The UAA men’s basketball team was on the losing end of a close game Thursday night at the Alaska Airlines Center, falling 74-70 to Western Washington.
The teams traded the lead a dozen times in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference game. The Seawolves took their last lead, 64-63, on DeAndre Osuigwe’s basket with 4:24 left, but they only made one more field goal the rest of the game.
UAA missed four of five field goal attempts down the stretch while the Vikings hit two of three shots from the field and sank seven of eight free throws.
“That was a great game between to very good teams, and credit Western for making the big plays at the end of the that made the difference,” UAA coach Rusty Osborne said in a release from the school. ,“Our effort was there all night, but we just can’t afford to miss easy layups and expect to win close games against quality competition like that.”
The Seawolves (10-6 overall, 3-2 GNAC) made their long-range shots but couldn’t finish when closer to the basket. They hit 12 of 27 attempts from 3-point range and 12 of 32 inside the arc.
UAA’s bench came through with 41 points, an effort led by Oggie Pantovic (16 points on 7-of-12 shooting) and Tyler Brimhall (15 points, team-high nine rebounds). Jack Macdonald added 13 points, Niko Bevens 12 and Oswuigwe contributed nine assists, eight points and six rebounds.
Logan Schilder, Western Washington’s 7-foot center, led the Vikings with 17 points and 14 rebounds. He hit 8 of 12 shots from the field.
Western Washington (9-4, 4-1) outrebounded the Seawolves 41-34 and outscored them 17-10 from the free throw line.
The game was close down all the way to the end. Pantovic drilled a 3-pointer as the shot clock expired to cut Western Washington’s led to 71-69 with 1:27 left, and the Vikings answered with a basket to make stretch their lead to 73-69.
After Brimhall hit one of two free throws to make it 73-70 with 57 seconds left, 73-70, the Seawolves got a defensive stop and the ball back with 25 seconds remaining. They went inside to Pantovic, who missed a layup with 13 seconds left, and the Vikings got the rebound and a foul that sent them to the foul line, where they hit one of two free throws with eight seconds left.
UAA resumes GNAC play Saturday at 5:15 p.m. with a game against Simon Fraser.