FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT Evan O’Kelly Director of Communications O: (406) 657-2130 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Thursday, January 12, 2017 Matthews’ game-winning 3 gives ‘Jackets 69-68 win over Seawolves
Marc Matthews nails a three with MSUB trailing by two and three seconds left, giving the Yellowjackets a dramatic, 6968 win over Alaska Anchorage on Thursday. BILLINGS, Mont. – On a night Marc Matthews was presented with a certificate for scoring 1,000 career points, the senior on the Montana State University Billings men’s basketball team hit one of the biggest shots of his career as his lastsecond 3-pointer gave the Yellowjackets a dramatic, 69-68 win over Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponent Alaska Anchorage Thursday night at Alterowitz Gym. With MSUB trailing 67-66, UAA’s Spencer Svejcar was fouled and had a chance to put the Seawolves ahead by three with a pair of free throws. The senior, who finished with 12 points in the game, missed his second shot and the ‘Jackets came down with the ball and around 14 seconds remaining. Electing not to use a timeout, MSUB head coach Jamie Stevens urged his team forward and watched as Matthews rolled off a screen by Kamal Tall and buried his second trey of the game from the wing. “Svejcar is like an 85-percent free-
throw shooter, so we called a play to shoot a three because we thought we’d be down by three,” Stevens commented on the big play. “It was the first time all year we have scored on that play. But, plays don’t win games; players win games. For Marc, that was a huge shot and all the credit goes to him, Jace, and Kamal for setting it up.” It was an otherwise relatively quiet night for the senior, who finished with 10 points and elevated MSUB’s record to 10-5 overall and 5-2 in GNAC play. Suki Wiggs, who entered the game as the No. 2 scorer in the GNAC, led all players with 25 points for the Seawolves, who fell to 11-5 overall and 5-3 in the league. “I am really proud of the guys, and when we got down in the second half, they kept fighting,” Stevens said. “Anchorage is a very good team, is well coached, and they have six seasoned seniors who know how to play. That makes this win that much sweeter for our guys.”
Jace Anderson, guarded here by UAA’s Damien Fulp, scored all 12 of his points in the final 13 minutes of Thursday’s huge win over the Seawolves.
Preston Beverly finished with 22 points, six rebounds, a career-high six assists, and three blocks in 35 minutes, and had several dominant sequences on both side of the ball that kept his team in the game. His final bucket of the evening came on a hard-fought, reverse lay-in that moved the score to 67-66, but he missed from the foul line for the first time as UAA clung to the lead late. Overall the sophomore made 8 of 16 shots from the field, and 6 of 7 free throws.
Despite leading for the entire first half until a deadlock at 34-34 at the break, momentum slipped away from the Yellowjackets through the opening part of the second as UAA built a 50-41 advantage. With 13:19 left to play, senior Jace Anderson had not scored in the game, but he went on to be the most important player for the team down the stretch. His first, tough layup in traffic cut the deficit to seven points and it kicked off a spree of 12 points for him the rest of the game. Three of them came on a huge trey with 6:32 to play that gave the ‘Jackets their first lead since the 18:09 mark in the second half. Anderson, who missed last season with a knee injury, continued to battle for his points despite several loud falls to the hardwood. “I don’t think people realize how much pain he’s playing through, but when we got to the second half, his adrenaline took over,” Stevens commented on Anderson’s performance. “He hit some huge shots, had an incredible finish in the paint, and he’s just a gamer. When we got down by nine, we went back with the guys who have been in our program the longest, and those guys got us back into the game.” Tall finished one point away from his career high with 10, and added seven rebounds and a blocked shot for the ‘Jackets. MSUB’s success was realized thanks largely to its perimeter defense, as UAA made just 2 of 12 threes and had a seasonlow six assists on the evening. The Seawolves also entered the game as the No. 1 team in the NCAA in rebounding margin at plus-14.1, but the ‘Jackets held their own on the boards and got outrebounded just 38-32. Corey Hammell notched his fifth double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and leading all players with a dozen boards. All 10 players who saw action for the Seawolves had at least one rebound, and Connor Devine came through with six blocks for the visitors. Diante Mitchell was also in double figures with 10 points, and led UAA with three assists.
Though MSUB limited UAA from the perimeter, the ‘Jackets weren’t much better, making 5 of 17 shots from the arc (29.4 percent). The ‘Jackets shot 46.6 percent from the field overall (27-for-58) and made 10 of 13 free throws (76.9 percent). THE BUZZ: Anderson was named the St. Vincent Healthcare Player of the Game…this is the second year in-a-row MSUB defeated UAA at home, hitting 17 threes in last year’s victory…MSUB is now 31-42 all-time against UAA, but is a strong 24-10 in home games…it was Beverly’s sixth 20-point game of the season. NEXT UP: The Yellowjackets host the University of Alaska on Saturday night, in another doubleheader with MSUB’s women’s basketball team. Tipoff against the Nanooks is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., with live video with play-by-play commentary and live statistics available through MSUB’s Stretch Internet portal here. --@MSUBSports | #JacketNation--