In a much-anticipated game between two teams with a history of meeting in big games, the seventh-ranked Seawolves beat Northwest Nazarene in a battle between the last two undefeated teams in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
Fueled by Tennae Voliva’s fourth double-double of the season, the UAA women’s basketball downed the Nighthawks 73-58 in front of an Alaska Airlines Center crowd of 1,164,
It was the first meeting between the teams since the second round of last year’s NCAA West Regional tournament, where UAA advanced to the Sweet 16 with a thrilling 69-67 victory. A week before that game, the Nighthawks beat UAA in the championship game of the GNAC tournament, 70-64.
“Obviously this is a game that both teams had circled on their calendars, so it’s an understatement to say this was a satisfying victory,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a release from the school.
Voliva, an East High graduate, racked up 19 points and 12 rebounds to help the Seawolves run their winning streak to 11 games. Safiyyah Yasin contributed 18 points and four assists and Yazmeen Goo registered nine points, four assists and four steals as UAA improved to 16-1 overall and 6-0 in the GNAC.
Northwest Nazarene dropped to 10-4, 5-1.
The Seawolves trailed by a point after one quarter but outscored the Nighthawks 54-38 after that, including 27-20 in the second half.
“I was extremely proud of the way we executed our defense after our halftime adjustments,” McCarthy said. “To hold a team that offensively skilled to just 20 points in the second half is a huge accomplishment, and Tennae took another big step toward becoming a dominant inside force tonight.”
Voliva, a junior center, equaled her career best for rebounds and was one point shy of matching her career best for scoring. She shot 8 of 12 from the field and added three steals and two blocks.
The Nighthawks were led by Avery Albrecht (19 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds) and Marina Valles (9 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 6 steals).
The Seawolves will try to extend their winning streak when they head north to Fairbanks for a Tuesday game with UAF.