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UAA Women's Basketball Dec. 19 & 20
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Tijera Mathews and the Seawolves used a historic comeback against SPU to reach Saturday's GNAC finals.
Courtesy: Michael Dinneen / UAA Athletics

Women's title on the line in Bellingham

Courtesy: UAA Media Relations
Release: 03/04/2011
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THIS WEEK IN SEAWOLF WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...

2011 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament
(All times AST)
Monday, Feb. 28 — First Round
#1 Western Washington 73, #8 Simon Fraser 60
#2 Alaska Anchorage 64, #7 Northwest Nazarene 50
#3 Seattle Pacific 81, #6 Western Oregon 45
#4 Montana State Billings 55, #5 Saint Martin’s 53
Wednesday, Mar. 2 — Semifinals
#2 Alaska Anchorage 68, #3 Seattle Pacific 66
#1 Western Washington 76, #4 Montana State Billings 49
Saturday, Mar. 5 — Championship game
#2 Alaska Anchorage (25-6, 14-4) at #1 Western Washington (26-2, 17-1), 6 pm

RADIO: Live on FM-93.7 KAFC via the Alaska Sports Broadcasting Network.

ONLINE VIDEO: Click on the Calendar tab at GoSeawolves.com homepage to access for free.

ONLINE AUDIO: Online audio for select UAA women’s games — including the WWU game — is available at GoSeawolves.com in the ‘SplashZone’ (subscription fee applies).

LIVE STATS: Link directly at GoSeawolves.com on the Calendar tab or go to WWUVikings.com.

UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2010-11 stats)
G—Kaitlin McBride , 5-8, Sr. (9.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.6 spg, .398 FG, .806 FT)
G—Nikki Aden , 5-9, Sr. (10.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 1.7 apg, 2.0 spg, .405 FG, .761 FT, 30.5 mpg)
F—Tijera Mathews , 5-10, Jr. (5.6 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 1.3 spg, .314 3FG, .711 FT)
F—Alysa Horn , 6-0, So. (11.5 ppg, 6.2 rpg, 0.9 apg, 1.3 spg, .432 FG, .362 3FG, .736 FT)
C—Hanna Johansson , 6-2, Jr. (13.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 2.0 apg, .510 FG, .648 FT)

WHAT’S AT STAKE: In addition the GNAC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, both teams are fighting for playoff seeding … UAA is looking to improve on its current No. 6 standing in the regional poll, while WWU is trying to earn the No. 1 seed — and the all-important home-court advantage that comes with it — for the Mar. 11-14 NCAA West Regional Championships … WWU had been ranked No. 1 in the region before being eclipsed by Cal State-Monterey Bay on Wednesday; CSUMB plays in the semifinals of its own conference tourney on Friday, with the CCAA final set for Saturday.

SCOUTING THE VIKINGS: Regular-season GNAC champion Western Washington suffered its only league loss last Saturday in the regular-season finale at Seattle Pacific, 71-63 … the Vikings’ only other loss was a 65-62 overtime defeat against Chico State on a neutral floor on Dec. 10 … WWU features the GNAC Player of the Year in 5-9 Sr. G Amanda Dunbar (13.0 ppg, 4.0 apg, .319 3FG, .737 FT), along with 6-2 Sr. C Lauren Hefflin (12.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 1.5 bpg, .567 FG) and 5-9 Sr. PG Megan Pinske (10.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 4.2 apg, .416 3FG, .795 FT).

THE SERIES vs WWU: WWU leads 19-9 (9-4 in Bellingham)
   Last Meeting: WWU 67-57 (2/17/11 at WWU)
   Streak: WWU 2 / Notes: Saturday will mark the teams’ second-ever postseason meeting, following WWU’s 78-58 win in the NCAA West Regional semifinals, Mar. 10, 2000 in Pomona, Calif. … UAA had won seven of the last eight meetings before getting swept in the 2010-11 regular season by WWU … WWU earned its first regular-season sweep since 2005-06 ... five of the last 10 meetings have been decided by 4 points or less … WWU leads 12-8 in GNAC meetings (since 2001-02) … teams have met at least once per season since 1998-99 … series began in 1996-97 as non-league opponents.

