention for a spot in the GNAC tournament March 1-3 in Anchorage. The conference's top six team will play in the tournament.

UAA plays its final regular-season home game Saturday against Central Washington.

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