Wildcats unable to keep pace with #25 Alaska Anchorage - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Wildcats unable to keep pace with #25 Alaska Anchorage

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By Sammy Henderson

ELLENSBURG, Wash. -- Senior Toussaint Tyler (Kent, Wash./Kentwood HS) scored a team-high 22 points, but the Central Washington University men's basketball team was unable to keep pace with a hot-shooting University of Alaska Anchorage squad in an 82-65 loss on Saturday night at Nicholson Pavilion.

The loss snapped a two-game win streak for the Wildcats, who fell to 10-9 overall and 4-7 in Great Northwest Athletic Conference play. The defeat was also the fourth of the season versus a top-25 opponent (2-4 record in such games). UAA, ranked 25th this week, improved to 15-4 overall and 9-2 in the GNAC and completed a season series sweep for the first time since 2006-07.

The Seawolves started quickly, opening the game with a 7-0 run, but the Wildcats fought back, later using a 16-6 spurt to take a 22-20 advantage at the 10:27 mark in the first half. That lead would be Central's only advantage of the night, though, as Alaska Anchorage outscored the Wildcats 16-7 over the remainder of the half to take a seven-point (36-29) halftime lead. 

Alaska Anchorage shot 51.7 percent from the field in the opening half and made 7 of its first 8 shots. The Wildcats shot well to begin the first half, hitting on 7 of their first 13 attempts, but ended the stanza missing 11 of its final 12 shots.

The second half was dominated by Alaska Anchorage center Taylor Rohde, who scored 25 of his game-high 31 points after halftime including 21 of the Seawolves' first 30 points of the period as UAA led by as many as 19. Offensively, the Wildcats were efficient in the second half, shooting 52.0 percent from the field, but the Seawolves shot 66.7 percent in the half missing just nine of their 27 shots. 

In addition to Tyler, sophomore Lacy Haddock (Las Vegas, Nev./Sierra Vista HS) was the only other Wildcat to score in double figures, finishing with 14 points and a team-high three assists. CWU played without sophomore center Kevin Davis (Federal Way, Wash./Todd Beamer HS) and his conference-leading 8.2 rebounds per game, as he missed Saturday's game due to an injury sustained in Thursday's win over Alaska. The Wildcats finished the game with a 34-22 rebounding disadvantage.

Rohde scored his 31 points on 13 of 19 shooting and also grabbed nine rebounds. Steve White and Lonnie Ridgeway both scored 12 points for the Seawolves, with Ridgeway making all four of his field-goal attempts.

Central Washington will return to the court next Saturday (Feb. 4), opening a three-game road trip at Northwest Nazarene (7 p.m. Mountain Standard Time). The Wildcats will also visit Montana State Billings (Feb. 9) and Seattle Pacific (Feb. 11) before returning home Feb. 16 to face Simon Fraser University.
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