It may have come with a five-year gap, but the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team defended its title in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday.
The Seawolves defeated La Salle 88-75 at Alaska Airlines Center in the championship game in the two-day tournament.
Senior Jahnna Hajdukovich led the way for UAA with 21 points and fellow senior Vishe’ Rabb had 19 points.
“It was a great team win tonight,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy in a release from the school. “Our ladies did an excellent job of executing our game plan in the first half. La Salle is a very good team, though, and they made some adjustments that threw us off. But we had great play from our seniors down the stretch and hit some timely shots to secure a huge win for our program. I’m extremely proud of these players and this accomplishment, and it gives us something to build on for the remainder of this long season.”
The tournament was contested last in 2017, and the win Saturday gave the Seawolves an eighth championship in the 39-year history of the tournament.
Nicole Pinckney kicked in 11 points and a game-high nine assists for the Seawolves, who are ranked No. 14 in the NCAA Division II media poll.
Hajdukovich, a Dimond High grad, had an efficient and well-rounded game. She was 5 of 9 from the field, made three 3-pointers and was a perfect 8-of-8 at the foul line. She also had a game-high nine rebounds and dished out five assists.
Both Hajdukovich and Pinckney were named to the all-tournament team while Rabb earned Most Outstanding Player honors. Rabb scored seven points in the second quarter as the Seawolves pulled away to take a 45-26 halftime lead. Rabb shot 7 of 11 from the field and added six rebounds and two steals. She led the team with 14 points in Friday’s semifinal win over University of California Riverside.
UAA’s lead grew to as many as 26 points in the second half, but La Salle battled back to cut it to single digits during the final minutes of the game.
Sophomore Jazzpher Evans finished with eight points, six assists and three steals for UAA, which also won Shootout titles in 1990, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2017.
The Explorers were led by 21 points from Claire Jacobs. The game was played as an exhibition for UAA but counted for La Salle.
2022 ASRC/ConocoPhillips Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Jahnna Hajdukovich, Alaska Anchorage
Claire Jacobs, La Salle
Nicole Pinckney, Alaska Anchorage
Kayla Spruill, La Salle
Marly Walls, Pepperdine
Most Outstanding Player: Vishe’ Rabb, Alaska Anchorage