THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
Thur., Feb. 15 — 7 pm AST — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Seattle Pacific (18-5, 12-4 GNAC) at #4 Alaska Anchorage (22-2, 15-1 GNAC)
Sat., Feb. 17 — 7 pm AST — Alaska Airlines Center — Anchorage, Alaska
Saint Martin’s (6-18, 2-14 GNAC [Thu. @UAF]) at #4 Alaska Anchorage
TV: Both games, live throughout Alaska on GCI Channel 907 (hd) and GCI Ch. 1 (sd)
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM / STATS: Both games at GNAC.tv or portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa
TICKETS: $10 at the door, online at alaskaairlinescenter.com, or by calling 907-786-1562 ... discounts apply for UAA staff/faculty, alumni, senior (60+), youth (3-18) and military ... groups of 10 or more can purchase in bulk for $6 per ticket ... UAA students free with valid WolfCard ... more information at GoSeawolves.com.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (8.0 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 4.2 apg, 3.0 spg, .459 FG, .698 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, Jr. (7.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.8 apg, .412 FG, .390 3FG)
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (6.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.5 apg, 2.8 spg, .672 FT)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (13.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 spg, .488 FG, .398 3FG, .882 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (14.3 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.4 apg, 1.3 bpg, .511 FG, .753 FT)
KNOW THE FOES: Regionally 6th-ranked Seattle Pacific has won nine of its last 11, including a 66-48 thumping of UAA in Seattle on Jan. 20 -- the Seawolves’ lone GNAC loss ... making a bid for the program’s first NCAA berth in three seasons, the Falcons are led by Sr. G Jordan McPhee (14.9 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, 2.2 spg, .766 FT) and Sr. F Courtney Hollander (12.4 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 2.3 apg, 1.0 spg, .375 3FG, .785 FT) ... Saint Martin’s has dropped six straight and 14 of its last 15 heading into Thursday’s game at UAF ... the Saints, from Lacey, Wash., are led by Fr. G/F Saniah Simpson-Patu (14.8 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.3 apg) and So. G Makenna Schultz (12.4 ppg, 1.8 apg, 1.0 spg, .316 3FG, .756 FT).
ALL-TIME vs SPU: SPU leads 35-28 overall
In Anchorage: UAA leads 19-13
Last: SPU 66-48 (1/20/18 at SPU)
Streak: SPU 1
Notes: SPU’s win in Seattle last month snapped an 11-game losing skid to UAA and was the Falcons’ largest margin of victory since Feb. 23, 2006 ... UAA’s 11-game streak was its longest against SPU and 4th-longest against any opponent ... UAA has won 14 of the last 16 overall, including 94-50 at home last year ... the teams have met 26 times since Jan. 2008, including three times in the NCAA Division II West Regionals and twice in the GNAC Tournament … SPU leads 19-14 in GNAC regular-season meetings (since 2001-02), taking the first 11 encounters … UAA leads 11-1 under head coach Ryan McCarthy ... SPU is UAA’s 2nd-most common opponent, squaring off at least once per season since 1990-91 … series started in 1979-80.
ALL-TIME vs SMU: UAA leads 28-15 overall
In Anchorage: UAA leads 15-6
Last: UAA 76-57 (1/18/18 at SMU)
Streak: UAA 7
Notes: UAA has swept four of the last five regular-season series and won 18 of the last 22 games overall ... UAA’s 7-game winning streak is its longest against SMU ... UAA has won three straight in Anchorage, including 76-57 last year ... SMU’s last series win came by a 58-48 count in the 2014 GNAC Tournament quarterfinals in Lacey ... UAA leads 20-12 in GNAC regular-season meetings and 9-3 under Ryan McCarthy … teams have played at least once per season since 1997-98 ... first meeting was a 74-67 SMU win in Tacoma, Dec. 4, 1992.
