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

Thursday, Feb. 23 — 6 pm AST — Whatcom Pavilion — Bellingham, Wash.
#2 Alaska Anchorage (25-1, 18-0 GNAC)
at #16 Western Washington (23-3, 17-1 GNAC)
&
Saturday, Feb. 25 — 4:15 pm AST — SFU West Gymnasium — Burnaby, B.C.
#2 Alaska Anchorage at Simon Fraser (23-5, 14-4 GNAC [Thu. vs UAF])

LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: Both games free at gnac.tv

UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2016-17 stats)
G—Kiki Robertson, 5-5, Sr. (8.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.5 apg, 3.5 spg, .447 FG, .362 3FG, .861 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, So. (8.6 ppg, 3.4 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.0 spg, .424 FG, .438 3FG, .917 FT)
F—Autummn Williams, 5-10, Sr. (20.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.2 apg, 2.7 spg, .521 FG, .365 3FG, .746 FT)
F—Alysha Devine, 6-1, Sr. (7.6 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 1.2 apg, 1.5 spg, .399 FG, .638 FT)
F—Sierra Afoa, 5-10, Jr. (4.7 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.7 spg, .452 FG, .333 3FG, .800 FT)

SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: Nationally 16th- and regionally 3rd-ranked Western Washington carries a 17-game winning streak into Thursday’s battle, having suffered its last loss against nationally ranked Angelo State (69-68, neutral) on Dec. 17 ... the Vikings’ other losses have come at UAA and at home against Azusa Pacific ... WWU is paced by the nation’s leading scorer in Sr. G Taylor Peacocke (23.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 apg, 1.3 spg, .447 3FG, .862 FT), along with Sr. F Tia Briggs (12.7 ppg, 6.5 rpg, .534 FG, .806 FT) and Sr. F Kiana Gandy (12.2 ppg, 4.5 rpg, .906 FT) ... regionally 4th-ranked Simon Fraser enters the final week of the regular season locked into the No. 3 seed for the upcoming GNAC Tournament ... the NCAA’s lone Canadian program is led by Sr. F Meg Wilson (14.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg, 2.6 apg, 2.4 spg, .772 FT) and Sr. PG Ellen Kett (11.9 ppg, 4.4 rpg, GNAC-best 7.6 apg, 2.0 spg, .425 3FG, .838 FT).

ALL-TIME vs WWU: WWU leads 23-20 overall, 12-7 in Bellingham
Last Meeting: UAA 80-69 (12/3/16 at UAA)
Streak: UAA 2
Notes: UAA has won six of the last seven ... WWU handed the Seawolves their lone road loss last season, Dec. 5, 2015, in Bellingham (71-62) ... UAA has won 11 of the last 15 meetings, although WWU has won three of the last four in Bellingham ... UAA’s last win in Bellingham was a 81-78 thriller, Feb. 21, 2015 ... teams have played 17 times since Jan. 2011, including three meetings in the GNAC Tournament finals (all UAA wins) and an NCAA 1st Round game in 2012 ... WWU leads 16-15 in GNAC regular-season meetings since the league’s formation in 2001-02.

ALL-TIME vs SFU: UAA leads 14-7 overall; SFU leads 5-3 in Burnaby
Last Meeting: UAA 75-59 (11/30/16 at UAA)
Streak: UAA 2
Notes: UAA has won six of the last seven, with SFU’s win coming in a 67-66 upset, Feb. 27, 2016, to hand the Seawolves their only home loss of 2016-17 and their last to any Div. II team in a regular-season game ... UAA has won two straight in Burnaby, including a 76-74 thriller last year ... before UAA’s 82-47 GNAC Tourney semifinal victory last March, the previous four games had been decided by a total of 10 points, with the largest margin being four ... UAA leads 8-5 in regular-season meetings since SFU joined the GNAC in the 2010-11 season ... first meeting was a 65-61 UAA win in Moscow, Idaho, Nov. 28, 1981.

TEAM COMPARISONS     UAA   WWU   SFU
UAA Road/Opp. Home  11-0  11-1   9-2
Points per Game     83.3  74.6  74.7
Points Allowed/Game 51.3  59.6  64.8
Rebounding Diff.    +6.5  +5.5  +1.7
Assists per Game    20.1  15.2  17.3
Turnovers per Game  14.7  15.7  15.4
Steals per Game     16.6   8.0   9.8
Blocks per Game      2.8   2.9   3.5
FG%                 .456  .460  .448
3-pt FG%            .367  .365  .334
FT%                 .770  .807  .698

LAST TIME VS. WWU & SFU: UAA earned a pair of critical home victories to start the GNAC campaign way back on Nov. 30 and Dec. 3, beating Simon Fraser 75-69 and Western Washington 80-69 at the Alaska Airlines Center ... against the Clan, UAA scored the first 15 points and fended off the Canadians behind a season-high 22 points from Jr. G Kaitlyn Hurley, plus 15 points (7-10 FG), 3 assists and 3 steals from Sr. F Autummn Wililams ... Sr. F Alysha Devine added 10 points and 5 rebounds, and Sr. PG Kiki Robertson had 7 assists as the Seawolves avenged one of three losses from the 2015-16 campaign ... against the Vikings, Williams had 21 points (10-18 FG), 6 rebounds and 4 assists, and Robertson recorded 10 points, 8 assists and 6 steals to pull away in the 4th quarter ... So. G Tara Thompson had 12 points (4-7 3FG) and a pair of assists, and Fr. PG Yazmeen Goo delivered 7 points (3-4 FG) and 3 assists, helping UAA shoot 48 percent.

