SPOKANE, Wash. – Alaska Anchorage senior Hanna Johansson was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference 2011-12 Player of the Year as the league announced its women’s basketball postseason honors Tuesday, leading a historic sweep of the league’s major individual awards for the Seawolves.
In addition to Johansson, the league regular-season champions also produced the GNAC Newcomer of the Year in junior Haley Holmstead, Freshman of the Year with Gritt Ryder, and Coach of the Year with Tim Moser. As such, UAA becomes the first basketball team in the 11-year history of the GNAC – women’s or men’s – to claim all four honors.
Holmstead was also a first-team pick in voting by the league’s 10 head coaches, while senior Kaylie Robison and junior Alysa Horn were honorable mention selections.
Johansson, a 6-2 center, has averaged 15.1 points, 9.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and shot 56.5 percent from the field to lead UAA to a 25-4 overall record and its first-ever outright GNAC title. In 18 league games she shot 58 percent and averaged a double-double with 15.1 ppg and 10.3 rpg, helping the Seawolves to a 16-2 mark.
The team’s only 4th-year senior, Johansson ranks among UAA’s top-10 career leaders in 13 categories, including 2nd in rebounds (779), field-goal pct. (.539), games played (127) and games won (106), 5th in steals (188) and blocks (66), 6th in free throws made (309), 7th in points (1,301), field goals made (496) and double-doubles (17), and 9th in assists (237). She recently became just the second player in program history to amass at least 1,200 points, 750 rebounds, 200 assists and 150 steals.
Johansson has been a star in the classroom, too, earning Capital One Academic All-America Third Team honors for her 3.66 grade-point average in journalism & public communications, along with her third career GNAC All-Academic Team accolade.
Joining Johansson on the All-GNAC First Team and capturing Newcomer of the Year was Holmstead, giving the Seawolves two first-team selections for the first time in league history. A former junior-college All-American at Salt Lake Community College, Holmstead is the Seawolves’ leading scorer and ranks sixth in the league with 15.1 points per game. She is also ninth in the league with a .507 field-goal percentage.
The 5-7 guard from American Fork, Utah, has topped 20 points seven times in her first season at UAA, including a team season-high 27 in a Jan. 7 win over Seattle Pacific. She is a two-time GNAC Player of the Week, and with 26 more points she will crack the top-20 on UAA’s single-season scoring list.
Holmstead’s selection gives the Seawolves five of the last six GNAC ‘newcomer’ awards, joining Kelsie Gourdin (2009-10), Jackie Thiel (2008-09), Kalhie Quinones (2007-08) and Jayci Stone (2006-07).
Ryder, a 5-9 guard, joins Kielpinski (2005-06) as the second Seawolf to win the GNAC Freshman of the Year, posting numbers of 5.6 points, 3.5 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.2 steals per game, while shooting 35.2 percent on three-pointers and 83.3 percent at the charity stripe. The Denmark native ranks 2nd in the GNAC in assist-turnover ratio (2.0) and 6th in assists per game.
With 20 points against Simon Fraser on Feb. 11, Ryder became the first Seawolf freshman to reach that plateau in six years. She has played her best basketball of late, tallying at least 5 points, 5 assists and 5 rebounds in four of the last five games.
Ryder should break the program’s freshman record this weekend with her 29th starting assignment, and she is currently No. 2 on the assist list with 102, trailing the record by just 17 dishes.
Meanwhile, Moser becomes the first Seawolf women’s mentor to earn three league coach-of-the-year awards and joins Western Washington’s Carmen Dolfo as the only coach in league history with three such outright honors, having also won in 2008-09 and 2006-07.
The winningest active coach in NCAA Division II at.83.8 percent, Moser has led the Seawolves to at least 23 victories in all six of his seasons. This year, his squad has a 24-2 record against D-II competition and leads the nation in margin of victory at plus-25.3.
Robison, a 6-0 forward, made the All-GNAC Honorable Mention squad after ranking as UAA’s 2nd-leading rebounder (7.6 rpg) and 3rd-leading scorer (9.2 ppg). The Sandy, Utah (Jordan HS/Coll. of Eastern Utah) product leads the league with her .590 field-goal percentage, while her .628 percentage in GNAC contests came .001 short of the league record. She is also on pace to break the program’s career shooting record, currently at .542.
Horn, a 6-0 forward from Kodiak, gained honorable-mention accolades despite coming off the bench in all 29 games. She is UAA’s 4th-leading scorer (9.0 ppg) and 3rd-leading rebounder (5.0 rpg), while sinking a team-best .841 from the free-throw line.
An All-GNAC Second-Teamer last year, Horn ranks 7th on UAA’s career list for free-throw pct. (.760), plus 11th in three-pointers per game (1.0) and threes made (77).
The nationally 8th-ranked Seawolves have a first-round bye at this week’s 2nd annual Great Northwest Athletic Conference Tournament and will play either Seattle Pacific or Simon Fraser in the semifinals on Friday, Mar. 2 at 6:30 p.m. AST.
2011-12 All-GREAT NORTHWEST ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM
FIRST TEAM *+Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Simon Fraser (F, 6-2, Jr., Vernon, BC) *Hanna Johansson, Alaska Anchorage (F, 6-2, Sr., Gothenburg, Sweden) +Bobbi Knudsen, Montana State Billings (G, 5-8, So., Malta, MT) Haley Holmstead, Alaska Anchorage (G, 5-7, Jr., American Fork, UT)
Kristin Schramm, Western Washington (G, 5-9, Sr., Chelan, WA)
SECOND TEAM Briaunna King, Northwest Nazarene (F, 6-0, Sr., Redmond, OR)
Katie Benson, Seattle Pacific (F, 6-1, So, Snohomish, WA)
Megan Hingston, Northwest Nazarene (F, 5-8, So., Keizer, OR)
Corinn Waltrip, Western Washington (G, 5-6, Jr., Tigard, OR)
Nicole Bozek, Alaska Fairbanks (C, 6-2, Sr., Mukilteo, WA)
HONORABLE MENTION: Kaylie Robison, Alaska Anchorage (F, 6-0, Sr., Salt Lake City, UT); Alysa Horn, Alaska Anchorage (F, 6-0, Jr., Kodiak, AK); Sophie Russell, Central Washington (G, 5-10, Sr., Olympia, WA); Jessica VanDyke, Central Washington (G, 5-9, So., Chester, MT); Alex Dunn, Central Washington (G, 5-6, Jr., West Valley, UT); Jordan Harazin, Seattle Pacific (G, 5-7, Sr., Colfax, WA); Kristina Collins, Simon Fraser (G, 5-10, Jr., Port Coquitlam, BC); Rylee Peterson, Western Oregon (F, 5-11, Sr., Newport, OR)