UAA Athletics

UAF men continue improbable run, upset UAA to reach GNAC finals

Shadeed Shabazz scored 33 points as the UAF men’s basketball team continued its unlikely string of upsets Friday, toppling UAA 63-58 in the semifinals of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament.

The upset was the third in as many days for the Nanooks, who entered the tournament as the No. 10 seed.

Shabazz made 13 of 22 shots from the field and scored 21 of his points in the second half.

Junior guard Tobin Karlberg led the Seawolves with 28 points, making 9 of 20 from the field and converting half of his 10 3-point attempts.

It was the second meeting of the season between the two teams but the first playoff matchup in the 109-game history between the instate rivals.

The Seawolves defeated the Nanooks 95-72 in Anchorage on Feb. 19.

UAA built a 10-point lead in the early minutes of the second half, but senior forward Oggie Pantovic went down with an apparent leg injury with just over 16 minutes left to play.

Pantovic, a first-team all-conference player, returned but with clearly limited mobility and finished with just six points and nine rebounds.

UAF, which got 14 points each from Koby Huerta and Abdullahi Mohamed, improved to 11-14 with the win.

UAA, which fell to 15-9 with the loss, entered as the tournament’s No. 3 seed.

The Nanooks will face No. 5 seeded Central Washington in the conference tournament title game at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. The Wildcats advanced following a 65-64 win over the No. 9 seeded Western Oregon Wolves in the semifinals.

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