With sole possession of the league lead at stake, the first-place Seawolves came through with a 68-54 win over second-place Northwest Nazarene on Thursday night in Nampa, Idaho.
Tennae Voliva and Safiyyah Yasin each dropped in 12 points and seven others had five or more points to spark the UAA women’s basketball team in a pivotal Great Northwest Athletic Conference game.
By winning their fourth straight game, the 8th-ranked Seawolves created a little breathing room in their quest to win the conference’s regular-season championship. A loss would have created a first-place tie between UAA (22-2 overall, 12-1 GNAC) and NNU (15-6, 10-3) with seven games remaining in the regular season.
It was the first win in three visits to the Johnson Sports Center in Nampa, where the Seawolves had lost their two previous games by a combined 21 points.
“We were not pleased at all with our performances the last couple times we came to this gym, and our veterans really took it upon themselves to make sure that wouldn’t happen again tonight,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a release from the school.
The Seawolves hit 45.6% of their shots from the field, an effort that included 5-of-9 shooting from the field from Voliva.
NNU outrebounded UAA 42-33 but shot 30.9% and was guilty of 17 turnovers, with 10 of those the result of UAA steals.
UAA led 34-29 at the half and stretched its advantage by outscoring the Nighthawks 18-8 in the third quarter behind five points apiece from Yasin and Jahnna Hajdukovich.
"We never took our foot off the gas in the second half,” McCarthy said.
Yasin finished with five rebounds, four steals and three assists, and Voliva added nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal.
Hajdukovich and Sala Langi each added eight points, and Yazmeen Goo was good for seven points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Zoe Wessels lead NNU with 13 points and seven rebounds.
The Seawolves remain on the road for a Saturday game at Central Washington.