Trevor Jasinsky takes shots from the charity stripe. // Photo by Alex Barnes
By Alex Barnes
The Western men’s basketball team suffered a tough loss at the hands of the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves in their Saturday, Jan. 26 home game in Sam Carver Gymnasium.
The Vikings trailed for a large majority of the game, and despite a big comeback in the second half, the Seawolves went on to win the game by a final score of 70-63.
“It’s a tough one for sure,” said junior forward Trevor Jasinsky, who led the Vikings with 20 points and eight rebounds. “This was an important one for us standings-wise… We just missed open shots and that’s going to happen every once in a while.”
The Vikings started out hot in the first half, scoring two quick 3-pointers and recording two blocks all within the first four minutes of the game. Despite the fast start, it was the Seawolves who went into halftime with a 35-30 lead.
Junior guard Tucker Eenigenburg came off the bench to lead the Vikings in first-half scoring with 11 points, helping to set the defensive tone.
Those efforts saw the Vikings record four blocked shots in the first half, holding the Seawolves, a team known for their 3-point shooting, to just 38.5 percent from 3-point range.
“[We have to] just continue to play good help-defense. Know that if a guy gets beat then you’re going to have help on the back side,” Eenigenburg said.
In the second half the Seawolves hit an improved 55.6 percent of their shots from beyond the arc to extend their lead over the Vikings by as much as 12 points. However, a late rally saw Eenigenburg and Jasinsky hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Seawolves lead back to just three points with 23 seconds remaining.
The comeback featured a 9-1 Vikings run that started with a 3-point shot from junior guard Leif Anderson. That shot was followed by four points from junior forward Cameron Retherford, and was capped off with a layup from Jasinsky.
In the end, despite a night of good defense, the Vikings couldn’t overcome their own below-average shooting struggles. They hit 22-57 from the field, for a disappointing 38.5 percent team shooting performance.
“On nights where we’re playing good defense and can’t score it’s hard. I felt like we got a lot of good looks, we just weren’t making shots,” Vikings head coach Tony Dominguez said. “On the other side of the ball, when they are getting open looks and making them it’s hard to get ahead.”
Despite the loss, players were confident in their ability to regroup and turn things around in their next game.
“We’re a very tight-knit group, we don’t let losses get to us, and we’ll bounce back,” said Eenigenburg.
The loss gives the Vikings an overall record of 11-9 for the season, and a 5-5 record in conference play.
“We just have to stay confident. Know that these are games that we should win and next time just execute how we’re supposed to,” Jasinsky said.
The Vikings will have a five-day break before their next game against conference rival Saint Martin’s University, which will take place at the Marcus Pavilion in Lacey on Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m..
This game brief was updated with more information on Monday, Jan. 28. For more coverage on Western athletics follow @WFSportsLive on Twitter.