LAST TIME VS. SMU, SPU: The Seawolves extended their bevy of GNAC winning streaks with a 76-57 victory over Saint Martin’s on Jan. 18 in Lacey, Wash., before succumbing to a red-hot Seattle Pacific club, 66-48, on Jan. 20 in Seattle ... in the first game, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee had 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds, teaming with So. PG Yazmeen Goo to lead then-No. 4 UAA to its eighth straight win at Marcus Pavilion (including GNAC tourneys) ... Goo finished with a career-high 15 points, plus 5 assists and 5 steals, to spark the Seawolves in the 3rd quarter, while Sr. G Kaitlyn Hurley tallied 15 points (5-11 3FG) ... two days later, UAA suffered its most lopsided loss in five years, falling to the Falcons despite 13 points and 9 rebounds from Sr. F Shelby Cloninger, who returned the lineup from a 3-game injury absence ... UAA also got 12 points from Wandersee as it dropped a GNAC regular-season or tournament game for the first time since a 67-66 loss to Simon Fraser on Feb. 27, 2016 at the Alaska Airlines Center ... the Seawolves shot just 26.4 percent and were outrebounded 46-30 as they saw a 23-game GNAC road winning streak halted, while the 18-point margin marked UAA’s worst setback of any kind since a 76-49 home loss to Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 17, 2013.
SEAWOLVES SURVIVE OREGON TRAIL: UAA was pushed to the limit by Concordia-Portland and Western Oregon before pulling off a pair of road wins last week in the Beaver State ... on Thursday, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee had 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks, and Sr. F Shelby Cloninger scored 12 of her 15 points in the 2nd quarter to pace a 73-69 overtime victory over the Cavs ... Sr. G Rodericka Ware added 10 points and a career-high rebounds, while So. PG Yazmeen Goo totaled 9 points, 8 assists, 4 steals and just 2 turnovers as UAA stayed unbeaten in six meetings against CU ... in Monmouth, Wandersee exploded for a career-high 32 points (11-19 FG, 10-13 FT) and grabbed 9 rebounds (6 offensive) to help the visitors overcome a 21-12 deficit and beat the Wolves for the program-record 29th consecutive time ... Goo had another solid effort with 13 points (5-6 FG), 4 assists, 4 steals and no turnovers, while Ware tallied double digits again with 11 points (3-7 3FG).
WINNING WAYS: The Seawolves’ loss at SPU on Jan. 20 snapped GNAC regular-season win streaks of 33 overall (including GNAC Tourney), 29 overall (not including GNAC Tourney) and 23 straight on the road ... UAA has won 18 consecutive GNAC home contests ... UAA is a combined 76-4 – including 35-2 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last four seasons ... at 119-9 (.930), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... the Seawolves have clinched the program’s 12th consecutive winning season and are seeking their 11th NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years ... UAA has gone a combined 166-14 (.922) in the last 11 seasons on its home courts ... the loss to Sonoma State snapped a 41-game winning streak against Div. II non-conference opponents in the regular season, marking the first such setback since Ryan McCarthy’s Seawolf coaching debut, Nov. 9, 2012, against Colorado Mines.
NIFTY NUMBERS: The Seawolves hold nine top-50 national stats ranks, including five top-20 marks ... UAA is 4th in steals per game (14.4), 5th in assists per game (19.3), 11th in turnover margin (+7.25), 13th in turnovers forced per game (23.0), 19th in assist/turnover ratio (1.22) and 25th scoring margin (+14.9) ... the Seawolves are attempting to lead the nation in steals for the fifth consecutive season, although they currently trail defending national champ Ashland (18.1) by a wide margin ... in the GNAC stats, UAA leads in six categories and ranks No. 2 in four others.
SURE-SHOT SHELBY: Sr. F Shelby Cloninger has proven GNAC coaches correct so far as a GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick, standing as UAA’s second-leading scorer (13.8 ppg) and leading rebounder (6.5 rpg) ... with 17 double-figure scoring efforts in her 20 appearances – including successive career highs of 19 points against Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore, 22 at UAF and 26 at Simon Fraser – she holds GNAC ranks of 10th in scoring and rebounding, 3rd in FT% (.882), 9th in FG% (.477), 6th in 3FG% (.398) and 11th in 3FGs per game (1.7) ... the Kamiah, Idaho, native also has 11 games with at least 7 rebounds this year, including 10 against MSU Billings and Western State, nine at Simon Fraser and at Seattle Pacific, and a career-high 12 at Western Washington ... in late November, Cloninger claimed GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player and GNAC Player of the Week honors after leading the Seawolves to the final tournament title, and she picked up the GNAC weekly award for Jan. 29-Feb. 4 for her effort in home wins over UAF and MSUB ... a transfer from North Idaho College after playing at Div. I Utah State, Cloninger holds UAA career ranks of 3rd in FT% (.824) and 11th in both 3FGs per game (1.3) and 3FG% (.357).
