ANCHORAGE – Seniors Hannah Wandersee and Kian McNair scored 14 points apiece Saturday to help the 6th-ranked Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team fend off Hawaii Pacific for a 65-54 victory in the D-II Coast to Coast Classic at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (6-0) also got 12 points off the bench from junior guard Safiyyah Yasin as they remained unbeaten in nine all-time meetings against the visitors from Honolulu.
The Sharks (1-4) were led by 12 points, eight rebounds and three steals from senior guard Samantha Lambrigtsen and seven assists from forward Alysha Marcucci, who both played the entire 40 minutes.
“Our shots were not falling from outside, but we kept being aggressive and getting to the foul line, and that made the difference in a game like this,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy. “Our seniors stepped up big for us again, but there were also a lot of unsung contributions up and down our lineup, especially Safiyyah with her scoring and Kimani Fernandez-Roy with her rebounding off the bench.”
UAA dominated the first 15 minutes, pulling ahead 30-14 as the Sharks shot just 1 of 10 to begin the game. The Seawolves would go nearly eight minutes without scoring, however, allowing the HPU to draw within 30-25 before senior guard Tara Thompson tallied four straight points.
The Seawolves led 40-34 after three quarters and had to repel several HPU runs in the final 10 minutes.
Leading 53-49 with just over four minutes remaining, Yasin drove to the basket and drew a foul, making both free throws. McNair then pick-pocketed HPU’s Amy Baum in the backcourt and missed her layup, but Yasin was there for the putback at the 3:49 mark. McNair added the clincher with a traditional three-point play to make it 60-49 with 1:19 on the clock.
Wandersee shot 7 of 9 from the floor and added four rebounds and two steals as she was named the Coast to Coast Classic’s Most Outstanding Player, while McNair and Thompson joined her on the all-tournament team.
Thompson finished with eight points, six rebounds and no turnovers, and McNair came up with four assists and two steals. Fernandez-Roy provided a big lift as well, with the freshman earning six points on 3-of-3 shooting and six rebounds.
The Seawolves won despite shooting just 1 of 14 from the three-point line, making 21 of their 39 attempts inside the arc and 20 of 23 free throws for a season-high 87 percent. The Sharks shot just 1 of 20 on three-pointers and only made 13 trips to the line, making seven.
UAA begins the Great Northwest Athletic Conference schedule next week as the four-time defending regular-season champions play at Central Washington (Thur., Nov. 29, 6 p.m. AST) and at nationally ranked Northwest Nazarene (Sat., Dec. 1, 5 p.m. AST). Both games can be seen live on gnac.tv.
2018 DII Coast to Coast Classic All-Tournament Team
Tayler Drynan, Simon Fraser
Kailyn Ebb, Florida Tech
Kian McNair, Alaska Anchorage
Sophie Swant, Simon Fraser
Tara Thompson, Alaska Anchorage
Most Outstanding Player: Hannah Wandersee, Alaska Anchorage
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