UAA women cruise into Shootout championship game

jpeters@adn.comAssociated PressNovember 20, 2012 

It only seemed like the UAA women's basketball team didn't miss a shot Tuesday night at Sullivan Arena.

The Seawolves tied a team and Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout record by hitting 14 3-pointers in torching North Dakota State 73-47 in the tournament's opening round.

"Simply put, they totally dominated us from the very beginning," North Dakota State coach Carolyn DeHoff said.

The win puts UAA, which didn't win a Shootout game last season, in the championship game for the sixth time in the last seven tournaments. The Seawolves meet Utah State in Wednesday's 5 p.m. title game.

The Bison (2-3) scored the game's first bucket and enjoyed a 4-2 lead less than a minute in, but UAA's Sasha King ignited the coming storm with a 3-pointer that put the Seawolves in the lead for good.

The Seawolves (3-1) seemingly couldn't miss in the first half, often foregoing drives to the paint for a shot from beyond the arc.

The Seawolves made 14 field goals in the first half, 10 of them 3-pointers. UAA's last nine field goals of the first half came from beyond the arc.

"I was pretty happy they were going in," UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said. "I wasn't shocked. At the end of the day, that's what we can do."

The Seawolves weren't always toeing the line on their long shots, either. Several bombs came from at least a couple feet behind the 3-point line, including back-to-back treys from Alysa Horn from the top of the key to put UAA up 35-16 with less than five minutes until intermission.

Four Seawolves accounted for all the 3-pointers, with King hitting five, Horn draining four, Kylie Burns knocking in three and Jessica Madison hitting both of her attempts. King was the the most trigger happy of the bunch, with 12 of her 13 attempts coming from long range.

Horn matched a career-high with 25 points and pulled in nine rebounds. King scored 21 and Burns finished with 10 points.

Shooting wasn't the only weapon working for the Seawolves. Their swarming defense made the Bison look flustered and lost at times, which led to 12 steals for UAA and 21 turnovers by North Dakota State.

"For the first time this season, I think we executed our game plan, both offensive and defensive," McCarthy said.

When Burns made the Seawolves' last 3-pointer with just more than eight minutes left to play, none of the UAA players or coaches were aware the basket tied any records.

That 14th trey tied the Shootout record set by Providence in 1994 and matched the UAA record set twice by teams coached by Tim Moser.

Moser ended his six-year career with the Seawolves last spring and some of UAA's top players also left for various reasons, including graduation.

The exodus left this season's Seawolves with a new coach and a new kind of team -- and a lot of questions, which made Tuesday's win even more special.

"It means a lot, because everybody is doubting us this year," said Horn, who is one of five returning players. "It feels good to go out there and crush expectations."

Though Horn showed off her range Tuesday, she is a threat to score from anywhere on the floor. At 6-feet, Horn is the tallest starter for the Seawolves and her masterful post moves will be needed as the season progresses.

"Alysa Horn is our true post," McCarthy said. "Really, she's a power forward."

McCarthy wasn't concerned with hiding any strategywhen asked what his game plan would be in Wednesday's title game against Utah State.

"Hopefully we don't do anything different," McCarthy said.


NORTH DAKOTA STATE (47) -- DeGagne 4-9 0-0 8, Birkel 2-8 0-0 5, Keena 1-4 2-2 4, Linz 2-8 4-4 8, Whittle 1-2 0-0 3, Johnson 2-4 0-0 5, Becken 2-5 0-0 5, Van Kirk 1-7 0-0 3, Gaines 2-3 0-0 6. Totals 17-57 6-6 47.

UAA (73) -- Harris 3-9 1-2 7, Buchanan 2-6 0-0 4, King 5-13 6-6 21, Horn 8-13 5-6 25, Burns 3-10 1-2 10, Madison 2-2 0-0 6, Brewster 0-0 0-0 0, Hutchins 0-0 0-0 0, Martin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-54 13-16 73.


UAA 44 29 -- 73

3-point goals -- NDSU 7-23 (Birkel 1-3, Linz 0-4, Whittle 1-2, Johnson 1-2, Becken 1-3, Van Kirk 1-4, Brown 0-2, Stephenson 0-1, Gaines 2-2), UAA 14-32 (Buchanan 0-3, King 5-12, Horn 4-7, Burns 3-8, Madison 2-2). Rebounds -- NDSU 36 (DeGagne 6), UAA 35 (Horn 9). Total fouls -- NDSU 12, UAA 12. Fouled out -- none. Assists -- NDSU 12 (Birkel 5), UAA 16 (King 7). Turnovers -- NDSU 21 (Becken 4), UAA 15 (Horn 4). Steals -- NDSU 6 (Birkel 3), UAA 12 (Harris 3, King 3). Blocked shots -- NDSU 2, UAA 1. Referees -- Torigoe, Leitch, McNew. A -- 4,277 (announced).



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