A big comeback fell two points short for the UAA men’s basketball team Thursday night in Lacey, Washington.
Saint Martin’s, the preseason favorite in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, survived a scare from the Seawolves to claim a 70-68 victory.
The Seawolves (7-6 overall, 2-3 GNAC) nearly erased a 16-point lead the Saints grabbed five minutes into the second half.
They made it a two-possession game for the final few minutes, coming within two points twice in the final seconds.
Brennan Rymer’s free throws with eight seconds left cut Saint Martin’s lead to 68-66. The Saints (11-2, 4-1) answered one second later with two big free throws from Luke Chavez, whose shots made it 70-66 and proved to be the difference. With two seconds left, Rymer hit a layup, but the Seawolves didn’t get another chance after that.
Rymer finished with 16 points to lead a quartet of double-figure scorers for UAA. Tyler Brimhall added 14 and Niko Bevens and Tobin Karlberg each added 11.
Cold shooting hurt the Seawolves, who were 22 of 58 from the field (37.9 percent) and 8 of 29 from 3-point range (27.6 percent).
Saint Martin’s shot 53.2 percent, an effort led by 8-of-10 shooting by Jared Mathews, who poured in a game-high 18 points.
Both teams finished with 29 rebounds and both had double-figure turnovers — 16 for the Saints, 13 for UAA. The Saints made up for some of their mistakes by blocking five shots.
UAA returns to action Saturday afternoon for a 3 p.m. AST game against rival Seattle Pacific.