The Clan (26-7) got 10 points and 10 rebounds from Fradgley, plus 14 points and six assists from senior point guard Ellen Kett as they advanced to Monday’s 7 p.m. ADT regional final against 2nd-seeded and nationally 3rd-ranked Cal Baptist (33-2).
Coming in unbeaten in 30 games against fellow Div. II opponents, the Seawolves (30-2) were led by 18 points and five rebounds from Great Northwest Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year Autummn Williams as their school-record 26-game winning streak came to an end.
Having beaten SFU twice during the regular season, the Seawolves used an early 13-0 run to claim a 17-8 advantage and led 35-27 at halftime. The third quarter was a different story, however, as the Clan made 10 of 14 field goals, including 4 of 6 three-pointers, to outscore the Seawolves 27-7.
Kett hit a three-pointer to give her team a 14-point lead early in the fourth quarter, and the hosts could only pull within 59-53 with 5:32 remaining.
“To be where we were on the first day of classes in the fall and have the season that we did, I’ve got nothing but pride for these ladies,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy. “We replaced seven seniors from a team that came within six points of winning a national title last year, and we wound up winning 30 straight games against D-II opponents, so that’s no small accomplishment. This is March and upsets are what makes this time of year so special – it’s just tough when it happens to your team.”
The defending West Region champions and 2016 NCAA Div. II national runners-up, the Seawolves suffered just their seventh loss in the last two seasons, with two of those defeats coming against the Clan.
UAA also got 16 points from junior forward Shelby Cloninger, plus 14 points, seven rebounds and a career-high five blocks from sophomore forward Hannah Wandersee. Point guard Kiki Robertson – UAA’s and the GNAC’s all-time victories leader with 116 in her four seasons – finished with six points, seven assists and four steals, while fellow senior Alysha Devine concluded her career with seven points and five rebounds.
NOTES: The Seawolves finished with at least 30 wins for the second consecutive season and the third time in program history … already the GNAC and UAA all-time leader in assists and steals, Robertson finished her career No. 18 on the all-time NCAA Div. II list with exactly 700 assists, while her 382 steals wound up just nine shy of the top 25 … Williams completed her season with a UAA school-record 682 total points, plus a UAA and GNAC single-season record of 258 field goals made … Robertson finished with two Seawolf single-season records as well, breaking her own mark with 109 total steals, and breaking Nikki Aden’s free-throw percentage record (.862 in 2009-10) with a final mark of .874 … Wandersee’s five blocks were two more than her previous career high and the most for a Seawolf this season … in addition to Robertson, Devine and Williams, the Seawolves lose graduating junior forward Sierra Afoa for next year’s roster.