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HomeSportCollege Hoops: UAA men lead GNAC in attendance, will need home-court edge...

College Hoops: UAA men lead GNAC in attendance, will need home-court edge to power playoff push; Jaron Williams on verge of joining elite group; DHS nears 1K

UAA’s Jaron Williams of Anchorage and the Seawolves are back home this week. Photo by Jacob Thompson

The Seawolves can’t clinch a spot in the GNAC Tournament this week, but they could lose it.

With six games left in the regular season, the UAA men’s basketball team sits on the bubble, a half-game out of the playoff picture in seventh. The top six advance to the conference championships.

UAA (15-8) faces what are practically must-win situations at home Thursday against eighth-place Simon Fraser and Saturday against fifth-place Western Washington.

Losers of three straight, UAA is teetering on a knife’s edge and a homestand is just what the doctor ordered. The Seawolves are 9-2 at the Alaska Airlines Center, where they draw an average crowd of 1,434 to rank No. 1 in the GNAC.

GNAC BASKETBALL
Thursday
MEN

Simon Fraser vs. UAA, 5:15pm
Western Washington vs. UAF, 7:30pm
WOMEN
Central Washington vs. UAF, 5:15pm
Northwest Nazarene vs. UAA, 7:30pm

The Seawolves draw more fans than nationally ranked St. Martin’s, GNAC frontrunner Montana State-Billings and perennial power Seattle Pacific combined.

UAA drew a season-high 3,200 fans in the season-opener win over Cal-Maritime, a crowd size boosted by hundreds of Anchorage School District fifth graders. Even if you removed that game from the equation, the team would still average 1,257 and lead the league over Northwest Nazarene (1,098).

The Seawolves drew 2,274 the night they upset No. 1-ranked Saint Martin’s and 1,739 against archrival UAF in a game the Nanooks won.

GNAC Men’s Home Attendance

TEAM AVG RECORD
Alaska Anchorage 1,434 9-2
Northwest Nazarene 1,098 8-3
Central Washington 744 11-1
Montana State-Billings 659 9-3
Western Washington 492 8-3
Saint Martin’s 459 8-2
Alaska Fairbanks 425 2-5
Western Oregon 296 2-8
Simon Fraser 284 3-8
Seattle Pacific 246 10-2

Ronnie To The Rescue

Anchorage native Jaron Williams is on the verge of doing something very special. He surpassed the 1,300-point career benchmark last week and needs two more assists to reach 350.

The senior guard out of East High would be only the eighth Alaska men’s player to record 1,300 points and 350 assists in a college career.

The list of who did it reads like a who’s who of Alaska combo guards:

  • Muff Butler
  • Brooks Thompson
  • Jim Hajdukovich
  • Kyle Bailey
  • Doron Perkins
  • Mario Chalmers
  • Da’Zhon Wyche

Williams will be a pivotal figure down the stretch for the Seawolves, who are at their best when the 6-foot-4 Alaskan plays with energy and enthusiasm. He is the heartbeat of the team.

An elite defender and streaky scorer, Williams can carry the team in big moments.

For proof, see the Hawaii Pacific game in December when he poured in 29 points on 11-of-13 shooting or last month’s upset of No. 1 Saint Martin’s when he stood tall defensively, taking on and shutting down 6-foot-9 Gabriel Murphy at crunch time of a one-possession game.

Williams will need to rise to the occasion in this final stretch to get UAA into the playoffs. Times like these are why local players comes home.

Hall-Scriven Nears 1K Mark

Demarcus Hall-Scriven

UAF senior Demarcus Hall-Scriven of Anchorage needs just 34 points to reach the 1,000-point benchmark.

The former all-state standout out of Mountain City Christian Academy has tallied 966 points over his career that started at Spokane Community College.

The 6-foot-3 guard has started 14 of 20 games for the Nanooks and is averaging 6.5 points per game. He scored a season-high 14 points against UAA in Anchorage.

Hall-Scriven’s scoring total is right around other UAF standouts Mike Cronk (945), Archie Young (968) and Chuck Rathmann (972).
 

GNAC Men’s Standings

LEAGUE TEAM OVERALL
11-2 Montana State-Billings 17-6
9-3 Saint Martin’s 19-3
9-4 Northwest Nazarene 13-8
8-5 Central Washington 15-7
6-7 Western Washington 14-10
6-7 Seattle Pacific 13-13
5-7 Alaska Anchorage 15-8
4-9 Simon Fraser 6-18
3-9 Alaska Fairbanks 5-15
2-10 Western Oregon 5-15

Additional Article Sponsors:Alaska Airlines | Nicole Johnston | Richard Mize | Advanced Diagnostics, INC | Aktive Soles | Alaska Oil and Gas Association | Aspen Endodontics | Black-Smith, Bethard & Carlson, LLC. | BOSCO’s | Coho Financial Group | Continental Auto Group | Don Clary & Judy Besh | Glen Bailey | Invisalign-Ben Ward | JL Properties | Joey Caterinichio & Ja Dorris| Kathleen Navarre | Midas Alaska | Moose’s Tooth, Bear Tooth and Broken Tooth Brewing | Perkins Coie – Sarah & A.J. Schirack | R&M Consultants, Inc. | RE/MAX Dynamic Properties Kevin Taylor | Residential Mortgage | Seth Wickersham & Alison Overholt | Taylored Restoration | Korndrop Family Foundation | Arctic Slope Regional Corporation | Replacement Glass | Zareena and Allen Clendaniel | Foley & Pearson | UAA Seawolves | Tony and Carla Slaton Barker | Sportclips Haircuts | Alliance for Support of American Legion Baseball in Alaska | Alice & Gunnar Knapp | Amy and Jason Miller | Burgerfi | Charles Fedullo | Dan Rufner | Darren Lieb | Don Winchester | Donley Family | Dr. Justin Libby, DDS | Firetap | Harlow Robinson | Jason & Shannon Metrokin | Jim & Michelle Hajdukovich | Joe Alston | Kathie Bethard | Krispy Kreme | Kristopher Knauss | Loren Kroon | Mark and Jamie Johnson | Mark Silverman | On the Border | Pete Robinson | Rick Mystrom | Team Heat | Team Moriarty | The Conway Family | Todd Whited | Moria Smith | In memory of Drs. John & Elizabeth Tower

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