UAA women fend off UAF, gain share of league lead

bbragg@adn.comJanuary 18, 2014 

Women's college basketball

Nanooks' Kelly Logue, left, and Ruth O'Neal, right, defend Seawolves' Alysha Devine during first half action of the women's college basketball match-up between UAF and UAA Saturday evening, January 18, 2014 at the Patty Center.

ERIC ENGMAN — FAIRBANKS DAILY NEWS-MINER

A timely timeout led to a fabulous finish Saturday for the UAA women's basketball team, which beat UAF 96-87 in Fairbanks to gain a share of first place in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.

The Seawolves (12-3 overall, 5-2 GNAC) led comfortably for most of the first half and early in the second half before UAF sprang to life.

The Nanooks erased UAA's double-digit lead to take the lead midway through the second half. UAF led by as many as five points and were up by one, 83-82, when the final media timeout of the game was called with 3:50 left.

The Seawolves used the break to talk about defense and rebounding, coach Ryan McCarthy said, and when they returned to the court they stole the momentum from the Nanooks to finish with a 14-4 run.

"We talked about executing our defensive system and making them guard us offensively," McCarthy said by phone. "Our girls really just dug down defensively. I remember in that timeout, I knew we weren't going to lose the game, because they were just locked in. They defended and rebounded in that last four minutes and made plays."

Freshman Kiki Robertson and sophomore Jenna Buchanan shined for the Seawolves, who had four players with 15 or more points.

Robertson supplied 19 points, five rebound and six steals, and Buchanan matched her career high with 17 points. Buchanan, who is from the Interior town of Galena, was particularly clutch -- three of her second-half baskets put UAA in the lead.

UAA led 49-40 at the half and by as much as 53-40 early in the second half before freshman Jordan Wilson (22 points, 16 rebounds) and junior Kelly Logue (22 points) helped fuel a Nanooks comeback. UAF led for the first time at 10:35, was up 81-75 with 5:25 to go and led for the last time 83-82, prior to that final media timeout.

"We were so focused on individual matchups, we didn't have great team defense," McCarthy said. "At the four-minute mark, we started to collectively defend as a team."

Emily Craft racked up nine rebounds and 16 points on 8 of 9 shooting and Alli Madison chipped in 15 points and five assists for the Seawolves.

The win puts UAA in a tie for first place in the GNAC with Saint Martin's, Western Washington and Montana State-Billings. All are 5-2.

The logjam was created by Western Washington's Saturday win over Saint Martin's, which entered the week with sole possession of the league lead.

UAF slipped to 8-7, 2-5 but could give teams trouble down the stretch, McCarthy said.

"I've been in the league seven years and that's the best Fairbanks team in seven years," he said. "They're a team that if you don't show up, they're gonna give you trouble."

Reach Beth Bragg at bbragg@adn.com or 257-4335.

UAA (96) -- Wright 2-4 0-0 4, Burns 1-5 6-6 9, A. Madison 6-19 3-6 15, Buchanan 6-10 3-5 17. Robertson 7-10 4-4 19, Davis 3-5 1-1 8, Hutchins 0-1 0-0 0, Devine 0-1 0-2 0, J. Madison 3-10 2-2 8, Craft 6-8 4-6 16. Totals 34-73 23-32 96.

UAF (87) -- Wilson 8-12 6-6 22, Milton 2-7 3-6 8, Bulaya 5-9 3-4 13, Kirk 2-6 0-1 4, Childers 1-4 0-0 3, Pichler 0-1 0-0 0, Logue 8-11 4-4 21, Prestwich 3-10 0-0 9, Chapman 1-1 0-0 2, Skjold 1-7 3-3 5, O'Neal 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 31-69 19-24 87.

UAA 49 47 -- 96

UAF 40 47 -- 87

3-point goals -- UAA 5-15 (Burns 1-4, A. Madison 0-1, Buchanan 2-3, Robertson 1-2, Davis 1-1, J. Madison 0-4), UAF 6-20 (Milton 1-4, Kirk 0-2, Childers 1-3, Logue 1-2, Prestwich 3-8, Skjold 0-1). Rebounds -- UAA 41 (Craft 9), UAF 45 (Wilson 16). Total fouls -- UAA 21, UAF 28. Fouled out -- Milton. Assists -- UAA 15 (A. Madison 5), UAF 19 (Bulaya 8). Turnovers -- UAA 17 (Devine 4), UAF 27 (Bulaya 10). Blocks -- UAA 3, UAF 3. Steals -- UAA 15 (Robertson 6), UAF 8 (Bulaya 3). A -- 408. Officials -- Trimble, Bray, Pletnikoff.

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