THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...

2017 NCAA Div. II West Regional Championships
Mar. 10-13 - Alaska Airlines Center (5,000) - Anchorage, Alaska
(All times listed as Alaska Standard/Daylight Time)

Friday, Mar. 10 - Quarterfinals

Noon: #6 Cal State East Bay (22-8) vs # 3 Western Washington (25-5)
2:30 pm: #7 Point Loma (24-5) vs #2 California Baptist (31-2)
5:00 pm: #5 Simon Fraser (24-7) vs #4 UC San Diego (23-6)
7:30 pm: #8 Hawaii Pacific (21-6) vs #1 Alaska Anchorage (29-1)
Saturday, Mar. 11 - Semifinals
5:00 pm: CSUEB/WWU winner vs PLNU/CBU winner
7:30 pm: SFU/UCSD winner vs HPU/UAA winner
Monday, Mar. 13 - Championship
7:00 pm: Semifinal winners
(winner advances to NCAA Elite Eight, Mar. 21-24 in Columbus, Ohio)

LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: All games free at portal.stretchintet.com/uaa or gnac.tv

TICKETS: Purchase one of three ways – in person at the Terry Ann Homan Box Office at the Alaska Airlines Center (3550 Providence Dr.), online at alaskaairlinescenter.com (fees apply), or charge by phone at 907-891-7410 (fees apply) ... all seating will be general admission, with doors opening one hour before the first game each day.

UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2016-17 stats)
G—Kiki Robertson, 5-5, Sr. (8.8 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.3 apg, 3.5 spg, .446 FG, .380 3FG, .879 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, So. (8.9 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.1 spg, .424 FG, .438 3FG, .938 FT)
F—Autummn Williams, 5-10, Sr. (21.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.7 spg, .505 FG, .371 3FG, .746 FT)
F—Alysha Devine, 6-1, Sr. (7.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.4 spg, .390 FG, .685 FT)
F—Sierra Afoa, 5-10, Jr. (4.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg, 1.5 spg, .452 FG, .348 3FG, .720 FT)

SCOUTING THE SHARKS: Hawaii Pacific is returning to Anchorage for the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons after earning the No. 4 seed in 2015 ... the Sharks finished 21-6 and tied with Point Loma for second place in the Pacific West Conference before losing to PLNU in the semifinals of their conference tournament ... the Honolulu program features a deep and balanced lineup that boasts six Div. I transfers, led by 5-8 Jr. G Breanna Mackenzie (12.0 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.9 spg) and 5-6 Sr. G VeAnne Navarro (10.8 ppg, 1.5 apg, .823 FT).

ALL-TIME vs HPU: UAA leads 6-0 overall, 1-0 in Anchorage
Last Meeting: UAA 62-51 (11/17/17 at HPU)
Notes: Friday will mark the first postseason meeting between UAA and HPU in women’s basketball ... UAA’s 109-83 win in Anchorage on Dec. 21, 2014 was the first game between the programs since HPU revived its program in the late ’00s ... first four meetings all occured in Honolulu between Jan. 29, 1984-Feb. 8, 1985.

TEAM COMPARISONS     UAA   HPU
UAA Home/HPU Road   14-0  10-1
Points per Game     82.5  71.4
Points Allowed/Game 53.9  60.1
Rebounding Diff.    +5.6  +7.4
Assists per Game    19.0  15.0
Turnovers per Game  14.5  16.2
Steals per Game     15.8   9.1
Blocks per Game      2.7   3.9
FG%                 .449  .399
3-pt FG%            .368  .291
FT%                 .779  .670

WEST REGION PREVIEW: All eight of this week’s NCAA Div. II West Regional Championships participants have made previous NCAA appearances, including repeat appearances from 2016 for UAA, Cal Baptist, UC San Diego and Cal State East Bay ... this year’s regional features four nationally ranked teams, with UAA No. 2 in both polls, CBU No. 3 in the coaches’ poll and No. 4 in the media poll, Western Washington at No. 16 coaches/No. 12 media, and Simon Fraser No. 23 in the media poll; Point Loma is receiving votes in both ... the winner of this week’s single-elimination tourney will advance to the NCAA Div. II Elite Eight in Columbus, Ohio, Mar. 21-24, for the quarterfinal, semifinal and national title rounds.

GNAC TOURNEY 3-PEAT: The Seawolves have now captured five of the first seven GNAC Tournament titles and set a new precedent with their third straight, beating Seattle Pacific (76-68) and Western Washington (79-70) last week in Lacey, Wash. ... Sr. F Autummn Williams earned MVP honors with averages of 24.5 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 4.5 spg, including 28 points in the title-game win over the Vikings ... So. G Tara Thompson averaged 12.5 ppg on 7-of-9 3FG shooting and 5.0 rpg, tying her career high with 17 against WWU, while Jr. F Shelby Cloninger (9.0 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 3-7 3FG) and So. F/C Hannah Wandersee (8.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg) delivered in clutch roles off the bench ... UAA now has an 11-2 record in GNAC Tourney games, including 5-0 marks in both the semifinal and final rounds.

GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships Results
Year  Champ Rnr-Up Score  Site       MVP
2017  UAA   WWU    79-70  Lacey      Autummn Williams, UAA
2016  UAA   MSUB   77-57  Lacey      Kiki Robertson, UAA
2015  UAA   WWU    71-58  Billings   Kiki Robertson, UAA
2014  WWU   SFU    78-74  Lacey      Jenni White, WWU
2013  WWU   SFU    60-40  Lacey      Trishi Williams, WWU
2012  UAA   WWU    67-52  Lacey      Haley Holmstead, UAA
2011  UAA   WWU    68-67  Bellingham Kaitlin McBride, UAA

SEAWOLF NCAA HISTORY: UAA made its first appearance in the NCAA Div. II national title game in 2015-16 after bowing out in the national semifinals in 2008 and 2009 ... the Seawolves are making their 16th overall NCAA Tournament trip (’86, ’88, ’89, ’92, ’94, ’00, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’11, ‘12, ’14, ’15, ‘16, ‘17) and currently stand 21-15 all-time in NCAA games … UAA is 15-5 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; UC San Diego, ’07) … the Seawolves have won four regional titles overall (2008, 2009, 2012, 2016) ... UAA improved to 9-6 in NCAA openers with its win over Cal State Dominguez Hills last year ... the Seawolves are 5-7 all-time in the Round of 32 and 4-1 in the Sweet 16 (regoinal finals).

2016 WEST REGION RECAP: The Seawolves captured the 2016 West Regional title by beating Cal State Dominguez Hills (82-53), No. 5 Cal Baptist (83-79, OT) and No. 21 UC San Diego (72-57) last March in Azusa, Calif. ... playing as the No. 2 seed, the Seawolves got 17 points (6-11 FG, 5-6 FT) and 9 rebounds from Megan Mullings in the opener against the CCAA co-champion Toros, before facing CBU in an all-time classic in the regional semifinals ... in the showdown with the defending West Region champs and 2015 NCAA runner-up, Jessica Madison scored 17 points, including the go-ahead basket late in overtime, and Alysha Devine scored 13 of her 15 points after halftime to help erase an 8-point 4th-quarter deficit ... in the finals against UCSD, the Seawolves used a 20-5 run over the 2nd and 3rd quarters to pull away late, getting 14 points (5-10 FG, 2-3 3FG) and 8 rebounds from Devine, plus 13 points apiece from Madison (4-6 FG, 4-5 FT) and Keiahnna Engel (5-8 FG, 2-3 3FG) ... Devine was named the West Regional MVP, while Madison claimed a spot on the all-tourney team.

WINNING WAYS: UAA’s 25-game win streak has surpassed the 22 straight by the 2008-09 squad for the longest in program history ... the Seawolves are also currently on program-best streaks of 29 straight wins vs. Div. II opponents, 21 consecutive road wins, and 18 straight conference road wins ... UAA is a combined 61-3 – including 28-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last three seasons ... at 96-6 (.941), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... over the last decade, the Seawolves’ 259 victories are also the most in women’s D-II hoops, surpassing Emporia State in January ... the 2016-17 Seawolves have claimed the program’s 11th consecutive winning season and  10th NCAA Tournament berth in 11 years ... UAA has gone a combined 155-14 (.917) in the last 11 seasons on its home courts ... after a 7-0 mark this fall, UAA has won 36 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) ... the Seawolves have led the nation in steals per game for three straight seasons, with 14.3 spg in 2013-14, a program-record 15.0 in 2014-15, and 13.6 last year.

STEALING THE SHOW: With 15.8 steals per game, the Seawolves are making a bid to lead NCAA Div. II in that category a fourth straight season, currently boasting a solid edge over Cal-Pa. (15.4 spg) for the top spot ... all told, UAA is in the top 25 nationally in a dozen categories, ranking 2nd in scoring margin (+28.6), turnover margin (+11.6) and turnovers forced per game (25.9), 3rd in assists per game (19.0) and scoring defense (53.9), 5th in scoring offense (82.5 ppg), 7th in A/T ratio (+1.32), 11th in FT% (.779), 18th in FG% (.449), 21st in 3FG per game (8.2) and 22nd in 3FG% (.368) ... in the GNAC stats, the Seawolves lead in 13 of 21 categories and rank 2nd or 3rd in six others.