’WOLVES WALLOP WASHINGTONIANS: UAA extended the 2nd-longest winning streak in program history and recorded its eighth and ninth 40-plus victory margins this season, sweeping its home regular-season finales 73-31 against Saint Martin’s and 94-50 against regionally 8th-ranked Seattle Pacific ... against the Saints, Sr. F Autummn Williams collected 18 points and 4 steals to complement a defensive effort that yielded UAA’s 2nd-fewest points allowed in a GNAC league game (since 2001-02) ... Fr. Kimijah King added 10 points and 3 steals, and Sr. PG Kiki Robertson had 9 points, 4 assists, 4 steals and no turnovers as UAA held SMU to 26 percent shooting and forced 28 turnovers ... on Saturday, the Seawolves recorded their 10th straight win over SPU and handed the Falcons their worst defeat in 71 series meetings, led by career-highs of 19 points (7-7 FG, 1-1 3FG, 4-5 FT) and 7 rebounds from King and 22 points, 4 assists from Williams ... all 10 active Seawolves scored at least 3 points, including 11 points (4-7 FG, 3-6 3FG) from So. Tara Thompson and 10 points (2-4 FG, 6-6 FT) from So. F Hannah Wandersee.

PLAYOFF CHASES SHAPING UP: With one week remaining in the regular season, UAA and Western Washington have wrapped up GNAC Tournament byes, while Simon Fraser has clinched the No. 3 spot ... the final three berths in the GNAC Tourey will be decided this week, with UAF, Northwest Nazarene and Seattle Pacific holding the inside track at 9-9 ... in the regional rankings, UAA is No. 1 – putting the Seawolves in current position to host the NCAA West Regional Championships, Mar. 10-13 – while WWU is No. 3 and SFU No. 4; the second of three weekly NCAA Div. II regional rankings will be unveiled Wednesday.

WINNING WAYS: UAA’s current 21-game win streak ties last year’s team for the 2nd-longest in program history and is three short of the record 22 by the 2008-09 squad ... the Seawolves are already working on program-best streaks of 25 straight wins vs. Div. II opponents, 19 consecutive road wins, and 16 straight conference road wins ... UAA is a combined 57-3 – including 26-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last three seasons ... at 92-6 (.939), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... over the last decade, the Seawolves’ 255 victories are also the most in women’s D-II hoops, surpassing Emporia State (253) in January ... the 2016-17 Seawolves have claimed the program’s 11th consecutive winning season and will almost certainly earn a 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 16.6 steals per game, the Seawolves are making a bid to lead NCAA Div. II in that category a fourth straight season, currently boasting a wide edge over Cal-Pa. (15.5 spg) for the top spot, while also leading the nation in scoring defense at 51.3 points per game ... all told, UAA is in the top 20 nationally in a dozen categories, ranking 2nd in turnovers forced per game (26.8), scoring margin (+32.0), turnover margin (+12.1) and assists per game (20.1), 5th scoring offense (83.3 ppg) and 6th in A/T ratio (+1.36), 13th in FG% (.456), 16th in FT% (.770), 17th in 3FG% (.367) and 19th in 3FGs per game (8.3) ... 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 is UAA’s 3rd-leading scorer at 8.6 ppg and continued to add to her All-America credentials last week with 9 assists, 8 steals and just one turnover against Saint Martin’s and SPU ,.. the two-time reigning GNAC Tournament MVP’s 3.5 steals average paces the league by nearly a steal per game, while her 5.5 assists per game ranks 2nd, and her 2.5-to-1 assist-turnover ratio and .861 FT% each rank 4th ... in the national stats, she ranks 6th in spg, 20th in apg and 13th in A/T ratio – one of two players in the top 20 in all three categories ... the 3-time 2nd Team All-GNAC performer started the season as UAA’s career assists leader and claimed the GNAC record in the first game this year; now with 671, she is just two shy of breaking into the top 25 on the all-time NCAA Div. II list ... with five swipes against Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 14, she added both the UAA and GNAC career steals record as well, now with 364 ... 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 2nd in games started (122), 18th in scoring (966 pts), 7th in FT% (.785), 11th in FTs made (237) and 5th in games played (125) ... with UAA’s next win, she will also equal former All-American Rebecca Kielpinski (112 wins, 2005-09) for the most in program history ... Robertson is NCAA Div. II’s active career leader in total assists – needing two more to break into the all-time top 25 – and assists per game, plus No. 2 in total steals and steals per game ... the only Hawaiian ever to suit up for the Seawolves, Robertson was 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 8th nationally in scoring with 21.0 points per game ... the transfer from Div. I Little Rock has hit the 20-point plateau 15 times, including 10 of the last 12 games, and been UAA’s top scorer in 23 of 26 contests ... Williams has shot at least 50 percent 18 times, dished at least 3 assists 19 times, and grabbed multiple steals 10 times ... with back-to-back honors in  December and February, Williams is 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, 29th nationally), 3rd in scoring, 6th in FG% (.521, 33rd nationally), 10th in assists (3.2 apg), 6th in A/T ratio (1.6), 8th in 3FGs per game (1.6) and 9th in 3FG% (.365) ... Williams’s 27.9 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 7.6 points and 1.5 steals per game, boosted by seven double-figure scoring efforts and a career-high 7 steals in the season-opener against CSULA ... the Preseason All-GNAC pick ranks 15th in the league in steals and is the Seawolves’ 5th-leading scorer and 4th-leading rebounder (3.7 rpg) ... on UAA’s career lists, Devine currently sits 28th in scoring (756 pts), 20th in rebounds (468), 19th in 3FG% (.332) and 3FGs made (65), 12th in games started (87) and 5th in victories (101) ... 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, 4.8 rpg and 1.7 spg, while starting 23 of 26 games ... the former Dimond High star has led UAA in rebounding seven 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 13th in the GNAC in that category, now with at least 3 steals in eight games ... So. SG Tara Thompson has also moved into the starting lineup and more than doubled her averages, emerging as the Seawolves’ 2nd-leading scorer (8.6 ppg) and an effective rebounder (3.4 rpg) ... the former Dimond Lynx ranks 2nd in the GNAC in both 3FG% (.438) and 3FGs per game (2.4), while in the NCAA Div. II national stats she is 11th in 3FG% and 64th in 3FGs/gm ... Thompson has also committed just 19 turnovers all year, while playing the 2nd-most minutes (641 total, 24.7 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 .511 overall, .417 (5 of 12) from long range and .872 at the foul stripe ... UAA’s 7th-leading scorer and 3rd-leading rebounder with 7.1 ppg and 3.9 rpg, she tallied a season-best 17 points against Post and scored 10 in the win at Hawaii-Hilo ... the former Kodiak High star has also emerged as 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 .522.

