The seniors on the UAA men’s basketball team didn’t show up Saturday night just to be celebrated. They came to fill up the net.
A Senior Night game turned into a Senior Night win for the Seawolves, who defeated Montana State-Billings 87-73 behind some big contributions from their seniors.
Two of them hit double figures -- Tyrus Hosley poured in 20 points and made it a double-double by dishing 10 assists and Niko Bevens buried 6 of 9 shots for 19 points -- and Tyler Brimhall came off the bench for nine points.
The fourth senior, point guard Jack Macdonald, logged 37 minutes — more than anyone on either team — and finished with three assists, two steals and two rebounds to go with three points.
“I was proud of our effort from start to finish today, and I couldn’t think of a better way to send out our four seniors in their final home game,” UAA coach Rusty Osborne said in a release from the school.
“Our shooters did an amazing job of taking advantage of their open looks, and we were able to start getting Oggie (Pantovic) some paint touches in the second half that really kept Billings at bay when it seemed like they couldn’t miss a shot. We’re excited to take this momentum into a couple of big road games to end the regular season.”
Hosley and Bevens each drained five 3-pointers and Brimhall knocked down three to help UAA light it up from outside. The Seawolves were 19 of 34 from 3-point range while winning their fourth straight game.
It was the final home game of the season for UAA, which means a crowd of 1,375 got their last look at the four seniors.
A sophomore and a junior also played key roles as the Seawolves moved to 18-11 overall and 11-7 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Sophomore Tobin Karlberg sank 6 of 8 from 3-point range on his way to 20 points, and junior Oggie Pantovic added 14 points.
The win keeps their hopes alive for a spot in the six-team GNAC tournament. UAA is tied for fourth place in the 11-team conference with two games remaining — Thursday at Western Oregon and Saturday at Concordia.
The Seawolves led for most of the game and were up 42-30 at the half.
They shot 53.3% from the field to hold off a Billings team that shot 50%. UAA had the edge from outside, outscoring the Yellowjackets 57-24.
Billings (10-16 overall, 5-13 GNAC) had four players in double figures and got a double-double from Tyler Green, who had 15 points and 10 assists.
UAA won the rebounding battle 32-22. Bevens had a team-high six and Brimhall, Pantovic and Karlberg each had five.