In a battle between Alaska rivals UAA and UAF, a pair of Alaskans sparked the Seawolves in a women’s basketball game Tuesday at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Hannah Wandersee, a senior center from Kodiak, piled up 19 points and a career-high five assists and Tara Thompson, a senior guard from Anchorage, supplied 13 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals in UAA’s 81-70 come-from-behind victory over the Nanooks.
UAA is the nation’s 14th-ranked Division II team and UAF is winless in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, but it was the Nanooks who came out on fire.
UAF (3-8 overall, 0-5 GNAC) shot a scorching 72.7 percent in the first quarter to lead 17-9 after seven minutes and 23-17 at the end of the quarter.
The Seawolves (12-1, 4-1) rallied behind their pressure defense, taking the lead for good in the second quarter and leading 47-38 at intermission.
“Fairbanks came out and outcompeted us tonight,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a press release from the school. “We never matched their intensity and did not stick to our game plan. The final stats are not representative of how poorly we played, and it could have been a lot worse if we hadn’t shot as well as we did.”
UAA shot 49.3 percent and enjoyed a balanced scoring attack that saw five players score nine or more points. Saffiyah Yasin dropped in 13 points, Cameron Fernandez had nine points and six assists and Kian McNair had nine points and five assists.
Wandersee got her points on 7-of-13 shooting, a performance that included a career-best 3-of-3 shooting from 3-point range. Thompson shot 5 of 9, including 3 of 6 from long range.
McNair and Sydni Stallworth both matched Thompson’s three steals to help the Seawolves pickpocket the Nanooks 15 times. Tennae Voliva, who chipped in seven points and a team-high seven boards, helped the Seawolves outrebound UAF 34-21.
UAA is back at the Alaska Airlines Center on Saturday for a 7 p.m. game against Montana State-Billings.