ANCHORAGE – Forwards Shelby Cloninger and Hannah Wandersee combined for 33 points and Rodericka Ware made five steals Saturday to lead 9th-ranked Alaska Anchorage to an 82-68 victory over Simon Fraser at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (18-2, 11-1 GNAC) got 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting from Cloninger and 16 points on 8-of-12 shooting from Wandersee as they outshot the visitors .492 to .393 and retained a one-game lead over Seattle Pacific and Northwest Nazarene in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference standings.
The Clan (9-11, 4-8) – who stunned then-No. 2 UAA 90-80 in last year’s NCAA Div. II Second Round contest on the same court – were led by 19 points, four assists and three steals from junior forward Sophie Swant, plus 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting and seven rebounds from center Tayla Jackson.
“We moved the ball more effectively than we have in the past few games, and we took advantage of their turnovers and got some easy points in transition,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose team outscored the Canadians 32-18 in the points-off-turnovers category. “I was also pleased with our balance offensively, and we did a nice job of limiting their looks at open three-pointers, which is where Simon Fraser makes its bread and butter.”
Wandersee scored 12 points in the first two quarters to help stake the Seawolves to a 37-30 halftime lead, but the Clan would quickly rally, scoring the first five points of the third quarter to pull within a single possession.
Cloninger nailed a corner three-pointer to stop SFU’s momentum at the 8:22 mark of the third, and freshman center Tennae Voliva would start a 15-0 Seawolf run when she converted a layup on a pass from Sydni Stallworth moments later.
The Seawolves led 61-49 after three quarters and pushed their largest advantage to 23 points on two occasions, going up 78-55 on a layup by Wandersee with 4:17 remaining.
Ware – a one-year transfer from fellow Div. II program Academy of Art – finished with nine points and matched her UAA career best with her five steals coming in just 17 minutes.
Senior guard Kaitlyn Hurley added eight points and tied her career high with five rebounds, Stallworth had seven points and four assists, and Voliva tallied her career-high seven points on 3-of-3 shooting, along with a pair of blocks.
Sophomore guard Yazmeen Goo finished with seven points and a game-high five assists. The GNAC steals leader also had four swipes, giving her 21 in the last four games.
The Seawolves had 16 steals on 26 Clan turnovers to offset a 34-32 rebounding disadvantage and 94.7 percent (18 of 19) free-throw shooting by the visitors from Burnaby, British Columbia.
UAA returns to the Alaska Airlines Center on Tuesday for the third game in a four-game homestand, facing intrastate rival Alaska Fairbanks at 7 p.m. Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com for tickets.