WANDERSEE WONDERFUL: A reserve in 66 of 71 career games before this year, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee has entered the starting 5 and delivered in a big way, ranking 7th in the GNAC in scoring (14.3 ppg), leading the league in blocks (1.3 bpg), and ranking 3rd in FG% (.511), 12th in rebounding (6.5 rpg) and 17th in FT% (.753) ... she collected GNAC co-Player of the Week for her efforts against Hawaii Pacific and Cal State LA, earned the Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player award the following week, and made the GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team – in November alone ... the Kodiak product had her first career double-double against a Div. II opponent with 24 points and 11 rebounds against Hawaii Pacific, grabbed her second (16 pts/career-high 13 rebs) in the win at Saint Martin’s, and just missed a third with 9 rebounds and a career-high 32 points in the 86-78 win at WOU ... along with a 27-point effort against Northwest Nazarene, she now has four career 20-plus games ... with more than a year to play, Wandersee already owns UAA career top-10 marks in FT% (7th, .795), (FG%, 7th, .515), blocks (6th, 72), blocks per game (9th, 0.76) and victories (t-9th, 89).
FEELIN’ GOO: Following one of the most productive rookie campaigns for a point guard in program history, So. PG Yazmeen Goo has blossomed into a scoring threat as well, tallying double figures in eight of the last 18 games – including successive career-highs of 11 points against Western State, 13 points against Northwest Nazarene, 14 at Western Washington and 15 at Saint Martin’s ... the Bay Area native earned all-tournament honors at both the Seawolf Hoops Classic and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, while her 81 free throws made are 8th-most in the GNAC ... Goo leads the league with 3.0 steals per game (15th nationally) and assist-turnover ratio (2.2, 25th nationally), and ranks 4th in assists per game (4.2) ... Goo and UAA have also gotten a boost with the return of Sr. SG Kaitlyn Hurley, who missed the second half of last season ... a dangerous scorer from anywhere on the court, Hurley has started eight of 24 contests, posting 5.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 1.6 apg, along with nine blocked shots ... the Utah native and Snow College transfer scored a season-high 16 points in the win over Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore, and she had a clutch performance in the win at Western Washington with 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG), no turnovers and no fouls in 19 minutes.
TNT IS DANGEROUS: Whether it’s her deadeye three-point stroke or her solid all-around game, Jr. G Tara (N.) Thompson has lived up to her GNAC Preseason All-Conference status, currently checking in as UAA’s 5th-leading scorer with 7.1 ppg ... the 2nd-leading scorer (8.9 ppg) on last year’s 30-win team and a bench contributor on UAA’s 2016 NCAA Runner-Up squad, Thompson ranks 7th in the GNAC with her .390 3FG% and 5th in 3FGs per game (1.9), boosted by an 8-of-12 effort in the win at Notre Dame de Namur and a school-record-tying 6-of-6 display at MSU Billings ... the former Dimond High star led the GNAC in 3FG% last season ... with a .397 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 6th in UAA history and 11th in GNAC history, while her 155 total 3FGs are also 6th on the all-time Seawolf list.
