ANCHORAGE – Senior Autummn Williams scored 18 points and freshman Kimijah King added 10 points and three steals Thursday as the 2nd-ranked Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team used a stifling defensive effort to race its 20th straight victory, 73-31 over Saint Martin’s at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (24-1, 17-0 GNAC) also got nine points, four assists, four steals and no turnovers from senior point guard Kiki Robertson as they clinched a quarterfinal bye in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament and remained unbeaten against NCAA Div. II competition.
The Saints (5-20, 1-16) were led by 13 points from guard Hannah Reynolds, but the visitors from Lacey, Wash., were held to 26 percent shooting and forced into 28 turnovers.
After scoring the first 15 points in a 78-41 road victory over Saint Martin’s last month, UAA tallied the first seven points Thursday and led 17-5 after one quarter. The Seawolves picked up the defensive intensity another notch in the third quarter, outscoring SMU 22-4 to take a 51-19 lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Williams had four of UAA’s 18 steals on a night when her streak of six straight 20-point efforts came to an end. The reigning USBWA National Player of the Week added a pair of assists and committed no turnovers.
Eight of the 10 active Seawolves scored at least five points, including eight points apiece from junior forward Shelby Cloninger and sophomore guard Tara Thompson. Senior forward Alysha Devine propelled the early surge with seven points, six rebounds and two steals, while sophomore forward Hannah Wandersee had six points and six rebounds.
Freshman point guard Yazmeen Goo – healthy again after a missing three of the last four contests – collected six assists, two steals and no turnovers in 18 minutes off the bench, helping UAA’s reserves to a 31-6 scoring advantage.
The defensive effort tied for the 14th-fewest points allowed by a Seawolf club and the 5th-fewest against a fellow Div. II opponent. UAA’s only stingier performance in a GNAC game came in a 78-29 win over Alaska Fairbanks, Dec. 3, 2011.
Still holding just a half-game lead over 17th-ranked Western Washington for the GNAC lead, UAA hosts its final regular season contest Saturday at 5 p.m. against regionally ranked Seattle Pacific (17-8, 9-8). Prior to the game, the Seawolves will honor their four departing players in ‘senior night’ ceremonies.
Call 907-786-1562 to order Seawolf tickets, or visit GoSeawolves.com for more information.