TEAM COMPARISONS   UAA   WWU
Overall Record     25-6  26-2
Conference Record  14-4  17-1
UAA Road/WWU Home  6-3   13-0
Points per Game    68.4  70.3
Points Allowed/Gm  52.6  54.7
Rebounding Diff.   +7.7  +3.2
Assists per Game   13.6  15.9
Turnovers per Game 16.7  16.4
Steals per Game    12.4  10.0
Blocks per Game    3.6   3.1
FG%                .393  .440
3-pt FG%           .275  .366
FT%                .710  .692


LAST TIME VS. WWU: Then-No. 14th UAA had its 6-game winning streak stopped with a 67-57 loss at then-No. 6 Western Washington on Feb. 17 at Carver Gymnasium in Bellingham … UAA got 16 points and 4 assists from Sr. PG Kaitlin McBride but could not manage a comeback as WWU clinched the GNAC title … Jr. C Hanna Johansson had 9 points and 5 steals for UAA, and Sr. G Nikki Aden tallied 8 points … Jr. G Tanee’ Denson-Griffin (7 points, 3 steals) and Jr. F Kaylie Robison (7 points, 2 assists) made contributions off the bench  as well … in the first meeting, Jan. 22 in Anchorage, the Vikings handed the Seawolves just their fourth loss at the Wells Fargo Sports Complex in the last five seasons and their first by more than seven points, 81-61.

COMEBACK FELLS FALCONS: Three Seawolves scored 15 points and Jr. F Kaylie Robison sank the go-ahead basket with just over one minute to play Wednesday to lift UAA to a 68-66 victory over Seattle Pacific in the GNAC tourney semifinals in Anchorage … it took a record-setting effort as UAA erased a 39-24 halftime deficit and came back from as far down as 45-26 with 17:39 to play … the comeback broke the previous school record for largest halftime deficit overcome, fueled by a stifling defensive effort and timely three-point shooting … the regionally 7th-ranked Falcons went up 53-37 on Melissa Reich’s layup with 13:01 to play, but the Seawolves would not allow another field goal until Jordan Harazin’s 30-foot three-pointer with two seconds on the clock … by then, UAA had used three three-pointers from So. F Alysa Horn and a succession of SPU turnovers to grab the lead … the Seawolves missed 8 of 12 free throws in the final 45 seconds but held on nonetheless … Jr. C Hanna Johansson finished with 15 points (5-12 FG, 5-10 FT), while Sr. PG Kaitlin McBride tallied 15 points (9-12 FT) and 4 assists … Horn (15 pts, 6-11 FG, 3-5 3FG) and Sr. G Nikki Aden led UAA with 6 rebounds apiece, and Jr. F Tijera Mathews had 5 points – including a key three-pointer in the comeback surge – 5 rebounds, 2 blocks and a career-high 5 assists … Robison finished with 9 points (3-7 FG, 3-4 FT), 2 blocks and 4 rebounds – all on the offensive end.

SEAWOLVES SWEEP CRUSADERS: Sr. PG Kaitlin McBride scored 22 points (6-7 FG, 10-10 FT) and Jr. C Hanna Johansson posted a double-double Monday as then-No. 19 UAA posted a 64-50 victory over Northwest Nazarene in the GNAC tourney quarterfinals … the 2nd-seeded Seawolves got 13 points (3-6 FG, 7-10 FT), 10 rebounds and 4 assists from Johansson, plus 13 points and 8 rebounds from So. F Alysa Horn … UAA took control early behind its league-leading defense, forging a 22-6 advantage on a feed from McBride (5 assists) to Johansson with 6:25 on the clock … the visitors from Nampa, Idaho, hit back-to-back three-pointers to get back into the game, trailing just 27-17 at halftime, but the Seawolves started the second half with a 7-0 run fueled by Johansson and Jr. F Tijera Mathews , and the Crusaders were never able to get within single digits … Mathews had 8 points, tied her career-high with 6 rebounds, and set a career-high with 4 blocked shots … McBride equaled her career-high in blocks with 3 as they Seawolves posted a season-high 9 as a team … in earning their third win against NNU this year, UAA held the Crusaders to 31 percent shooting and outrebounded them 43-24.

TEAM NOTES: The Seawolves’ 25 victories are the second-most in program history behind the 2007-08 (30-5) and 2008-09 (31-4) squads, both of which advanced to the Final 4 … UAA has earned at least 23 wins for the fifth straight season … UAA had just one year of at least 23 wins (24 in 1987-88) prior to head coach Tim Moser ’s arrival in 2006-07 … UAA has claimed the 10th 20-win season in program history … UAA notched 14 conference wins for the fourth time in program history, one shy of the record of 15 in 2007-08 … the Seawolves are in the top 15 in six categories — scoring defense (3rd, 52.2), scoring margin (10th, +16.3), turnover margin (12th, +7.0), rebounding margin (14th, 7.9), steals per game (15th, 12.8) and FG% defense (15th, .350) — in the latest NCAA Div. II statistical rankings (stats through Feb. 27) … UAA leads the GNAC in seven of 19 major categories — scoring defense (52.6), scoring margin (15.8), FG% defense (.350), rebounds allowed (32.4), offensive rebound pct. (.418), steals per game (12.4) and turnover margin (+6.77) … UAA has outrebounded its opponent in 24 games, including a 43-24 advantage against NNU on Monday … the Seawolves have held their opponents under 40 percent shooting in 24 of 31 games and held 20 opponents to 55 or fewer points … in 159 games under Moser, the Seawolves have allowed .500-plus FG shooting just eight times, including six times in 84 GNAC contests … since Moser took over at the beginning of the 2006-07 season, UAA has the 3rd-most wins (133) in the NCAA Division II women’s ranks (Delta State 143; Holy Family 140).

