The Tigers were looking to get back in the winning column but let another one slip away in a 108-105 overtime loss to NCAA II University of Alaska Fairbanks. GBC took the lead at the 15:43 mark of the first half and never trailed again until the overtime period. With the Tigers up 97-90 with 2:11 to go in regulation, it looked like a victory was within reach. But a GBC turnover and three trips with missed shots and a couple missed free throws let the Nanooks close the gap. The Tigers missed a jumper at the buzzer to get the win. In overtime, Grace had four turnovers which allowed UAF to get a one point lead. With the shot clock down to two seconds and the game clock at seven a foul was called on the Tigers and UAF hit both free throws to go up by three. Paul Nelson had a wide open look as time expired to tie the game but the shot rimmed out.
“We are really disappointed to play that hard tonight and not get the win,” said Coach Gary Bailey. “We battled the long trip up here and the cold. Allen Durham played with a hurt back. Allen also played tonight with the flu. We just let it slip away. The Coaches are proud of the guys and the way we played but this is the fourth loss this year where we led most of the way and lost it down the stretch. We have to get better at closing the deal.”
Despite playing with the flu, Durham scored 21 points to go along with 11 boards. Brandon Herlein hurt his leg in the first half taking a charge but ended up scoring 20. Four other Tigers hit double figures with Ryan Krombeen scoring 15, Paul Nelson 12, Ryan Dame 10, and Cory Jamieson hit for 10 to go along with a game high 8 assists.
The Tigers held a 49-45 edge in rebounds and a 23-16 lead in assists. GBC shot 54.1% for the game compared to 44.7% for the Nanooks.
“Our bench really played well tonight,” added Bailey. “Kyle Rothley played an outstanding game. Ryan Dame played one of his best games to date and Paul Nelson hit some big three’s. Matt Kurtz absolutely shut down their big scorer tonight and played well offensively.” The Tigers bench outscored the Nanooks bench 32-0.
Grace flies home in the morning and will leave for Hawaii after final exams at the end of the week.