Fred Jorg isn’t expected to create his shots in the Saint Martin’s Saints’ offense, but a 7-footer with the ball two feet from the basket is a dynamic all its own.
Sekou “Suki” Wiggs of Alaska Anchorage, on the other hand, is a scorer in the purest sense of the word.
Jorg, a burly senior from Saarbrucken, Germany, dumped in seven consecutive baskets for his team in the middle of the second half Thursday night, sending the Saints’ student section into a frenzy.
But the Saints couldn’t shake Wiggs and the visiting Seawolves. Wiggs scored 18 of his team’s last 28 points as Anchorage held off SMU for a 67-63 Great Northwest Athletic Conference victory at Marcus Pavilion.
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Wiggs, a 6-foot-4 senior who played high school basketball at Seattle’s O’Dea, led all scorers with 31 points, punctuated by a breakaway dunk at the final buzzer.
Cole Preston followed Jorg’s flurry with Saint Martin’s last 15 points of the game. His driving layup with 2:05 left pulled the Saints into a 57-57 tie, but Anchorage hit on 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to hang on.
Preston, a senior from Escondido, California, led Saint Martin’s with 19 points.
“Cole is our leader,” SMU coach Alex Pribble said. “A lot of times, as Cole goes, we go.”
Jorg finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
“Fred is playing the best basketball of his career right now,” Pribble said.
Defense ruled play in the game’s opening 20 minutes, with neither team reaching 30 percent shooting from the field.
Wiggs, the GNAC’s second-leading scorer at 22.9 points a game coming in, made two of his first eight shots, with barely a clean look at the hoop, but he hit all six of his free throws to lead scorers with 10 points at halftime.
Saint Martin’s defenders were feisty, limiting the Seawolves to 27 percent shooting in the first half. But the Saints were barely better, missing makeable shots on the way to 29.6 percent accuracy from the field in the half.
Anchorage (14-5, 8-3 GNAC) missed its first six shots from the field in the second half, opening the door for SMU to take a 28-24 lead on a 3-pointer by Tyler Copp, who had nine points.
Anchorage punched back, taking its largest lead at 39-34 on two free throws by Wiggs. At that point, the low post — and the gym — belonged to Jorg. When he was done, 14 points later, the Saints led 48-43.
The Saints’ last lead, at 55-54, resulted from a Preston slash to the basket.
Though they heated up in the second half (15 for 24 from the field), it wasn’t enough, and it was no accident, Pribble said.
“Credit Alaska Anchorage,” he said. “They’re a tough, well-coached team. They were able to take us out of our rhythm.”
Saint Martin’s (11-8, 5-6) takes on Alaska-Fairbanks on Saturday. The Saints’ aim in the GNAC season’s second half is to secure the sixth and last spot in the postseason.
Alaska Anchorage 67, Saint Martin’s 63
Alaska Anch.24 43 — 67
Saint Martin’s23 40 — 63
AA: Wiggs 31, Mitchell 13, Svejcar 15, Hammell 4, Devine 2, Pomrehn 0, Fulp 0, Berg 0, Parrish 0, Thompson 2.
SMU: Preston 19, Kitchen 3, Baerlocher 0, Copp 9, Kenilvort 10, Ingram 2, Ieronymides 2, Adams 0, Jorg 18.