BILLINGS, Mont. – Senior Sydni Stallworth scored 15 points and sophomore Sala Langi added 14 points and four rebounds Saturday to help 10th-ranked Alaska Anchorage pull away for a 72-57 women’s basketball victory over Montana State Billings at Alterowitz Gymnasium.
The Seawolves (21-1, 13-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting from junior point guard Yazmeen Goo as their winning streak reached 14 games, keeping pace with 7th-ranked Northwest Nazarene atop the GNAC standings.
The Yellowjackets (10-10, 6-8) were led by 14 points from sophomore guard Hannah Collins, plus 10 points and eight rebounds from freshman forward Taryn Shelley, but the hosts could not keep their momentum after shooting 50 percent in the first quarter.
“We did a much better job defensively after the first quarter, and that’s what really swung things in our favor,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose team trailed 19-15 after 10 minutes. “Sydni hit some very timely shots, and we were able to do an excellent job of stopping any big runs by Billings, which they are very capable of.”
After MSUB took its largest lead at 22-17, UAA got back-to-back driving layups by Langi to start an 8-0 run. Hannah Wandersee broke a 30-30 tie with two straight free throws at the 2:25 mark of the second quarter, and the Seawolves would take a 36-30 lead at halftime.
The Yellowjackets used a 6-0 run to pull within 45-38 at the 3:56 mark of the third quarter, but junior guard Safiyyah Yasin scored all six of her points in a 60-second span to propel the Seawolves’ clinching surge.
UAA’s largest lead reached 20 points twice in the fourth quarter as it swept the regular-season series from the defending NCAA Div. II West Region and GNAC Tournament champions.
Wandersee finished with 10 points, five rebounds, three assists and three blocks as the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year surpassed 1,200 career points, while Yasin added five rebounds and three steals.
Stallworth shot 6 of 9 from the field, including 3 of 5 from long range, and had two of UAA’s 15 steals, without committing a turnover.
The Seawolves return to the Alaska Airlines Center next week to face Concordia-Portland on Thursday (7 p.m. AST) and Western Oregon on Saturday (2 p.m.). Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com or AlaskaAirlinesCenter.com for tickets.
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