Depth carries UAA women to season-opening hoops win

Jeremy Peters

The UAA women are glad to have a full basketball roster this season.

The Seawolves, who went into battle with as few as six players in some games last season, showed off their depth Saturday with a season-opening 85-56 win over Western New Mexico.

All 10 players who logged minutes for UAA scored and all but one pulled in a rebound at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.

"We can play five-on-five in practice, which is pretty special," said second-year coach Ryan McCarthy. "I think we have an especially good team chemistry. We have a lot of young ladies that really enjoy their time with each other."

Alli Madison, a junior guard in her second season with UAA, led the scoring with 17 points and nearly hit a double-double by corralling eight rebounds. Madison, who is more than a year removed from knee surgery, said she is feeling healthier than she has in a long time and proved it by playing a team-high 31 minutes.

"We're focusing a lot on pressing and really running the floor," Madison said. "We're in really good shape."

The Seawolves (1-0) won the turnover battle 24-16, stole the ball 12 times and registered six blocks against the Mustangs (0-2) .

Last season, UAA's tallest player was 6-foot Alyssa Horn and she was the only post player. This season there are two post players listed at 6-1. Emily Craft, a junior transfer from Central Wyoming College, is one of the them, and she made a solid debut with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Freshman Alysha Devine of Wasilla is the other, and although she was limited by foul trouble in a two-point, two-rebound performance, she showed massive potential in nine minutes of court time.

Saturday's monster on the boards was 5-10 forward Keke Wright, a junior transfer from Gillette College in Wyoming. She hauled in 15 rebounds to help UAA own a 53-47 advantage on the glass.

Senior Kylie Burns, in her third season with UAA, was her usual scrappy self, finishing with seven points and seven rebounds, and sophomore Alyssa Hutchins gave the crowd plenty to cheer about in the second half of a game that held no suspense as to the outcome. Hutchins buried three of her four second-half 3-point attempts, scoring 13 of her career-high 16 points after intermission.

"All the 3s that Hutchins hit, that really pumped me up, got me going," Madison said.

Amid all of the highlights and the strong play up and down the roster, 5-5 freshman Kiki Robertson stood out. The new point guard from Hawaii maintains a comfortable-looking command of the ball and said she enjoys having so many weapons around her.

"Our posts are really good," she said. "They can jump so high, I just gotta dish it to 'em."

Robertson led UAA with six assists, scored 10 points, secured five rebounds and posted a team-high four steals.

"I think Kiki Robertson is gonna be one of the better point guards in the league," McCarthy said. "She's super-skilled."

The Seawolves travel to Hawaii for their next three games, starting with a game against BYU-Hawaii on Saturday.

Reach Jeremy Peters at or 257-4335.

WESTERN NEW MEXICO (56) — Celaya 0-6 2-2 2, Moore 1-2 2-2 4, Newsome 4-14 3-6 11, Young 0-5 0-0 0, Mitchell 4-13 1-2 10, Gutierrez 3-8 3-4 10, Rinehart 1-2 1-2 3, Witherspoon 0-1 2-5 2, Clark 0-2 2-2 2, Jones 1-4 6-10 8, Hernandez 2-4 0-0 4. Totals 16-61 22-35 56.

UAA (85) — A. Madison 6-16 4-6 17, Wright 3-9 0-0 6, Burns 2-6 2-2 7, Robertson 3-7 4-4 10, J. Madison 4-14 0-0 8, Castle 1-2 0-0 3, Hutchins  6-9 1-3 16, Davis 0-3 2-2 2, Devine 1-2 0-0 2, Craft 4-7 6-8 14. Totals 30-75 19-25 85.

Western New Mexico35 21 — 56

UAA48 37 — 85

3-point goals — Western New Mexico 2-20 (Celaya 0-1, Newsome 0-3, Young 0-3, Mitchell 1-7, Gutierrez 1-4, Clark 0-2. UAA 6-21 (A. Madison 1-3, Burns 1-3, J. Madison 0-6, Castle 1-2, Hutchens 3-5,Davis 0-1, Devine 0-1). Rebounds — Western New Mexico 47 (Celaya 9), UAA 53 (Wright 15). Assists — Western New Mexico 7 (Mitchell 3), UAA 19 (Robertson 6). Steals — Western New Mexico 6 (Newsome 2), UAA 12 (Robertson 4). Turnovers — Western New Mexico 24 (Newsome 9), UAA 16 (Robertson 4). Blocks — Western Mew Mexico 2, UAA 6 (Craft 4). Total fouls  — Western New Mexico 20, UAA 27. Fouled out — Burns, Devine. Officials — McNew, McCourt, Leitch.