TRANSFER TRAIN’S A-CHUGGIN’: UAA’s three active transfers – Sr. G Rodericka Ware (Academy of Art), Jr. G Kian McNair (Portland State) and Jr. G Sydni Stallworth (2-time 1st Team NJCAA All-American at Pima CC) – have all made major impacts ... Ware began her career at Central Arizona College before earning First Team All-Pacific West Conference honors last year with Art U, posting 17.4 ppg, 4.0 apg and a league-leading 2.8 3FGs made per game ... the Lakewood, Wash., native has scored double figures in 10 of 22 games as a Seawolf and dished at least four assists in 10 contests, including 19 points, 5 assists and 5 steals against Holy Names, and 13 points and 6 assists at MSU Billings ... UAA’s 3rd-leading scorer (9.4 ppg), Ware currently holds GNAC ranks of 4th in steals (2.2 spg), 11th in assists (2.8 apg), 10th in 3FGs per game (1.7) and 15th in 3FG% (.346) ... McNair led Portland State with 11.3 ppg as a freshman and recorded 18 double-digit scoring efforts in 57 career games with the Vikings ... the Vallejo, Calif., product found her scoring touch with season highs of 14 points (6-12 FG) at UAF in early December and 15 points (3-3 3FG, 6-6 FT) against Western Oregon ... McNair has shown the ability to stuff the stat sheet, with other season highs of 7 rebounds vs. MSUB and 6 assists against both NNU and Eastern Shore ... McNair is 2nd in the GNAC and ranks 24th nationally with 2.8 steals per game, swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore, and she is 14th in the league with 2.5 assists per game ... Stallworth has also provided a big lift off the bench, ranking as UAA’s 8th-leading scorer (5.5 ppg) ... with 2.4 apg (16th in GNAC), the Tucson, Ariz., native is one of five Seawolves averaging more than 2.0 apg – dishing a season-high 6 assists against Holy Names – and she keyed UAA’s 4th-quarter run in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout title-game win over Tulsa with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
FEELIN’ FRESH: The future looks bright as UAA’s three true freshmen are already making early contributions, including Pacifica, Calif., product Sala Langi, who ranks third on the team and leads all GNAC freshmen with 4.0 rebounds per game ... former Chugiak High all-state guard Nicole Pinckney tallied 12 points in the Seawolf Hoops Classic and was a key player in UAA’s GCI Great Alaska Shootout title run, and lately she has played a big role in GNAC wins over Western Oregon and UAF (9 pts in each game) and Simon Fraser (combined for 9 assists in the two wins) ... meanwhile, former East High star Tennae Voliva has posted season highs of 7 points and 5 rebounds thus far, along with a clutch efforts in both wins over MSU Billings.
McCARTHY IN CHARGE: Now in his sixth season at UAA and seventh overall as a head coach, Ryan McCarthy has led the Seawolf program to new heights, capturing three straight GNAC regular-season and tournament titles and ascending as high as No. 1 or No. 2 in the national rankings in every season since 2014-15 ... McCarthy earned his second GNAC Coach of the Year honor in the last three seasons in 2016-17 and ‘three-peated’ as the WBCA’s NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year ... in 2016-17, the Anchorage native took UAA to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year (including three straight top-2 regional seeds), posting its second straight 30-win season (30-2) and recording the first 20-0 league record in GNAC history ... the previous season, McCarthy’s crew set an NCAA Div. II record with 38 victories, advancing all the way to the 2016 National Title Game in Indianapolis ... his 2014-15 club claimed what was then the best winning percentage in program history with a 29-2 (.935) mark, sweeping both GNAC titles as well ... McCarthy has led UAA to an improvement in overall wins (17, 19, 29, 38) his first four seasons and has increased the Seawolves’ GNAC victory total every year (11, 12, 17, 18, 20) … playing its up-tempo ‘Mayhem’ style, McCarthy’s 2016-17 crew has also led the nation in steals per game for four straight seasons ... McCarthy sports a head-coaching record of 155-28 (.847) at UAA and 169-41 (.805) overall, having served in an interim capacity at Northwest Nazarene in 2011-12 … McCarthy is assisted by 6th-year associate head coach Shaina Afoa, 1st-year assistant and former Seawolf standout Alysha Devine, and 4th-year volunteer assistant Patrick Flanigin.
2017-18 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Player of the Game vs Md. Eastern Shore
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player
GNAC Player of the Week, Nov. 20-26
GNAC Player of the Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 4
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC co-Player of the Week, Nov. 6-12
Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team