THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
NCAA Div. II West Regional Women’s Basketball Championships
Mar. 9-12 — Felix Event Center — Azusa, Calif.
(All times listed as Alaska Standard/Daylight Time)
Friday, Mar. 9 – Quarterfinals
11 am: #6 Seattle Pacific (23-7) vs #3 UC San Diego (27-4)
1:30 pm: #7 Montana State Billings (22-11) vs #2 Hawaii Pacific (26-3)
4 pm: #5 Alaska Anchorage (25-4) vs #4 Northwest Nazarene (22-4)
6:30 pm: #8 Humboldt State (18-12) vs #1 Azusa Pacific (27-4)
Saturday, Mar. 10 – Semifinals
4 pm: SPU/UCSD winner vs MSUB/HPU winner
6:30 pm: UAA/NNU winner vs HSU/APU winner
Monday, Mar. 12 – Championship Game
6 pm: Semifinal winners
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: All games at portal.stretchinternet.com/apu
SOCIAL MEDIA: Check the @UAAWBB Twitter feed for in-game updates.
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (8.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.3 apg, 3.1 spg, .468 FG, .696 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, Jr. (6.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, .379 3FG, 24.0 mpg)
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (6.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 2.8 spg, .676 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (14.5 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.6 bpg, .520 FG, .763 FT)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (13.0 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.2 spg, .471 FG, .402 3FG, .873 FT)
or—Sala Langi, 5-9, Fr. (5.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.1 spg, .390 FG, .684 FT)
NCAA ELITE EIGHT ON THE LINE: The winner of the NCAA West Regional Championships will advance, along with the winners from the other seven NCAA Div. II regions, to battle for the national title in the Elite Eight in Sioux Falls, S.D., Mar. 19-23.
KNOW THE FOE: GNAC regular-season co-champions alongside UAA, Northwest Nazarene had its 13-game winning streak halted with a 76-69 upset loss to eventual champ MSU Billings in last week’s GNAC Tournament semifinals in Anchorage ... the Nighthawks, from Nampa, Idaho, are led by 1st Team All-GNAC Sr. G Lexi Tubbs (16.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, .453 3FG, .783 FT) and Jr. F Danielle Jardine (11.4 ppg, 5.2 rpg, GNAC-best .596 FG, .802 FT) ... should the Seawolves advance, they would face either Pac West Conference regular-season co-champion Azusa Pacific or CCAA Tournament champion Humboldt State in Saturday’s late regional semifinal round.
ALL-TIME vs Northwest Nazarene: UAA leads 23-15
Neutral Courts: Tied 1-1
Last: NNU 104-78 (2/22/18 at NNU)
Streak: NNU 1
Notes: First and only NCAA Tournament meeting was also a first-round contest, with UAA prevailing 64-54 in Seattle on Mar. 13, 2009, on its way to the NCAA Semifinals that year ... teams have met three times in postseason (once in NCAA Tourney, twice in GNAC Tourney) ... UAA leads 21-13 in GNAC regular-season meetings (since 2001-02) and 8-5 under head coach Ryan McCarthy … series started in 2000-01 when both teams were in the Pacific West Conference.
ALL-TIME vs Azusa Pacific: Never met
ALL-TIME vs Humboldt State: Tied 8-8
Neutral Courts: Never met
Last: HSU 60-51 (3/4/06 at HSU)
Streak: HSU 4
Notes: Teams have not played since HSU left the GNAC for the California Collegiate Athletic Association after the 2005-06 season ... teams played 10 teams as GNAC foes, with HSU leading 7-3 ... UAA’s last series wins was a 66-40 decision, Mar. 6, 2004 in Arcata ... teams have never played in postseason ... first meeting was an 85-66 UAA win, Dec. 21, 1991 in Arcata.
SEAWOLF NCAA HISTORY: The Seawolves are making their 17th overall NCAA Tournament trip (’86, ’88, ’89, ’92, ’94, ’00, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ‘12, ’14, ’15, ‘16, ‘17, ’18) and currently stand 22-16 all-time in NCAA games … UAA is 16-6 in West Region play since 2007, suffering four of those losses to No. 1 seeds (and eventual regional champions) on their home courts (Cal Poly Pomona, ’11 & ’14; Seattle Pacific, ’10; UCSD, ’07) … the Seawolves have won four regional titles (2008, 2009, 2012, 2016) ... UAA made its first appearance in the NCAA Div. II national title game in 2016 after bowing out in the national semifinals in 2008 and 2009 ... UAA improved to 10-6 in NCAA openers with its win over Hawaii Pacific last year ... the Seawolves are 5-8 all-time in the Round of 32 – where they were upset 80-70 by Simon Fraser last season – and 4-1 in the Sweet 16 (regional finals).
THIS YEAR VS. NNU: Each team held serve on its home court this year with double-digit victories ... in just the second game of the league season back on Dec. 2, UAA topped the Nighthawks 78-68 in Anchorage behind a then-career-high 27 points (12-17 FG) from Jr. F Hannah Wandersee ... So. PG Yazmeen Goo powered a key 2nd-quarter run with 6 assists and a then-career-high 13 points (3-5 FG, 7-7 FT), while Sr. F Shelby Cloninger tallied 18 points and 18 rebounds ... Jr. G Kian McNair had career highs of 6 rebounds and 6 assists, and Jr. G Tara Thompson contributed 5 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists without a turnover ... in the rematch two weeks ago in Idaho, NNU took control early in the second half and coasted to a 104-78 win behind .593 (16 of 27) 3FG shooting ... Cloninger led UAA with 17 points and 7 rebounds, while Wandersee added 13 points and 5 rebounds ... the game marked UAA’s first 20-point setback since a 76-49 home loss to NNU on Jan. 17, 2013, and it was the first time since Dec. 6, 2001 – a span of 509 games – that a Seawolf opponent reached 100 points.
