Player of the month, anyone?
As an encore to winning last week’s Player of the Week award in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Hannah Wandersee turned in her highest-scoring effort of the season Thursday to help the UAA women’s basketball team to victory.
The Seawolves combined 20 points from Wandersee with a season-high 24 steals to trip Western Oregon 74-56 in Monmouth, Oregon.
The win was the seventh in a row for the 12th-ranked Seawolves, who improved to 14-1 overall and 6-1 GNAC.
“We got into some big foul trouble in the first half, otherwise we might have been able to utilize our press even more effectively,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a press release from the school. “Luckily our game plan worked well anyway and we were able to wear them down towards the end.”
Western Oregon (5-8, 2-5) forged a 16-16 first-quarter tie by hitting 7 of 9 free throws.
The Seawolves pulled away in the second quarter, shooting 50 percent from the field to outscore the Wolves 25-14 for a 41-30 halftime lead.
UAA by far exceeded its season average of 13.6 steals per game, the fourth-best average in NCAA Division II. Seven Seawolves nabbed steals, including Kian McNair (6), Sala Langi (5), Yazmeen Goo (5) and Safiyyah Yasin (5).
McNair also supplied 11 points and Sydni Stallworth chipped in 10 points. Langi’s contributions also included four points and five assists.
Wandersee, a 6-foot-2 senior center from Kodiak, was coming off two big games last week, when she averaged 18 points, 5.5 rebounds and three assists in wins over rival UAF and defending West Region champion Montana State-Billings.
On Thursday, she scored her points on 8 of 17 shooting from the field and 3 of 3 foul shooting. She added five rebounds and an assist in 28 minutes of play.
Western Oregon’s Natalie DeLonge led all scorers with 23 points. She was 7 of 12 from the field, 9 of 14 from the line and had nine rebounds and three blocks.
UAA plays another game in Oregon on Saturday, when it takes on Concordia-Portland at 4:15 p.m. AST.