UAA Athletics

UAA women’s basketball opens GNAC tournament with blowout win over Seattle Pacific

The University of Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team entered both the 2023 and 2024 Great Northwest Athletic Conference tournaments under similar circumstances, riding a four-game winning streak to close the regular season and looking like a force to be reckoned with in March.

But last year’s squad got bounced in the first round after a narrow defeat to Seattle Pacific in the quarterfinals.

On Thursday, the same two teams squared off on the Central Washington University campus in Ellensburg, Washington, and the No. 3-seeded Seawolves flipped the script, routing the No. 6-seeded Falcons 79-57.

“I thought it was higher scoring because we controlled the pace,” UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy said in a postgame news conference. “The ladies did an awesome job. We were down (backup post-Kate Robertson), but everyone stepped up, and I couldn’t be more proud of them as a group.”

The win marked the Seawolves’ fifth straight and second double-digit victory against Seattle Pacific in the last eight days after UAA beat the Falcons 51-39 at home in their second-to-last game of the regular season.

After a tightly contested opening quarter Thursday in which each team took turns holding the lead and neither led by more than four points, UAA began to distance itself in the second. Following a 25-25 stalemate, the Seawolves went on a 9-0 run to go ahead for good and closed the first half with a 16-6 run. That streak was capped off by a 3-pointer from junior all-conference guard and leading scorer Senya Rabouin in the final seconds to put them up 41-31 at the break.

The Seawolves didn’t let off the gas in the second half and picked up where they left off by controlling the game on both ends of the court. They opened the third quarter with a 12-2 run led by as many as 27 points late in the third quarter.


UAA imposed its will in the post, outrebounding Seattle Pacific a whopping 45-28 margin with 17 coming on the offensive end, leading to several second-chance point opportunities. The UAA defense came up with 12 steals and forced the Falcons to commit 16 turnovers in total.

Leading the charge for the Seawolves on offense was Rabouin, who scored 18 points. The only other Seawolf to reach double figures in scoring was junior guard Jazzpher Evans with 10. Evans also led the team in both rebounds and steals with seven and three, respectively.

Up next for UAA will be another rematch with No. 2 seed Western Washington, who is nationally ranked, in the semifinals on Friday at 11 a.m. Alaska time. The Seawolves swept the Vikings during the regular season when they were ranked 14th and 13th in the nation at the NCAA Division II level.

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.