PLAYER NOTES: With Wednesday’s win over SPU, Sr. G Nikki Aden extended her UAA record with her 108th victory in Green & Gold and passed former teammate Rebecca Kielpinski (2005-09) for the most games played in program history at 127 … Aden is having her best all-around season in her fourth year, holding GNAC top-20 stats in steals (5th, 2.0 spg), minutes played (10th, 30.4), 3FGs per game (13th, 1.3) and scoring (20th, 10.2 ppg) … on UAA’s career lists, Aden stands 6th in FT% (.758), 8th in 3FGs made (103), 11th in games started (73), 11th in steals (148) and 19th in scoring (814) … with at least one game remaining in her third season, Jr. C Hanna Johansson has moved into 3rd place on the all-time victories list with 80 wins in a UAA uniform, passing Diane Dobrich (1986-90) and Seawolf Hall-of-Famer Robin Graul (1985-89) on Wednesday … the First Team All-GNAC selection currently paces the Seawolves in scoring (13.4 ppg), rebounding (6.5 rpg), blocks (0.9 bpg) and FG% (.510), and she holds GNAC top-10 ranks in scoring (5th), rebounding (8th), FG% (3rd), steals (9th, 1.7 spg), blocks (9th), FT made (2nd, 118) and offensive rebounding (3rd, 2.9 orpg) … the Swede has scored in double digits in 27 of 31 games and is tied for the team lead with four double-doubles … Johansson’s career FG% of .531 currently ranks No. 3 on UAA’s all-time list and No. 6 on the GNAC career list … Johansson was named to the all-tourney teams at all three of UAA’s non-conference events (Disney Tip-Off, Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, AT&T Hoops Classic) ... after totaling just 18 points and 12 rebounds in 53 minutes as a redshirt freshman, So. F Alysa Horn has blossomed into a Second Team All-GNAC selection this season, ranking second on the team in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (6.2 rpg), and leading the team in 3FG% (.362) … in the GNAC stats, the Kodiak native ranks 11th in scoring, 13th in rebounding, 10th in 3FG% and 11th in 3FGs per game (1.4) … Horn is tied with Johansson for the team lead with four double-doubles and has earned a pair of GNAC Player of the Week honors this season (Dec. 6-12 and Jan. 25-31) … Sr. PG Kaitlin McBride is also a Second Team All-GNAC honoree after finishing the regular season with a GNAC-best 2-to-1 assist-turnover ratio … the Washingtonian is 3rd in the GNAC in assists (4.0 apg), plus 5th in FT% (.806) and 10th in steals (1.6 spg) … McBride’s FT% is currently No. 8 on UAA’s single-season list, while her .754 career FT% is 7th … Aden, Johansson and McBride give UAA three of the top 10 individuals in the GNAC’s steals-per-game rankings … Jr. F Kaylie Robison is the team’s 3rd-leading rebounder at 5.2 rpg … the Utah native ranks 5th in the GNAC in offensive rebounding (2.7 orpg) and 13th in blocks (0.7 bpg) … Jr. F Tijera Mathews got her seventh and eighth starting assignments of the season in the first two GNAC tourney games, responding with averages of 6.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 3.0 apg and 3.0 bpg … against NNU, she equaled her career-best of 6 rebounds and made a career-high 4 blocks, then followed with a career-high 5 assists in the SPU game … for the season, the Palmdale, Calif., native is the team’s 5th-leading scorer (5.6 ppg) and rebounder (3.0 rpg) and ranks 3rd with 27 3FGs made.

SMART SEAWOLVES: Five Seawolf players were among the 32 student-athletes honored recently on the GNAC All-Academic women’s basketball team … the five set a program record for the most Seawolves named to any all-league academic squad in 27 years of conference affiliations … Sr. G Kaitlin McBride paced the Seawolves with her 3.73 grade-point average in sociology, while fellow seniors Nikki Aden (3.60, journalism & public communications) and Sarah Herrin (3.47, justice) were among seven women who made the team for the third time in their careers … Jr. C Hanna Johansson (3.62, journalism & public communications) earned her second career all-academic award, while sophomore Alysa Horn (3.55, physical education) earned the award in her first year of eligibility … Johansson was also recently voted to the CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District 8 Team, recognizing her as one of the top players and students among all non-Division I programs in the West Region.