HAWAIIAN PUNCH: Sr. PG Kiki Robertson was UAA’s 2nd-leading scorer at 9.6 ppg during UAA’s unbeaten GNAC campaign, and she continued to add to her All-America credentials with clutch performances in the regular-season finales and GNAC Tournament recently ... the 4-time All-GNAC performer and 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year ranks among the league’s top 4 in four categories – 1st in steals (3.5 spg), 3rd in FT% (.879) and 4th in assists (5.3 apg) and in A/T ratio (2.4) ... in the national stats, she ranks 6th in spg, 25th in apg and 14th in A/T ratio – one of two players in the top 25 in all three categories – as well as 12th in FT% ... the 2015 and 2016 GNAC Tournament MVP started the season as UAA’s career assists leader and claimed the GNAC record in the first game this year; now with 688, she is 22nd place on the all-time NCAA Div. II list and just four shy of reaching the top 20 ... with five swipes against Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 14, she added both the UAA and GNAC career steals record as well, with her 377 now just 14 shy of that top-25 list ... UAA’s and the GNAC’s all-time victories leader with 115, Robertson is also on pace to break the Seawolf record for assists per game (5.4), while threatening the mark for steals per game (2nd, 2.9); on the other Seawolf career lists, she is tied for 1st in games started (126), 16th in scoring (1,006 pts), 6th in FT% (.794), 9th in FTs made (255) and 3rd in games played (129) ... among the NCAA Div. II active career leader, she leads in assists and ranks 2nd steals, plus 3rd in both apg and spg ... the only Hawaiian ever to suit up for the Seawolves, Robertson was also the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2014-15.

FALLING FOR AUTUMMN: Sr. F Autummn Williams has emerged as UAA’s latest candidate for All-America honors, ranking 6th nationally in scoring with 21.4 points per game, boosted by three 30-plus performances and a 22.8 average in league games ... last week, the unanimous First Team All-GNAC pick and GNAC Newcomer of the Year totaled 49 points, 8 rebounds and 9 steals – including a 28-point effort in the title game against No. 17 WWU – to pick up GNAC Tournament MVP honors ... with the effort against WWU, she also surpassed Megan Mullings (635 pts, 2015-16) for the Seawolves’ single-season scoring record – in 10 fewer games ... the transfer from Div. I Little Rock has hit the 20-point plateau 18 times, including 13 of the last 16 games, and been UAA’s top scorer in 27 of 30 contests ... Williams has shot at least 50 percent 18 times, dished at least 3 assists 20 times, and grabbed multiple steals 23 times ... with back-to-back honors in December and February, Williams became just the third player in GNAC history and the first since 2008-09 to win four GNAC Player of the Week awards in the same season, and she picked up USBWA National Player of the Week for her efforts at Northwest Nazarene and Central Washington ... Williams holds GNAC ranks of 2nd in steals (2.7 spg, 26th nationally), 2nd in scoring, 5th in FG% (.505, 47th nationally), 12th in assists (3.0 apg), 7th in A/T ratio (1.5), 8th in 3FGs per game (1.8) and 7th in 3FG% (.371) ... Williams’s 28.8 minutes per game are also the most averaged by a Seawolf since Kylie Burns logged 30.2 mpg in 2013-14.

DEVINE TALENT: Sr. F and team co-captain Alysha Devine is averaging 7.3 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game, boosted by seven double-figure scoring efforts and a career-high 7 steals in the season-opener against CSULA ... the 2-time honorable mention All-GNAC pick ranks 19th in the league in steals and is the Seawolves’ 5th-leading scorer and 4th-leading rebounder (3.5 rpg) ... on UAA’s career lists, Devine currently sits 27th in scoring (777 pts), 18th in rebounds (476), 19th in 3FGs made (65), 10th in games started (91) and 4th in victories (105) ... the Wasilla High product was the 2016 NCAA West Regional Tournament MVP and earned honorable mention All-GNAC as a junior on last year’s NCAA Runner-Up squad.

VITAL VETS: Of the three non-starters who returned from last year’s 38-3, NCAA Runner-Up club, all have played increased roles this season ... Jr. F Sierra Afoa is the team’s leading rebounder, averaging 4.7 ppg, 4.9 rpg and 1.5 spg, while starting 27 of 30 games ... the former Dimond High star has led UAA in rebounding eight times this year, snatching 10 boards at Chaminade and Central Washington and nine vs. MSU Billings ... Afoa grabbed a career-high 6 steals at NW Nazarene and currently ranks 14th in the GNAC in that category, with at least 3 steals in eight games ... after coming off the bench in 39 games a year ago, So. SG Tara Thompson has logged all 30 starts and more than doubled her averages, emerging as UAA’s 2nd-leading scorer (8.9 ppg) and an effective rebounder (3.5 rpg) ... the former Dimond Lynx ranks 2nd in the GNAC in both 3FGs per game (2.5) and 3FG% (.438), while in the NCAA Div. II national stats she is 7th in 3FG% and 58th in 3FGs/gm ... Thompson has also committed just 21 turnovers all year, while playing the 2nd-most minutes (766 total, 25.5 mpg) on the team ... whether starting or coming off the bench, So. F/C Hannah Wandersee has established herself as one most accurate shooters in the GNAC with percentages of .507 overall, .429 (6 of 14) from long range and .857 at the foul stripe ... UAA’s 6th-leading scorer and 3rd-leading rebounder with 7.0 ppg and 4.0 rpg, she tallied a season-best 17 points against Post and scored 10 in the win at Hawaii-Hilo, and recently she has delivered clutch buckets in the 4th quarter at NNU and at key spots in each win over WWU ... the former Kodiak High star is also the Seawolves’ best shot blocker, ranking 9th in the GNAC with 0.7 bpg ... on UAA’s career lists, Wandersee is 6th in FG% at .520.

