With the conference championships two weeks away, the UAA men’s basketball team missed an opportunity to gain some ground in the race for a spot in the postseason tournament.
In a Thursday night game between two teams chasing Great Northwest Athletic Conference playoff berths, Western Washington beat the Seawolves 76-66 at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The loss came despite 31 points from Tyler Brimhall, who shot 11 of 24 from the field, including 6 of 13 from 3-point range.
UAA (13-12 overall, 8-9 GNAC) and Western Washington (13-13, 7-9) are among four teams chasing two berths in the six-team GNAC tournament.
Three teams have clinched spots and a fourth — Western Oregon — is one win away from qualifying with three regular-season games left. In a dogfight for the remaining berths are UAA, Western Washington, MSU-Billings (8-9) and Simon Fraser (8-9).
UAA’s remaining games are all at home — Saturday against Simon Fraser and next week against UAF and Billings.
Brimhall added six rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 38 minutes for the Seawolves. Brian Pearson joined him in double figures with 10 points on 5 of 6 shooting, but the rest of the team shot 7 of 33.
Brennan Rymer came close to a triple-double with nine assists, eight points and seven rebounds.
Four players scored in double figures for Western Washington, which used a 10-0 run to wipe out an early UAA lead. Trevor Jasinsky and Tyler Payne each had 14 points for the Vikings.