ANCHORAGE – Senior Alysa Horn scored 16 points and freshman Jenna Buchanan sparked a huge second-half surge Tuesday to help the Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team to an 82-40 victory over Eastern New Mexico in the AT&T Hoops Classic at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex.
The Seawolves (6-2) also got 14 points, nine assists and four steals from senior point guard Sasha King as they won their third straight.
The Zias (0-10) got 12 points and eight rebounds from forward Jasmine Johnson but could not capitalize on a strong finish to the first half.
UAA’s win sets up Wednesday’s 7 p.m. game against Cal State Los Angeles as essentially the title tilt in the four-team, round-robin event. CSULA beat BYU-Hawaii 77-56 in Tuesday’s early matchup.
After jumping to a 23-11 lead just eight minutes into the game, the Seawolves’ offense went stagnant, and the visitors from the Lone Star Conference pulled within 28-24. But freshman guard Alyssa Hutchins banked in a 28-foot, straightaway three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to make it 34-26, and UAA carried its momentum into the second half.
Buchanan scored 14 of her 15 points and grabbed all five of her steals after the break as UAA outscored ENMU 48-14 over the final 20 minutes. The guard from Galena shot 6 of 8 from the field – with her only misses from three-point range – and tallied seven rebounds and a pair of blocks to earn AT&T Player of the Game honors.
Meanwhile, Horn shot 5 of 9 from the field and grabbed a game-high 9 rebounds to narrowly miss her second double-double of the year. The 5th-year senior from Kodiak also blocked a career-high five shots, along with three assists and three steals.
Another 5th-year senior, Jordan Martin, reached double figures for the third straight game, scoring 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including 2 of 3 from long range.
UAA’s 40 points allowed, 28.6 percent field-goal defense, nine blocks and 31 forced turnovers were all season-highs.
ENMU closes its portion of the AT&T Hoops Classic when it takes on BYU-Hawaii at 5 p.m. Wednesday.
NOTES: Horn’s five blocks were the most for a Seawolf since former All-American Rebecca Kielpinski swatted six against UC San Diego in the NCAA Tournament 2nd Round on Mar. 14, 2009 … sophomore guard Alli Madison tallied her career-high for the second straight night with eight points … the 14 points allowed in the second half matched the 9th-fewest ever allowed in that stanza by a Seawolf team … the Seawolves are now 8-0 all-time in the AT&T Hoops Classic, with each win coming by at least 14 points … UAA now leads 4-3 all-time against ENMU, with all seven meetings coming in Anchorage.