As Linda Bruns would have said: Count it.
Ryan McCarthy, the eighth-year coach who has taken the UAA women’s basketball team to new heights, chalked up a school-record-tying 176th win Thursday night by leading the Seawolves past Saint Martin’s 88-58.
With the victory at the Alaska Airlines Center, McCarthy ties Bruns as UAA’s winningest women’s basketball coach.
Bruns — who punctuated pivotal baskets with a pumped fist and the words “Count it!” — compiled a 176-142 record from 1979-91, bringing a fledgling program to prominence.
McCarthy is 176-32, the head of a powerhouse program known for its ruthless defense. On Thursday, the 10th-ranked Seawolves recorded a season-high 25 steals, a fleecing led by Kian McNair’s eight swipes.
“It’s an honor just to be at UAA for the amount of time that I’ve been able to – this has always been a dream job of mine, growing up here,” McCarthy, who was born across the street from campus at Providence Alaska Medical Center, said in a press release from the school. “In terms of the win, it’s been the ladies who have gotten that done. A lot of players have made a lot of sacrifices to get the program to this point, so it’s really their accomplishment.”
Under McCarthy’s guidance, the Seawolves have won four straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference regular-season titles, earned five straight NCAA Tournament berths and was ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in four straight seasons (2014-15 through 2017-18).
For their latest win, the Seawolves (16-1 overall, 8-1 GNAC) got contributions up and down the lineup, with six players scoring nine or more points apiece and seven getting steals.
Among the leaders: Sali Langi (15 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists), Safiyyah Yasin (15 points on 5-of-6 shooting, 4 steals), Kimani Fernandez-Roy (12 points, 4 steals), Yazmeen Goo (11 points, 4 steals), Sydni Stallworth (11 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds), McNair (9 points, 8 steals) and Tara Thompson (6 assists, 3 steals).
It was the ninth straight win for the Seawolves, who outrebounded Saint Martin’s 40-29 and harassed the Saints into 30 turnovers while making 16 of their own.
Saint Martin’s (3-14, 1-8) was led by Claire Dingus’ 16 points.
UAA is back in action Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center against Seattle Pacific. Tipoff is 7 p.m.