ANCHORAGE — Everything fell in place once 3-pointers started falling for the UAA women’s basketball team Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Seawolves missed all 13 shot attempts from beyond the arc in the first half and trailed by a point at intermission, but rallied behind a career night from senior Jordan Martin to win the AT&T Hoops Classic.
Martin racked career highs with 16 points and eight rebounds and played a career-high 40 minutes in a 66-56 nonconference victory over Cal State-Los Angeles. She was also the first UAA player to make a 3-pointer, hitting for the first points of the second half.
“I was just hoping my toes weren’t on the line,” said Martin, who was named player of the game.
Martin’s extended playing time was in part due to a leg injury suffered by Kylie Burns during a practice Sunday. Burns missed all three tournament games.
“This is kinda what everyone prepares for, put in a situation where we were down a player and you kinda gotta step up,” Martin said. “I’m just glad I was able to help our team tonight.”
Martin’s first trey fell just less than two minutes into the second half and Alysa Horn hit another on the Seawolves’ next possession to give UAA a 35-32 lead, their biggest lead to that point. UAA never trailed again.
“One of the things with shooting, is it’s contagious; makes are contagious and I think misses are too,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said. “Once (Martin) made that shot, I think it just kinda gave a lot of the ladies confidence.”
Horn, who was named the tournament’s most outstanding player, gathered a career-high 16 rebounds to go with a game-high 21 points. She helped carry the Seawolves through a tough first half with 13 points and 11 rebounds in the first 20 minutes.
“I think she’s just a really good leader,” McCarthy said of Horn. “When shots aren’t falling or things aren’t going our way, she’s one of those special players that can kind of give the other players on the team confidence.”
UAA (7-2) is 9-0 all time in four Classics. This was the first year the Classic used a round-robin format, however, so it was also the first time an official winner was named.
Cal State-Los Angeles (7-4), led by 13 points from Kelli Lewis, was the only other tournament team with two wins coming into Wednesday’s play, making the battle with UAA a championship game.
“This is a really good win for the program, because Cal State-LA is a really good team,” McCarthy said. “To beat a team that was at the Western Region (tournament) last year gives us a good barometer of where we’re at right now in the season.”
UAA finished with just six made 3-pointers, but once they started falling, so did some key two-pointers.
UAA pulled ahead 43-34 on a jumper from about 17 feet out on the left baseline by Mariesha Harris (eight points), her second consecutive make from nearly the identical spot.
Martin drilled the last of her three treys to give UAA a 53-41 lead, and after Cal State-Los Angeles answered with a triple, Horn sank one from deep to make it 56-44.
Fittingly, the dagger came from long range when Sasha King (10 points) hit her only 3-pointer to put UAA up 64-53 with about 90 seconds remaining.
Zias nab first win
Eastern New Mexico earned its first win of the season Wednesday at the Classic, downing BYU-Hawaii 66-45 behind 13 points and eight rebounds from Jasmine Johnson.
Eastern New Mexico’s Ashlee Pierson added 11 points and four rebounds as the Zias improved to 1-10. One night after getting blown out by UAA, the Zias rolled to a 30-15 halftime lead and were never threatened.
Brianna Jessop led the Seasiders (1-6) with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Reach Jeremy Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 257-4335.
CSULA -- (56) Najera 0-3 0-0 0; Lewis 5-10 0-0 13; Williams 4-9 2-3 10; Hanson 3-7 0-0 6; Gibbons 3-7 1-1 8; Melville 3-5 3-4 10; Jackson 0-0 0-0 0; Belt 0-1 0-0 0; Parsons 3-9 0-0 6; Powell 1-3 0-2 2; Hansen 0-2 1-1 1; Totals 22-56 7-12 56.
UAA -- (66) Horn 6-15 7-7 21; Harris 4-9 0-0 8; Buchanan 1-7 0-0 2; King 4-18 1-2 10; Martin 6-7 1-2 16; A. Madison 0-1 0-0 0; J. Madison, 4-9 1-2 9; Totals 25-66 10-13 66.
CSULA 30 26 -- 56
UAA 29 37 -- 66
3-point goals - CSULA 5-12 (Lewis 3-6; Williams 0-1; Gibbons 1-3; Melville 1-2); UAA 6-28 (Horn 2-5; Harris 0-1; Buchanan 0-4; King 1-9; Martin 3-4; A. Madison 0-1; J. Madison 0-4). Total fouls -- CSULA 12; UAA 13. Fouled out -- none. Rebounds -- CSULA 33 (Hanson 6); UAA 42 (Horn 16). Assists -- CSULA 15 (Hasnson 7); UAA 16 (King 8). Turnovers -- CSULA 18 (Melville 4); UAA 10 (King 4). Blocks -- CSULA 5 (Gibbons 3); UAA 3 (Horn 3). Steals -- CSULA 6 (Gibbons, Powell 2); UAA 9 (Harris 5). Officials -- McNew, Gillen, Revet. A -- 544
AT&T Hoops Classic
Most outstanding player -- Alysa Horn, UAA.
Alyssa Hanson, Cal State-Los Angeles; Jasmine Johnson, Eastern New Mexico; Sasha King, UAA; Jordan Martin, UAA; Tessondra Williams, Cal State-Los Angeles.