ROHNERT PARK, Calif. – Senior guard Rodericka Ware led a late comeback attempt with 16 points but it was not enough Tuesday as the nationally 2nd-ranked Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team suffered its first loss of the season, 68-58 to Sonoma State at the Wolves’ Den.
UAA (10-1) also got 10 points and seven rebounds from senior forward Shelby Cloninger as the Seawolves saw a bevy of winning streak come to a halt, including 25 consecutive road victories.
Guard Carly Gill shot 11 of 12 from the free-throw line to lead Sonoma State (4-5) with 16 points, while forward Ugochi Anudokem had 14 points on 6-of-10 shooting and a game-high eight rebounds. The hosts from the California Collegiate Athletic Association outshot UAA .477 to .327 and dominated the rebounding battle, 40-23.
“Sonoma State played a terrific game and deserves all the credit. That is a huge win for their program,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose team had won 38 straight regular-season games against Div. II opponents since falling in its 2015-16 regular-season finale. “At the same time, I’m extremely disappointed in both our effort and our execution. We seem to be lacking concentration and making mental mistakes that are leading to missed chances and easy buckets for our opponents. We will have to regroup quickly after the break with two critical GNAC games coming up.”
The three-time defending Great Northwest Athletic Conference champions jumped to a 5-0 lead but could not take control after that. Sonoma State nailed five of its first six three-point tries and went up 33-16 on Sam Erisman’s trey with 3:58 left in the second quarter.
UAA trailed 58-40 with 4 minutes remaining before rallying late. Ware scored 12 points in a 2-minute, 7-second span to pull the visitors within 64-58 with 45 seconds left, but Gill closed it out with four straight free throws for Sonoma State.
Now finished with non-conference play, the Seawolves return to GNAC action Dec. 29 at Simon Fraser and Dec. 31 at Western Washington. Both games can be seen live on GNAC.tv.
NOTES: The Seawolves suffered their first regular-season setback to an NCAA Div. II non-conference opponent since an 80-74 home loss to Colorado Mines in McCarthy’s first game as head coach, Nov. 9, 2012 – snapping a 39-game winning streak … UAA’s last road loss was a 71-62 decision at Western Washington on Dec. 5, 2015 … UAA’s last regular-season loss to a Div. II opponent came by a 67-66 score against Simon Fraser, Feb. 27, 2016 … the Seawolves had not lost a regular-season road game against a Div. II opponent since falling 53-51 at Stanislaus State on Dec. 30, 1998, snapping a streak of 17 such wins.