FAIRBANKS – Playing her first collegiate game in her former hometown, freshman Jahnna Hajdukovich scored a career-high 22 points and grabbed four rebounds to lead the 10th-ranked Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team to an 88-43 rout of Alaska Fairbanks on Tuesday at the Patty Center.
The Seawolves (20-1, 12-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 18 points and four rebounds from senior center Hannah Wandersee to extend their winning streak to 13 game and take a half-game advantage over Northwest Nazarene atop the GNAC standings.
The Nanooks (3-16, 0-13) were led by 14 points from reserve guard Angela Murnion, but the hosts were outrebounded 42-27 and outshot .486 to .348 as their losing streaks reached 16 overall, 24 straight against UAA and 35 straight in GNAC contests.
“I was really pleased with our energy and our focus from beginning to end tonight,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose team struggled in its 81-70 victory over UAF on Jan. 8 in Anchorage. “It was a completely different effort than we gave against them at home. We did a fantastic job moving the ball and taking care of it in our halfcourt offense.”
The Seawolves trailed only 1-0 before slowly surging ahead throughout the first half and claiming a commanding 46-20 lead at the break. Hajdukovich – who played her first two high school seasons locally at Lathrop High School – helped provide the early knockout punch with 14 points on 5-of-5 shooting in the opening half, including 4 of 4 from long range.
After coming in with a previous high of 10 points in her true freshman season, the 5-8 guard finished 8 of 11 from the floor and 6 of 8 from behind the arc, while committing no turnovers and grabbing one steal in 22 minutes.
“Jahnna was the beneficiary of some excellent ball movement and she took full advantage of her opportunities tonight,” McCarthy added. “It was a pretty electric moment when she hit that last three, with her cheering section going wild behind us.”
All 10 Seawolves played between 15-26 minutes and none committed more than one turnover, helping UAA come just one shy of tying program’s single-game record of five turnovers, set two years ago at UAF.
Wandersee – the reigning GNAC Player of the Week – shot 9 of 17 from the field and grabbed all four of her rebounds on the offensive end, while junior guard Safiyyah Yasin added eight points and team highs of five assists and three steals with no turnovers.
The Seawolves’ 45-point margin of victory matched a season high and was their largest on the road in 18 years of GNAC play.
UAA completes its four-game road swing Saturday with a 5 p.m. AST tip at Montana State Billings. Live stats and video will be available at gnac.tv.