ANCHORAGE – Junior guard Mario Gill’s double-double led second-seeded Alaska Anchorage to an 80-70 victory over Saint Martin’s in the first round of the inaugural Great Northwest Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament Monday night.
Gill, from Portland’s Wilson High School, scored 18 points – all on 3-pointers as he was 6-for-7 shooting from beyond the arc – and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Seawolves (22-8), who play third-seeded Seattle Pacific (19-8) in the semifinals Wednesday.
Seventh-seeded Saint Martin’s ends the season 14-15.
Senior center Blake Poole scored a game-high 24 points for the Saints. Poole was 13-for-14 from the free-throw line.
Poole, the GNAC player of the year and leading rebounder (12.8 per game), was held to five rebounds but added four assists and two steals.
Senior guard Galen Squires added 14 points, and sophomore forward Roger O’Neill added 11 points for the Saints.
Junior center Taylor Rohde scored 22 points for the Seawolves, No. 7 in the NCAA Division II West Regional rankings. Rohde played two seasons at Arizona State before transferring to Alaska Anchorage.
Senior guard Brandon Walker, a transfer from Loyola Marymount, added 16 points for the Seawolves.
The Seawolves shot 56 percent (28-for-50) from the floor and 52.6 percent on 3-pointers (10-for-19) and outrebounded the Saints, 35-21.
Saint Martin’s took a 15-11 lead on Jeremy Green’s 3-pointer with 12 minutes, 13 seconds remaining in the first half, but the Seawolves rallied for a 35-25 halftime lead.
The Seawolves hold a 21-6 edge over the Saints in the all-time series, including 15-1 in Anchorage.
The teams split two games in the regular season, with the Seawolves winning at home, 73-66, on Jan. 22, and the Saints winning at Marcus Pavilion, 60-54, on Feb. 17.
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