THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
Sat., Dec. 9 — 7:30 pm AST — Patty Center — Fairbanks, AK
#2 Alaska Anchorage (8-0, 2-0 GNAC)
at Alaska Fairbanks (2-4, 0-2 GNAC)
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: GNAC.tv (free)
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (8.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.1 spg, .516 FG, .756 FT)
G—Kaitlyn Hurley, 5-8, Sr. (6.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg, .355 3FG, 8-8 FT)
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (6.1 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 3.8 spg)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (12.4 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 1.3 apg, .493 FG, .464 3FG, .842 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (17.1 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.8 bpg, .578 FG, .857 FT)
KNOW THE FOE: Alaska Fairbanks has scored its victories over Hawaii-Hilo (56-50) at home and vs Holy Names (73-29) in the Seawolf Hoops Classic at the Alaska Airlines Center on Nov. 18 ... the Nanooks started the GNAC slate with home losses to NW Nazarene (99-57) and Central Washington (81-72) last week ... UAF is led by Lexi Carpenter (15.5 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.5 spg, .400 3FG) and Marian Wamsley (7.8 ppg, 5.5 rpg, .444 FG).
ALL-TIME vs UAF: UAA leads 66-30 overall, 41-6 in Anchorage
Last Meeting: UAA 89-48 (1/24/17 at UAA)
Streak: UAA 20 / Notes: UAA’s current win streak is the longest in the series and the Seawolves’ 2nd-longest against any program, trailing only the current 27-game streak vs. Western Oregon … UAF’s last win was an 85-83 overtime decision, Jan. 27, 2007 in Fairbanks … the Seawolves have won 10 straight in Fairbanks and 12 straight in Anchorage ... UAA has won 19 of the last 20 meetings by double digits and the last nine home games by at least 20 points ... UAA leads 25-7 in GNAC meetings (since 2001-02) and 10-0 under Ryan McCarthy … teams have played at least twice per season since 1979-80.
’WOLVES PASS OPENING GNAC TESTS: UAA extended its GNAC regular-season winning streak to 22 games and survived the opening weekend as one of just two unbeaten teams in league play by beating Central Washington and Northwest Nazarene at the Alaska Airlines Center last week ... on Thursday, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee had 17 points and 5 rebounds to lead a balanced effort in a 70-58 victory over the Wildcats ... Jr. G Tara Thompson scored a season-high 12 points (4-5 FG, 3-4 3FG) and dished 3 assists without a turnover, while So. PG Yazmeen Goo and Sr. G Rodericka Ware each tallied 8 points and 4 assists ... in Saturday’s showdown against NNU, the Seawolves got a career-high 27 points (12-17 FG) from Wandersee, and Goo powered a key 2nd-quarter run with 6 assists and a career-high 13 points (3-5 FG, 7-7 FT) in the 78-68 victory ... Sr. F Shelby Cloninger grabbed 8 rebounds and came one shy of her career high with 18 points, Jr. G Kian McNair had career highs of 6 rebounds and 6 assists, and Thompson contributed 5 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists – again without a turnover.
WINNING WAYS: UAA has won 36 straight regular-season games (including GNAC Tournament) against NCAA Div. II opponents since falling 67-66 to Simon Fraser in the 2015-16 home finale ... the Seawolves are also currently on program-best streaks of 23 consecutive road wins and 18 straight conference road wins ... UAA is a combined 63-3 – including 28-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last three-plus seasons ... at 105-7 (.938), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... the 2017-18 Seawolves are seeking the program’s 12th consecutive winning season and 11th NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years ... UAA has gone a combined 160-14 (.919) in the last 11 seasons on its home courts ... with a 4-0 mark thus far this season, UAA has won 40 straight regular-season, non-conference games against Div. II opponents, with the last loss coming in Ryan McCarthy’s Seawolf coaching debut, Nov. 9, 2012 (Colo. Mines).
