UAA women surprise SPU, 77-72

Beth Bragg

Seattle Pacific isn't the best place to visit if you're a basketball team in desperate need of a victory, but Royal Brougham Pavilion turned out to be the perfect place for the UAA women's basketball team Saturday.

The Seawolves snapped a three-game losing skid by beating the Falcons 77-72, marking just the fourth time in 22 tries a UAA team has left Seattle Pacific with a regular-season victory. The last time was 13 years ago.

"A lot of our players are saying, 'I don't think I'll be able to sleep tonight, Coach,' '' UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said by phone. "After you get a win like that, you feel really good."

The win came at the end of a brutal four-game Great Northwest Athletic Conference run for the Seawolves (8-5 overall, 2-3 GNAC). UAA lost to a pair of nationally ranked Division II teams at home before losing on the road Thursday at Montana State-Billings.

As unlikely as it seemed, a win over Seattle Pacific (10-4, 4-2) was just what the Seawolves needed.

"It's a really big one," McCarthy said. "Having to play four of the top teams in the GNAC to open up play was a pretty tall order for us, and to beat Seattle Pacific at Seattle Pacific is very, very rare."

The Falcons were 6-0 at home this season before running into Sasha King and the rest of the Seawolves. King, a senior point guard who is playing with an injured ankle, hit five 3-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points.

"She's probably 65 percent at best," McCarthy said. "I had to sub her in and out a couple of different times when she tweaked her ankle.

"She's really battled for us this year. She was just good enough to make cuts this game, and our two home games she wasn't. When she's playing good enough, we're pretty tough."

UAA made 40 percent of its 3-pointers, and Alli Madison and Jessica Madison each shot better than 50 percent to finish with 15 and 14 points, respectively. McCarthy said the Seawolves did a good job of penetrating and then passing to an open shooter on the perimeter.

Alysa Horn chipped in nine points to go with a team-high nine rebounds and Kylie Burns added nine points and seven rebounds.

UAA overcame a monster game from Seattle Pacific's Katie Benson, who racked up 19 points and 17 rebounds.

After trailing by as much as 13 in the first half, the Seawolves forged a 41-41 halftime tie. With the game tied 58-58, UAA took command with a 12-5 run to grab a 70-63 lead with about seven minutes left.

Horn fouled out with 6 minutes, 17 seconds left, making for a tense finish as the Seawolves hung on against the Seattle Pacific press. A pair of free throws pulled Seattle Pacific to within 75-72 with 2:24 remaining, but that was as close as the Falcons got.

"We turned it over a couple times, but every time it seemed like we were able to get a big defensive stop or a defensive rebound," McCarthy said. "That's what won us the game."

UAA (77) -- King 6-12 6-6 23; A. Madison 6-11 1-1 15; J. Madison 5-9 2-3 14; Burns 3-9 2-2 9; Horn 3-9 3-7 9; Martin 2-5 0-1 5; Buchanan 1-2 0-0 2; Hutchins 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-57 14-20 77.

SEATTLE PACIFIC (72) -- Benson 8-22 3-5 19; Callen 6-12 3-4 17; Ohlsen 4-14 4-4 13; Bowen 3-6 2-2 9; Pflaumer 1-4 3-4 5; Teng 1-2 1-2 3; Butler 1-2 0-0 2; Lasconia 1-2 0-0 2; Stephens 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 25-66 18-23 72.

UAA 41 36 -- 77

Seattle Pacific 41 31 -- 72

3-point goals -- UAA 11-28 (King 5-9; A. Madison 2-4; J. Madison 2-5; Burns 1-4; Martin 1-3; Buchanan 0-1; Horn 0-2), Seattle Pacific 4-13 (Callen 2-4; Ohlsen 1-3; Bowen 1-1; Benson 0-5). Fouled out -- Horn. Rebounds -- UAA 36 (Horn 9), Seattle Pacific 43 (Benson 17). Turnovers -- UAA 18 (King 5, J. Madison 5), Seattle Pacific 15 (Teng 3). Assists -- UAA 11 (4 players with 2), Seattle Pacific 10 (Callen 3). Steals -- UAA 8 (A. Madison 2), SPU 10 (Ohlsen 6). Blocked shots -- UAA 2, SPU 2. Total fouls -- UAA 20, Seattle Pacific 19.