The seventh-ranked UAA women’s basketball team kept three big winning streaks intact Tuesday night in Fairbanks against a UAF team that threatened to end all of them.
The Seawolves held the Nanooks scoreless for more than six minutes in the third quarter to survive a serious scare at the Patty Center. By pulling out a 79-67 a victory, they extended three impressive streaks.
It was their 12th straight win. It was their 26th straight Great Northwest Athletic Conference win, dating back to January of last year. And it was their 25th straight win over the Nanooks — UAF’s last win over its in-state rival was Jan. 27, 2007, when it took an 85-83 overtime win in Fairbanks.
“UAF outplayed us, but we were fortunate enough to make some timely shots tonight,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a release from the school.
“We were focused on trying to control the ‘controllables,’ and that did not happen. Luckily our depth played a key role helping us escape here with a win tonight.”
UAA moved to 17-1 on the season and 7-0 in the GNAC against a UAF team that dropped to 6-10, 1-6.
The teams were nearly even on the boards — UAF had a slight 30-29 edge — and both made nearly 44 percent of their shots. UAF outscored UAA 27-12 from 3-point range, and UAA outscored UAF 19-10 from the free throw line.
The Seawolves got a boost from their defense — Sala Langi had five steals and Safiyyah Yasin had four as they hassled UAF into 21 turnovers — and from their bench, which outscored UAF’s bench 28-17.
The biggest difference came in the third quarter, when they outscored UAF 16-5.
The Nanooks led by four points late in the second quarter and were tied with the Seawolves at halftime, 39-39. They led again, 42-41, on a 3-pointer by Brittany Richards 24 seconds into the third quarter.
But more than six minutes passed before UAF scored again. In the meantime, the Seawolves went on an 11-0 run on their way to a 55-44 lead at the end of the quarter.
The Seawolves maintained a double-figure lead for much of the fourth quarter and sealed the victory by sinking seven of eight free throws in the last 60 seconds. Stephanie Jackson knocked down all six of her foul shots during that final minute.
Eight players scored for UAA, and all of them had six or more points.
Yasin had a productive night with 15 points, four rebounds, four steals, two assists and a block. Tennae Voliva had a team-high 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting and Langi finished with 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting while adding three rebounds, two assists and the five steals.
Jocelyn Gandara’s 10 points, nine rebounds and four steals led UAF, which also got 16 points from Sam Tolliver and 11 from Sabrina Ungaro, who hit three of her five attempts from 3-point range.
UAA is back home for a Saturday game against Montana State-Billings.