UAA Athletics

UAA women’s basketball team suffers first loss of season in conference opener

UAA women's basketball

For the first time since opening the season with seven straight victories, the University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team experienced the taste of defeat Thursday, losing to Montana State Billings 68-61 at the Alaska Airlines Center.

“Billings is a really good team,” UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy said. “I picked them ahead of us in the league (preseason polls) and they proved it tonight.”

It marked their first time facing a Great Northwest Athletic Conference opponent and the No. 11-ranked Seawolves struggled to execute what McCarthy and his staff thought was a good game plan.

“We have an inexperienced team in these kinds of games and we just we got exposed for not following the game plan,” McCarthy said.

UAA women's basketball

UAA at times struggled to find convert from close in on offense and MSB shooters hit mostly open looks from behind the arc. That combination put the Seawolves in a hole that they ultimately weren’t able to climb out of.

“When we did execute the times, we found some success but against the team like Billings, you have to have four quarters of that unfortunately today we didn’t,” McCarthy said.

The Yellowjackets made nearly half if their 3-pointers in the first half going 6-of-14 from long range and had a 40-25 lead by halftime. The Seawolves were fully aware of the dangerous sharp shooters that the they had and believed that they were prepared to defend more efficiently than they did.


“We got to do a better job as coaches preparing our team,” McCarthy said. “We thought we did a good job, but obviously we didn’t. They had some players that got hot and I think the basket got a lot bigger for them once they hit their first open threes and by the end of the game, they were hitting some contested threes.”

Moving forward, he views their defense against the long ball is an issue that they’ve got to address and or they will “see a lot more of these types of games.”

UAA women's basketball

After allowing 20 points in each of the first two quarters, UAA’s defense came out in the second half more focused and stingy. UAA outscored MSB 36-28 in the final two periods combined.

The Seawolves trailed by less than double figures for most of the fourth quarter and were down by as few as five points with just under a minute left in the game but couldn’t close the final gap.

“Our sense of urgency just was not there,” McCarthy said. “I felt like we were sleepwalking through the first and second quarters.”

The Yellowjackets had a trio of players reach double figures in scoring led by forward Dyauni Boyce who recorded a double-double by tying for the team lead with 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.

UAA women's basketball

The Seawolves only had one player reach double figures in scoring, despite not finishing the game. Senior guard Vishe’ Rabb recorded a team-leading 10 points and six rebounds but fouled out with just under seven minutes left in the final period.

“Vishe’ is a big part of what we do,” McCarthy said. “She got in some foul trouble, unfortunately and we had some other girls step up during that time. But losing a kid like Vishe’ especially with all the injuries that we’ve had, it exposes our depth at that position a little bit.”

The Seawolves host Seattle Pacific on Saturday at 5:15 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Center.

UAA women's basketball

Josh Reed

Josh Reed is a sports reporter for the Anchorage Daily News. He's a graduate of West High School and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.