NATIONAL NUMBERS: In addition to being one of 20 remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA Div. II (as of Monday), the Seawolves hold 12 top-50 national stats ranks ... UAA is 2nd in assists per game with 22.4 – barely trailing defending national champ and current No. 1-ranked Ashland (22.8 apg) – along with 5th in steals per game (15.0), 10th in turnover margin (+8.25), 12th in scoring margin (+23.5) and assist/turnover ratio (1.36), 14th in turnovers forced per game (24.8), 23rd in scoring offense (80.6 ppg) and 25th in FG% (.336) ... the Seawolves are attempting to lead the nation in steals for the fifth consecutive season.
WANDERSEE AWAKENING: A reserve in 66 of 71 career games before this year, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee has entered the starting 5 and delivered in a big way, ranking 3rd in the GNAC in scoring (17.1 ppg), leading the league in blocks (1.8 bpg), and ranking 2nd in FG% (.578) and 8th in FT% (.857) ... UAA’s leading rebounder with 6.8 rpg (11th in GNAC), 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 her then-career-high 24 points and career-high-tying 11 rebounds against Hawaii Pacific, and she has twice already equaled her career-best 4 assists ... her career-high 27-point effort against Northwest Nazarene marked her third career 20-plus game, and her 12 field goals against the Nighthawks was the most for a Seawolf since Autummn Williams tallied 14 at NNU last February ... Wandersee’s UAA career ranks already stand at 2nd in FT% (.841), 5th in FG% (.533), 11th in blocks per game (0.68), 12th in blocks (54, needs five more to reach top 10), and 14th in victories (75).
SURE-SHOT SHELBY: Sr. F Shelby Cloninger has proven GNAC coaches correct so far as a GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick, standing as UAA’s 2nd-leading scorer (12.4 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg) ... with five double-figure scoring efforts in the first eight games -- including a career-high 19 points against Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore -- she holds GNAC ranks of 13th in scoring, 16th in rebounding, 10th in FG% (.493), 9th in FT% (.842), 7th in 3FG% (.464) and 15th in 3FGs per game (1.6) ... the Kamiah, Idaho, native also has five games with at least 7 rebounds this year, including 10 against Western State, 8 against NNU and 7 against Eastern Shore as she earned GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player and GNAC Player of the Week honors ... a transfer from North Idaho College after playing at Div. I Utah State, Cloninger averaged 8.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.2 spg in 17.6 minutes per contest in her first season at UAA in 2016-17.
TARA TERRIFIC: Another GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick, Jr. SG Tara Thompson has shaken off some early injury woes and showed off her solid all-around game last week with a season-high 12 points and 3 assists against Central Washington, plus 5 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists against Northwest Nazarene, while committing no turnovers ... 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, she has posted 5.7 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 2.5 apg and a team-best 2.5/1 assist/turnover ratio ... the former Dimond High star and led the GNAC in 3FG% last season and currently holds league ranks of 19th in assists per game (2.5) and 20th in 3FG% (.360) ... with a .397 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 6th in UAA and 12th in GNAC history, while her 123 total 3FGs rank 8th on the all-time Seawolf list.
GOO STUFF: Following one of the most productive rookie campaigns for a point guard in program history, So. PG Yazmeen Goo has blossomed into a scoring threat as well, tying or setting her career high in four of the last seven games -- including 11 points against Western State and 13 against Northwest Nazarene -- and ranking fourth on the team with 8.0 ppg ... the Bay Area native earned all-tournament honors at both the Seawolf Hoops Classic and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, while her 41 free throw attempts are nearly twice as many as her closest teammate and tied for 4th-most in the GNAC ... in the overall GNAC stats, Goo ranks 6th in assist-turnover ratio (2.1), 4th in steals per game (2.1), 5th in assists per game (4.0) and 20th in FT% (.756), while her .516 FG% (16 of 31) would rank 5th with if it met the minimum attempts ... 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 five of eight contests, posting 6.1 ppg, 2.6 rpg and a 15/7 A/T ratio, while shooting .355 3FG and 8-of-8 FTs ... the Utah native and Snow College transfer scored a season-high 16 points in the win over Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore, and she holds GNAC top-20 ranks in 3FGs per game (1.4) and blocks per game (0.6).