NEW AND NOW PROVEN: Along with Sr. F Autummn Williams, UAA has had several newcomers make powerful impacts this year, including 4th-leading scorer and 2nd-leading rebounder Jr. F Shelby Cloninger ...  a transfer from North Idaho College after playing at Div. I Utah State, she has averaged 8.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.2 spg in 17.6 minutes per contest ... showing off a dynamic inside-outside game, Cloninger holds GNAC ranks of 18th in 3FG% (.337) and 3FGs per game (1.1) ... true Fr. G Kimijah King continued her impressive debut season in UAA’s home finales, totaling 29 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals, while shooting 77 percent from the field and 89 percent at the foul stripe in the wins over Saint Martin’s and SPU ... with averages of 6.8 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.0 spg in a reserve role,  the Seattle native’s .490 FG% ranks among the GNAC leaders and is 5th-best on UAA’s freshman list ... after tallying no more than 9 points in a game through Dec. 17, King has gone for double figures in seven of her last 15 contests, including 19 points (7-7 FG) vs. SPU, 17 points at Western Oregon, 13 points (6-6 FG) vs. NNU, and 15 points (5-8 FG) vs. MSU Billings ... redshirt Fr. PG Yazmeen Goo has made a huge splash despite averaging a team-low 3.1 ppg ... the Bay Area product leads all freshman nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 2.58, while sporting overall GNAC ranks of 1st in A/T ratio, 6th in assists (4.1 apg) and 7th in steals (1.8 spg) – all in a backup role behind senior All-America candidate Kiki Robertson ... nationally, Goo is 8th overall in A/T ratio and 79th in apg (6th among freshmen) ... Goo set the Seawolves’ single-game freshman assist record with 13 dimes against Post on Nov. 17 ... since missing the first 14 games due to injury, Jr. G Zhara Laster has given the Seawolves a boost off the bench, averaging 4.3 points and 2.8 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game ... the former NWAC Defensive Player of the Year at Peninsula (Wash.) College has UAA’s lone double-double this season with 14 points and 11 rebounds against Concordia, and she nabbed 6 steals against Western Oregon.

McCARTHY IN CHARGE: Now in his fifth season at UAA and sixth 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 last three campaigns ... McCarthy earned his second GNAC Coach of the Year honor in the last three seasons in 2016-17, and is a candidate to repeat as the WBCA’s NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year ... in 2015-16, the Anchorage native took UAA to the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year, advancing all way to the National Title Game and earning an NCAA Div. II-record 38 victories ... his 2014-15 club claimed 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) and conference wins (11, 12, 17, 18) in each of his first four seasons, culminating with the first 20-0 league campaign in GNAC history in 2016-17 … playing its up-tempo ‘Mayhem’ style, McCarthy’s 2016-17 crew is also on pace to lead the nation in steals per game for the fourth straight season ... McCarthy sports a head-coaching record of 132-25 (.841) at UAA and 146-38 (.793) overall, having served in an interim capacity at Northwest Nazarene in 2011-12 … McCarthy is assisted by 5th-year associate head coach Shaina Afoa, 2nd-year assistant Alysa Horn (who starred at UAA from 2009-13), and 3rd-year volunteer assistant Patrick Flanigin.

2016-17 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Sierra Afoa
GNAC All-Academic Team
Alysha Devine
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
Honorable Mention All-GNAC Team
Ryan McCarthy
GNAC Coach of the Year
Kiki Robertson
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC Player of the Week, Jan. 23-29
GNAC All-Academic Team
Second Team All-GNAC
GNAC Defensive Player of the Year
Tara Thompson
GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
Autummn Williams
GNAC Player of the Week, Nov. 28-Dec. 4
GNAC Player of the Week, Dec. 5-11
GNAC Player of the Week, Jan. 30-Feb. 5
GNAC Player of the Week, Feb. 6-Feb. 12
USBWA National Player of the Week, Feb. 6-12
First Team All-GNAC
GNAC Newcomer of the Year
GNAC Tournament MVP