NEW AND IMPROVING: Along with Sr. F Autummn Williams, UAA has several newcomers making 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 8.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg and 1.3 spg in just 17.3 minutes per contest ... showing off a dynamic inside-outside game, Cloninger holds GNAC ranks of 18th in 3FG% (.337), 20th in 3FGs per game (1.1) and 21st in steals ... true Fr. G Kimijah King continued her impressive debut season last week, 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 7.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg and 1.1 spg in a reserve role,  the Seattle native’s .526 FG% ranks 5th in the GNAC and 17th-best on UAA’s single-season 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 11 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 3.3 ppg ... the Californian leads the GNAC in assist/turnover ratio at 2.8-to-1, while ranking 5th in assists (4.4 apg) and 6th in steals (2.0 spg) – all in a backup role behind senior All-America candidate Kiki Robertson ... nationally, Goo is 8th overall in A/T ratio and No. 1 among freshmen, while she stands 4th in assists (60th overall) and 11th in steals among rookies ... 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 4.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 15.1 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 tallied 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 back-to-back GNAC regular-season titles for the first time and ascending to No. 1 in the national rankings in two consecutive campaigns ... McCarthy repeated as the WBCA’s NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year in 2015-16, adding to his 2014-15 GNAC Coach of the Year honor ... 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 season at the helm … playing its up-tempo ‘Mayhem’ style, McCarthy’s 2015-16 crew also led the nation in steals per game for the third season in a row ... McCarthy sports a head-coaching record of 128-25 (.837) at UAA and 142-38 (.789) overall, having served in an interim capacity at Northwest Nazarene in 2011-12 … McCarthy is assisted again in 2016-17 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.

SEAWOLVES PICKED 3RD: UAA finished third in a narrow GNAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Oct. 19:

2016-17 GNAC Women’s Basketball Coaches Poll
Rk  Team (1st-pl. votes)   Records             Pts
 1. Western Washington (6) 20-9 (16-4, 2nd)    112
 2. Simon Fraser (1)       16-11 (13-7, 4th)   105
 3. Alaska Anchorage (4)   38-3 (18-2, 1st)    103
 4. Montana State Billings 21-11 (15-5, 3rd)    84
 5. Seattle Pacific        12-15 (9-11, 7th)    79
 6. Northwest Nazarene     12-15 (10-10, t5th)  61
 7. Central Washington     17-12 (10-10, t5th)  58
 8. Concordia, Ore.        6-22 (4-16, 10th)    45
 9. Alaska Fairbanks       12-18 (7-13, 8th)    39
10. Saint Martin’s         7-20 (5-15, 9th)     22
11. Western Oregon         4-24 (3-17, 11th)    18

2016-17 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Sierra Afoa
GNAC All-Academic Team
Alysha Devine
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC All-Academic Team
Kiki Robertson
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC Player of the Week, Jan. 23-29
GNAC All-Academic Team
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