ELLENSBURG, Wash. – Hannah Wandersee had 17 points and eight rebounds and fellow senior Kian McNair added 16 points and six assists Thursday to power 4th-ranked Alaska Anchorage to a 74-60 women’s basketball victory over Central Washington at Nicholson Pavilion.
The Seawolves (7-0, 1-0 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 13 points on 6-of-9 shooting and four rebounds from sophomore forward Sala Langi as they outrebounded the hosts 39-32 and outscored them 24-5 on points off turnovers.
The Wildcats (5-1, 0-1) were led by 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting from guard Alexis Pana, but they were not able to capitalize on a hefty field-goal shooting advantage of .532 to .412.
“We did a great job defending the glass and not giving them many chances when they did miss,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose squad is aiming for its fifth straight GNAC regular-season crown. “We came in here pretty banged up, but our upperclassmen did a terrific job of controlling the pace and staying within the flow of our offense.”
McNair was especially effective at both ends of the court, matching her career-high scoring effort and adding three steals, most importantly a pickpocket of Pana and ensuing breakaway layup of Pana that made it a 64-57 lead with 6:35 left in the game.
Wandersee followed with back-to-back layups, and junior guard Safiyyah Yasin swished a pair of free throws to continue the clinching surge as UAA outscored the Wildcats 17-6 in the final period.
Yasin fininshed with 10 points and three steals, and senior guard Tara Thompson notched five points and a career-high seven assists to help UAA to its 12th straight victory over CWU.
The Seawolves are back in action Saturday when they face nationally 15th-ranked and defending GNAC regular-season co-champion Northwest Nazarene (7-0, 1-0) at 5 p.m. AST in Nampa, Idaho. That game will be available live online at gnact.tv.
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