The UAA women's basketball team never trailed Saturday night, but its wire-to-wire win over Northwest Nazarene was anything but a breeze.
The Seawolves didn't score a field goal in the final three minutes but Alli Madison's three free throws down the stretch were enough for them to hang on for a 72-70 Great Northwest Athletic Conference win at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
Kylee Schierman had a wide-open look for the Crusaders with one second left, but she missed her 3-point attempt from the top of the key. Northwest Nazarene got the rebound but had no time for a second shot.
The victory avenged UAA's loss earlier this season to Northwest Nazarene, the school UAA coach Ryan McCarthy played for and coached at before coming to Anchorage two years ago.
Madison and Jenna Buchanan both pumped in 20 points for the Seawolves (14-5 overall, 7-4 GNAC).
Buchanan, a sophomore guard from Galena, turned in an outstanding performance -- she hit four of five 3-pointers, was 7 of 13 overall from the floor, made both of her free throws, grabbed six rebounds, dished four assists and got one steal. All of that made up for six turnovers.
Madison was 8 of 9 from the foul line, including 3 of 4 in the final three minutes. Her two free throws with 2 minutes, 43 seconds remaining gave UAA a 71-67 lead. The score didn't change until Chelsie Luke drilled a 3-pointer for the Crusaders with 42 seconds left, trimming UAA's lead to one point.
With 13 seconds left, Madison returned to the free throw line and made her first shot. She missed the second one, the Crusaders rebounded it and called a timeout to set up a final shot.
Luke hit four of six 3-pointers to finish with 20 points and point guard Taylor Simmons did a lot of everything -- 22 points, nine assists, six steals, five rebounds -- to spark Northwest Nazarene (12-7, 5-6).
UAA came up with 18 steals, four from Kiki Robertson, who added seven points, six assists and four rebounds. KeKe Wright supplied nine points, nine rebounds and three steals, and Kylie Burns furnished nine points and five rebounds.
The victory puts UAA in a four-way tie for second place in the GNAC. The Seawolves, Seattle Pacific, Simon Fraser and Western Washington all trail league-leader Montana State Billings (16-5, 9-2) by two games with seven games left in the regular season.
The Seawolves head to the Lower 48 this week for games against Saint Martin's and Western Oregon.
NORTHWEST NAZARENE (70) -- Hingston 3-10 3-4 9, Warwick 3-6 1-2 7, Schumann 3-6 0-0 7, Simmons 7-117-11 22, Schierman 1-4 0-0 3, White 0-1 0-0 0, Luke 6-10 4-4 20, Swanson 1-4 0-0 2, Ferrenburg 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-52 15-21 70.
UAA (72) -- Wright 2-7 5-5 9, Burns 3-7 0-0 9, A. Madison 5-9 8-9 20, Buchanan 7-13 2-2 20, Robertson 2-8 2-3 7, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Hutchins 0-1 0-0 0, Devine 2-5 0-2 4, J. Madison 1-6 0-0 3, Craft 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-58 17-21 72.