ANCHORAGE – Senior guard Suki Wiggs scored 14 of his 22 points after the break as Alaska Anchorage earned a 82-44 men’s basketball victory over Trinity Western at the Alaska Airlines Center on Saturday afternoon.
“We played a very good first half. Defensively we held them to 37 percent from the field. And I am very excited about that effort. Max had a really good game on the boards. And I was very proud of Josiah Meppelink’s defence on their all American,” commented TWU head coach Aaron Muhic. “In the second half we just were not tough enough from the jump and that needs to change if we are going to be successful moving forward. They are a very good team and we need to compete for 40 minutes tomorrow to be able to play with them.”
The Seawolves (6-3) also got 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists from senior center Connor Devine, plus 15 rebounds from senior forward Corey Hammell in their program’s first-ever matchup against the visitors from Langley, British Columbia.
The Spartans (2-9) were led by 12 points and five rebounds from third year forward Patrick Vandervelden (Abbotsford, B.C.), but they were unable to capitalize on a solid first-half effort, finishing with 29.5 percent shooting accuracy and getting outrebounded 55-37.
UAA led 41-34 at halftime and 45-39 when Trinity Western’s Trunyan Pogos nailed a three-pointer at the 17:18 mark. The Spartans would only score two field goals the rest of the way, however, as the Seawolves continued to pull away outscoring the Spartans 41-10 in the second half.
Meanwhile, Hammell grabbed at least 15 boards for the third straight game and the ninth time in 41 career games, giving him the second-most such performances as a Seawolf.
Senior point guard Diante Mitchell added 12 points, senior wing Spencer Svejcar had nine points, six assists, no turnovers and two steals, and junior guard Ashton Pomrehn tossed in 11 points off the bench.
For the Spartans fourth year guard Pogos Trunvyan (Sacramento, Calf.) added 11 points and three rebounds to the TWU totals.
Saturday’s game marked the first ever men’s basketball contest played in the Alaska Airlines Center’s auxiliary gymnasium, although Sunday’s non-conference finale will move back to the main arena. Game time between the Seawolves and Spartans is set for Sunday at 7:30 p.m. AST.