The University of Alaska Anchorage men’s basketball team took sixth place in the Great Alaska Shootout, falling to San Jose State University, 91-87.
Despite the close score, UAA coach Rusty Osborne says, from a mental perspective, the team didn’t do what was needed to win.
“That being said, we gave a great physical effort, alright, and I’m very proud of the fact of how hard we play,” Osborne said. “We’ve played hard for three days in a row now, so I’m extremely proud of that.”
Osborne says on a team with so many new faces, it always takes some time to straighten out the game plan.
One one of those new faces is junior transfer Suki Wiggs, who comes to UAA from Division I Idaho.
“Whenever you get a whole bunch of new guys together, it always takes some time before you actually mesh together as a team as one, but I feel that we’ve come together faster, a lot faster, than most of the teams I’ve ever played with or ever seen, really,” Wiggs said. “And it’s just really focusing on the details with us, just stressing on our assignments and what we need to to to be able to win games. And I feel like if we can focus on that, we can come out with some victories.”
Wiggs set the three-game Shootout scoring record with 98 points, breaking the previous record set in 1993 by former NBA All-Star Glenn Robinson.
Middle Tennessee won the men’s portion of the Great Alaska Shootout, beating Toledo 78 to 70 in the championship game.
UAA tallied one win and two losses in the tournament.
As the Seawolves close in on the beginning of their regular season schedule, Coach Osborne says the team will continue working out the kinks.
“The effort’s there,” he said “These guys care; they can take hard coaching, and we’re gonna continue to get better.”
UAA kicks off their official season Thursday against Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponent Central Washington.