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College Hoops: Seawolves survive in OT, hold off rival Nanooks 64-58 in Fairbanks in 112th all-time meeting

Anchorage’s Jaron Williams hit the big shot Saturday. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

The Seawolves scored on a broken play at the end of overtime to break the hearts of the Nanooks on Saturday night.

Dillon Barrientos pumped in 19 points and Anchorage native Jaron Williams drilled a 30-foot 3-pointer to beat the shot clock in the final minute to highlight UAA’s 64-58 victory in Fairbanks in the 112th all-time meeting between the Alaska schools.

Williams’ long-range bomb was not a designed play, instead coming off a deflected pass. He tracked down the loose ball, took one dribble and let it fly from way downtown with 1 second on the shot clock. Nothing but net.

From Rage City to Rip City, Williams’ clutch shot pushed UAA’s lead to 62-56 with 58 seconds to play in the Golden Heart City.

“Nice resilient win by our guys,” Seawolves coach Rusty Osborne said. “Our defensive effort once again bailed us out of a poor offensive game.”

The Seawolves shot 34% from the floor and missed 16 of 26 free throws yet managed to prevail on the road and pick up their first win in the GNAC as both teams sit 1-2 in the league.

The Nanooks shot 36% and missed 15 of 18 3-pointers but hit 19-of-28 free throws and held UAA scoreless in the final 3:38 of regulation to force OT.

Jaycson Bereal Jr. led the Nanooks with 14 points and 10 rebounds. He also drained two 3s at the end of the first half to put UAF up 23-16 at halftime.

Teammate Trey Anderson added 10 points and threw down a highlight-reel dunk.

Anderson also scored the final basket of regulation on a beautiful baseline cut capped by a reverse layup that tied it 52-52 with 23 seconds left. The 6-foot-4 guard had another dunk in OT.

UAA’s Sawyer Storms scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds and handed off five assists. His offensive-board, dime-dropping sequence ended with a spoon-fed assist to Williams for an easy layup that put the Seawolves ahead 59-56 with 1:39 left in OT.

UAA maintained its stranglehold in the rivalry, taking a commanding 87-25 lead in the series that dates back to 1977.

Saturday was the first game for both teams since a week before Christmas. Early on, guys missed open looks, but the defense didn’t make it easy as shots were contested, passing lanes clogged and hard screens set.

These are two schools familiar with each other, and that goes double for the local players. One of those personal matchups took place between UAA’s Hasaan Herrington and UAF’s Demarcus Hall-Scriven – a pair of Anchorage guys who guarded each other and didn’t give an inch.

Points were tough to come by in the first half for UAA, which scored just 16 points in opening 20 minutes. Things changed in the second half, thanks to Berrientos and Tyson Gilbert, who combined to go 5-for-5 from 3-point range as the Seawolves scored 15 points in three minutes to take a 31-29 advantage.

Gilbert’s gorgeous turnaround jumper gave UAA a 50-47 edge, but he later missed two free throws that opened the door for the Nanooks to sneak back into the game.

Missing free throws was a hiccup that nearly caused the Seawolves to choke.

“We have some good shooters both from the floor and free-throw line, so it is frustrating for all of us,” Osborne said. “These are great young men who care about each other, so I know they will put in the work to get better.”

Hall-Scriven (ACS) started at guard and collected four points, four rebounds, one assist in 30 minutes while Tyriq Luke (West Valley) scored four points and pulled down a season-high eight rebounds in 28 minutes.

In terms of the local players for UAA, Williams (East) had 12 points – none bigger than his 30-footer late in OT – to go with seven rebounds in 27 minutes while Herrington (East) had four points, three rebounds and three steals in 18 minutes. Sloan Lentfer (Grace Christian) had one point and three rebounds in 12 minutes.

UAA will host Central Washington on Thursday at the Alaska Airlines Center for the team’s first home game since Nov. 25.

“It will be nice to return home next week,” Osborne said.

 

GNAC Men’s Basketball

TEAM CONF OVERALL
Mont. St-Billings 4-0 10-4
Saint Martin’s 3-1 13-1
Northwest Nazarene 3-1 7-5
Western Washington 2-1 10-4
Central Washington 2-2 9-4
Alaska Anchorage 1-2 11-3
Alaska Fairbanks 1-2 3-8
Seattle Pacific 1-3 8-9
Western Oregon 1-3 4-8
Simon Fraser 0-3 2-12

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