Men’s Basketball beats UAA with a last-second buzzer-beater

Kurtis Gosney/ Sun Star Reporter Mar. 4, 2014 Senior forward and Justice student Andrew Kelly made a lay-up as the clock expired in last Thursday’s game against the Alaska Anchorage Seawolves, giving the Nanooks the victory.

Senior center and Business Administration student Sergej Pucar prepares to shoot a free throw against UAA. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Senior center and Business Administration student Sergej Pucar prepares to shoot a free throw against UAA. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Six Nanook seniors, their families and head coach Mick Durham gather at center court on senior night. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Six Nanook seniors, their families and head coach Mick Durham gather at center court on senior night. Kurtis Gosney/Sun Star

Last Thursday’s senior night against the Seawolves started out like any other senior night. The Patty Center faithful honored six seniors 10 minutes before the game started: Ronnie Baker, Dallen Bills, Kelly, Stefan Tica, Mike Stepovich and Sergej Pucar. Then the game tipped off with a three from UAA’s Colton Lauwers, putting the Seawolves a 3-0 lead. The Nanooks responded quickly with two straight three-point baskets in a row, taking a 6-3 lead. The Seawolves, however, regained the lead and pushed it out to 29-17, their largest lead of the half. The Nanooks responded again with a 12-2 run to cut the lead to 31-29 at halftime. The Seawolves’ largest lead of the second half, and the game, was 63-50 with 7:47 left. The Nanooks cut that lead to five with another 8-0 scoring run, the score now 63-58. After the Seawolves got a 65-60 lead with 3:03 left, the Nanooks scored another six points in a row to grab a 68-65 lead with 24.5 seconds left. UAA’s Travis Thompson, then hit a three-pointer with 11 seconds left to tie the game at 68-68. Then, with under a second left in the game and when people were thinking overtime, Andrew Kelly received an off-balance pass from guard and Communication student Ronnie Baker that came through two UAA defenders and the rest was history. Kelly laid the ball up on the backboard and it went in for the basket, making more than 900 fans erupt for the game-winner. The final score of the game was 70-68. Kelly finished the game with 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds, including 10 offensive rebounds. Baker was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points. “It just happened,” Kelly said. “I was at the right place, right time. Ronnie made all the right moves and he just found me.” The Nanooks finished the regular season with a 17-9 record overall, 12-6 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference and remain in third place in the conference standings. On Wednesday, March 5, in Lacey, Washington the Nanooks will face off against the Montana State Billings Yellowjackets in the first round of the GNAC Men’s Basketball Championships.

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