The UAA women’s basketball team used familiar weapons to cruise to its 17th straight victory: Defense and depth.
The Seawolves limited Seattle Pacific to four points in the first quarter and received points and rebounds from nine players to roll to a 68-53 win Thursday in Seattle.
UAA (24-1 overall, 16-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) stole the ball 15 times while clinching a first-round bye in next month’s GNAC tournament. The Seawolves are ranked ninth in NCAA Division II and third in the West Region.
A big first half — UAA led 15-4 after the first quarter and 42-16 at the half — allowed the Seawolves to survive a lackluster second half, when the Falcons outscored them 37-26.
“As pleased as I was with our overall play in the first half, I was equally as disappointed about our lack of focus in the second half,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a press release from the school. “We did just enough offensively to get the win, so we’ll have to be satisfied with that tonight and start concentrating on our upcoming opponents."
UAA’s guards had a productive night. Kian McNair had 10 points and four steals (it was her 17th straight multi-steal game), Yazmeen Goo had 11 points and three assists, Sydni Stallworth had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting, Tara Thompson had eight points and three rebounds and Safiyyah Yasin had seven points, two assists, two steals and two rebounds.
Post players came through too. Although senior center Hannah Wandersee was limited to four points on 2-of-8 shooting, she grabbed a game-high nine rebounds and dished three assists. And sophomore forward Tennae Voliva contributed seven points and six rebounds in her fifth start of the season.
UAA’s defense forced the Falcons (7-17, 6-11) into 25 turnovers. Madi Hingston and Kaprice Boston each scored 10 points for the home team.
UAA plays another road game Saturday at Saint Martin’s in Lacey, Washington. The team returns to Anchorage for its final two regular-season games on Feb. 28 and March 2.