ANCHORAGE – Senior guard Rodericka Ware had 12 points and five assists and 8th-ranked Alaska Anchorage used a dominant first-half performance Tuesday to cruise to a 63-46 victory over Alaska Fairbanks in women’s basketball action at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Seawolves (19-2, 12-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 15 points and six rebounds from senior forward Shelby Cloninger, along with 14 points and five rebounds from junior center Hannah Wandersee as they beat their in-state rivals for the 22nd consecutive time overall and 13th straight at home.
The Nanooks (4-15, 0-13 GNAC) got a game-high 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from forward Kylie Wallace, but the visitors were outrebounded 44-33 and forced into 27 turnovers, including 12 in the first quarter.
UAA led 8-0 before the Nanooks could attempt their second shot, and the 17-4 lead after 10 minutes marked the fewest points ever allowed by the Seawolves in the first quarter of a GNAC game. Ware had eight points and four assists in the opening 20 minutes, and Wandersee delivered 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting to lead UAA to a 37-14 edge at halftime.
The Seawolves took their largest lead at 48-21 on a three-point play by Ware with 4:48 left in the third quarter, before the Nanooks managed to finish on a 25-15 run to make the score more respectable.
“I was extremely disappointed with both our effort and our execution the second half,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy. “I thought we lacked focus and got outplayed by a team that wanted it more. If we give that same performance on Thursday against Billings, it will be a long night for us.”
Cloninger shot 3 of 4 from long range and had a pair of steals, while freshman guard Nicole Pinckney had one of her best showings thus far. A Chugiak High product, Pinckney came off the bench to tie her season high with nine points on 4-of-7 shooting, along with three rebounds, one assist, two steals and no turnovers in 20 minutes.
All 10 healthy Seawolves had at least one steal as the team improved on its GNAC-best average (14.5 steals per game) with 17 swipes.
The Seawolves will attempt to sweep their four-game homestand Thursday when they host regionally 7th-ranked Montana State Billings (15-7, 8-4 GNAC) at 7 p.m. at the Alaska Airlines Center.