TRANSFER TRAIN’S A-CHUGGIN‘: UAA’s four active transfers have all made immediate impacts, with Sr. G Rodericka Ware (Academy of Art) and Jr. G Kian McNair (Portland State) standing out as all-tourney picks at the Seawolf Hoops Classic ... 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 five of seven games as a Seawolf and has at least three assists in every contest she has played, including 19 points, 5 assists and 5 steals against Holy Names ... Ware currently holds GNAC ranks of 2nd in steals (3.1 spg), 17th in scoring (12.1 ppg), 5th in assists (4.0 apg), 3rd in A/T ratio (2.3), 4th in 3FGs per game (2.3) and 14th in 3FG% (.390) ... meanwhile, 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) against Holy Names and 9 points (2-4 FG, 5-6 FT) against Western State, and has shown the ability to stuff the stat sheet, with other season highs of 6 rebounds vs. NNU and 6 assists against both NNU and Eastern Shore ... McNair also leads the GNAC and ranks 7th nationally with 3.5 steals per game, swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore ... junior-college transfers Sydni Stallworth (2-time 1st Team NJCAA All-American at Pima CC) and Rainey Kuykendall (from 2-time NJCAA national runner-up Trinity Valley CC) have provided a big lift off the bench as well ... Stallworth is 3rd on the team and 17th in the GNAC with 2.6 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 with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals ... Kuykendall (pronounced KIRK-en-dahl) has played some of the most productive minutes on the team thus far, delivered 10 points (3-6 FG, 4-4 FT), 9 rebounds and 4 blocks against HNU and Western State ... the Chicago native and Trinity Valley (Texas) CC transfer ranks 7th in the GNAC with 0.9 blocks per game, while she has shot 7 of 13 (.538) over the last four games and is a perfect 6 of 6 at the foul stripe for the year.
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 with 4.4 rpg and fifth in steals with 1.0 spg ... 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, while former East High star Tennae Voliva has posted season highs of 5 points and 3 rebounds thus far.
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 each of the past three campaigns ... 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 141-26 (.844) at UAA and 155-39 (.799) 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.
SHOOTOUT CHAMPS ... FOREVER: The Seawolves earned the program’s seventh GCI Great Alaska Shootout title in the 38th and final edition of the women’s basketball tournament against all Div. I competition, Nov. 21 & 23 at the Alaska Airlines Center ... UAA earned a 69-59 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in the opener as Sr. F Shelby Cloninger tallied a career-high 19 points (6-8 FG, 5-6 3FG, 2-2 FT), 7 rebounds and 2 steals, along with 16 points (4-7 3FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks from Sr. G Kaitlyn Hurley ... Fr. G Sala Langi added 9 points (3-4 FG) and Jr. G Kian McNair had 6 assists and 7 steals – the most for a Seawolf since the 2016-17 season opener – as the Seawolves racked up 14 swipes on 16 Hawk turnovers ... the title game against Tulsa was a discretionary exhibition (meaning the result counts for Tulsa but not UAA), but UAA fought hard nonetheless to earn a 59-53 victory behind 14 points, 7 rebounds and 2 assists from Jr. F/C Hannah Wandersee ... the Seawolves erased a 49-41 deficit with 6 minutes remaining thanks to 13 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer, from Cloninger, and clutch shooting from Sr. G Tara Thompson (11 points, 3-6 3FG) ... So. PG Yazmeen Goo had 6 points (6-8 FT), 4 assists, 4 steals and just one turnover as she and Wandersee earned all-tournament honors, while Cloninger was named the Shootout’s Most Outstanding Player.
SEAWOLVES AT THE SHOOTOUT: In 1990, the Seawolves became the first Div. II women’s team to win a tournament against all-Div. I competition, repeating their feat at the 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2017 Shootouts ... the first title came when the tournament included eight teams and was known as the Northern Lights Invitational; the subsequent championships came under a 4-team format …the Seawolves went 38-56 all-time in the tournament and 18-20 since it was reborn as the Shootout in 1999 ... the Seawolves own 38 regular-season wins against 34 different NCAA Div. I programs after beating Maryland Eastern Shore in this year’s Shootout.
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
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC co-Player of the Week, Nov. 6-12
Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team