WINNING WAYS: UAA joined Seattle Pacific this year as the only programs to win at least a share of four straight GNAC regular-season titles ... the Seawolves have won five of the eight GNAC Tournament titles since the event started in 2011 ... the Seawolves have won at least 25 games for the program-record fourth straight season and at least 20 games for the 14th time overall ... UAA is a combined 79-6 – including 36-3 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last four seasons ... at 122-11 (.917), the Seawolves have the second-most victories and second-best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15, trailing only defending champion Ashland (124-11, .919) ... the Seawolves have clinched the program’s 12th consecutive winning season and earned their 11th NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years ... the 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 20 consecutive GNAC regular-season home contests, posting perfect 10-0 marks the last two seasons ... UAA has gone a combined 168-15 (.918) 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.
MORE NIFTY NUMBERS: The Seawolves hold nine top-50 national stats ranks, including six top-25 marks ... UAA is 5th in assists per game (19.2), 5th in steals per game (14.2), 10th in turnover margin (+6.9), 11th in turnovers forced per game (22.7), 18th in assist/turnover ratio (1.21) and 23rd in scoring offense (76.9) ... this year will end a streak of four years that UAA led NCAA Div. II in steals per game ... in the GNAC stats, UAA leads in six categories and ranks No. 2 in four others.
WANDERSEE WONDERFUL: A reserve in 66 of 71 career games before this year, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee entered the starting 5 and delivered in a big way, earning unanimous First Team All-GNAC honors ... Wandersee leads the GNAC and ranks 44th nationally with 1.6 blocks per game, plus other league ranks of 4th in scoring (14.5 ppg), 3rd in FG% (.520), 8th in rebounding (6.3 rpg) and 16th in FT% (.763) ... 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 ... including a 27-point effort in the home win over Northwest Nazarene, she now has six career 20-plus games ... with more than a year to play, Wandersee already owns UAA career top-10 marks in FT% (7th, .798), (FG%, 6th, .519), blocks (6th, 85), blocks per game (7th, 0.85) and victories (9th, 92).
SURE-SHOT SHELBY: Sr. F Shelby Cloninger captured Second Team All-GNAC honors last week as UAA’s second-leading scorer (13.0 ppg) and rebounder (6.3 rpg) ... with 19 double-figure scoring efforts in her 26 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 12th in scoring, 11th in rebounding, 3rd in FT% (.873), 12th in FG% (.471), 4th in 3FG% (.402) and 10th in 3FGs per game (1.7) ... the Kamiah, Idaho, native also has 13 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% (.821), 11th in 3FGs per game (1.3), 12th in 3FG% (.363) and 17th in 3FGs made (78).
FEELIN’ GOO: In her first year as a starter after playing understudy to GNAC all-time steals and assists leader Kiki Robertson, So. PG Yazmeen Goo has made a name for herself as well, earning an Honorable Mention All-GNAC nod ... along with national top-75 stats in steals, assists and A/T ratio, Goo has blossomed into a scoring threat, tallying double figures in 10 of the last 23 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, and she leads the Seawolves with 94 free throws made ... Goo leads the GNAC in 3.1 steals per game (13th nationally) and assist-turnover ratio (2.05, 35th nationally), and ranks 5th in assists per game (4.3) ... 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 nine contests, posting 5.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.6 apg, along with 10 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 been one of the most effective contributors to UAA’s run of success, ranking 10th in program history with 90 victories and currently checking in as UAA’s 6th-leading scorer with 64 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 8th in the GNAC in 3FG% (.379) and 12th in 3FGs per game (1.6), 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 .394 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 7th in UAA history and top 15 in GNAC history, while her 158 total 3FGs are also 6th on the all-time Seawolf list and just six shy of the No. 5 spot.
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 significant 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 11 of 27 games as a Seawolf and dished at least four assists in 11 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 (8.9 ppg), Ware currently holds GNAC ranks of 4th in steals (2.0 spg), 11th in assists (2.7 apg), 14th in 3FGs per game (1.6) and 15th in 3FG% (.352) ... 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, 15 points (3-3 3FG, 6-6 FT) against Western Oregon in January, and 16 points (6-10 FG) in the win over SPU ... 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 23rd nationally with 2.8 steals per game, swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore, and she is 19th in the league with 2.3 assists per game ... Stallworth has also provided a big lift off the bench, ranking as UAA’s 8th-leading scorer (5.6 ppg) ... with 2.3 apg (17th 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 is second among GNAC freshmen with 4.2 rebounds per game ... Langi has come on especially strong in the last two weeks, tallying successive career highs of 10 points at NNU, 13 points at CWU and 14 points against SPU in the GNAC Tournament ... 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 7 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 158-30 (.840) at UAA and 172-43 (.800) 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
Second Team All-GNAC
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
Honorable Mention All-GNAC
GNAC Coach of the Year
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
GNAC co-Player of the Week, Nov. 6-12
Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player
First Team All-GNAC (unanimous)
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team