REGIONAL RANKINGS: The Seawolves remained No. 6 in the final week of the NCAA Division II West Region rankings (Mar. 3) … those rankings – compiled by the NCAA for all eight Division II regions – are the lone determining factor for NCAA Tournament qualification, including the opportunity to host the regional tournament … the playoff field will be released on Sunday, Mar. 6, with the GNAC and CCAA tournament champions joining the Pac West regular-season champion and the top five remaining at-large teams in the Mar. 11-14 NCAA West Regional Championships … the rankings consider only games against Div. II competition and put an added emphasis on games against in-region opponents.

NCAA Div. II West Region Women’s Basketball Rankings
Mar. 2, 2011
Rk  Team                vs DII  vs West Conf. This Wk
 1. CS Monterey Bay     24-2    24-2    CCAA  1-0
 2. Western Washington  23-2    21-2    GNAC  2-0
 3. Grand Canyon        23-2    18-2    PWC   1-0
 4. Dixie State         19-2    18-2    PWC   0-1
 5. Cal Poly Pomona     22-3    22-3    CCAA  1-0
 6. Alaska Anchorage    22-5    22-4    GNAC  2-0
 7. Seattle Pacific     19-7    18-7    GNAC  1-1
 8. CS San Bernardino   18-6    18-6    CCAA  1-0
 9. UC San Diego        19-10   19-9    CCAA  1-0
10. Hawaii Pacific      16-6    13-6    PWC   1-0
(D-II & West Region records as of Feb. 27)


MOSER MAKES HIS MARK:
In his 5th season, UAA head coach Tim Moser holds a 133-26 record ... in 2008-09 Moser was honored for the second time in three seasons as the GNAC Coach of the Year, while also garnering his first WBCA West Region Coach-of-the-Year award … since arriving at UAA in 2006, the Colorado native has led the Seawolves to the 3rd-most victories in women’s Div. II basketball … under Moser, UAA is 82-5 at home (73-4 WFSC, 9-1 Sullivan); 66-8 in non-conference games (including NCAA & GNAC tourneys); 67-17 in GNAC games; 44-4 vs Div. II non-conference opponents in the regular season; and 9-1 against Div. I teams … in NCAA play, Moser’s Seawolf teams have gone 10-4, including consecutive Final 4 runs in 2008 and 2009 … Moser is assisted by Rebecca Alvidrez (5th season), former Seawolf guards Tamar Gruwell (grad. asst., 1st season) and Elisha Harris (volunteer asst., 1st season), and Gabe Henry (volunteer asst., 1st season).

SEAWOLVES TABBED FOR 2ND: UAA was correctly picked to finish second in the 2010-11 Great Northwest Athletic Conference’s women’s basketball preseason coaches’ poll, released Oct. 14 … the Seawolves were tabbed to finish behind defending champion Seattle Pacific, which received eight of 10 first-place votes from the league’s head coaches … under head coach Tim Moser , the Seawolves have finished no worse than third in the GNAC in their four years, including a co-title with SPU in 2008-09 … here is the poll with actual finish denoted in the right-hand column.

2010-11 Great Northwest Athletic Conference
Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll

Rk  Team                   2009-10 Rec.(Pl.) Pts Act.
 1. Seattle Pacific (8)    27-4, 15-1 (1st)  96  3
 2. Alaska Anchorage (1)   24-5, 13-3 (3rd)  88  2
 3. Western Washington (1) 23-5, 14-2 (2nd)  79  1
 4. Simon Fraser           32-1, *17-1 (1st) 64  8
 5. Montana St. Billings   11-16, 4-12 (7th) 58  4
 6. Northwest Nazarene     19-8, 9-7 (4th)   51  6-t
 7. Saint Martin’s         12-15, 6-10 (5th) 45  5
 8. Western Oregon         11-19, 6-10 (5th) 34  6-t
 9. Central Washington     7-19, 4-12 (7th)  24  9
10. Alaska Fairbanks       2-25, 1-15 (9th)  10  10
(Note: First-place votes in parenthesis. Points awarded on 10-9-8-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. *Simon Fraser finished second in Canada West Pacific Division).


INJURY REPORT: After a strong start at the Disney Tip-Off Classic, Jr. PG Sasha King suffered an ACL injury late in the second half of UAA’s game against Texas Woman’s … the transfer from Hutchinson (Kan.) CC averaged 7.0 ppg and 2.7 apg through the first three games … UAA can petition for an injury redshirt for King, who will have played in less than 15 percent of the Seawolves’ contests this year.
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