PORTLAND, Ore. – The Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team captured three major awards Wednesday as the Great Northwest Athletic Conference announced its 2016-17 postseason honors, recognizing senior Kiki Robertson as Defensive Player of the Year, senior Autummn Williams as Newcomer of the Year, and Ryan McCarthy as Coach of the Year.
Williams also earned unanimous First Team All-GNAC recognition, while Robertson made Second Team All-GNAC for the fourth straight season, and senior forward Alysha Devine was tabbed honorable mention.
A transfer from Div. I Little Rock, Williams is the 6th-leading scorer in NCAA Div. II with 21.1 points per game, along with averages of 2.8 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 2.6 steals, while shooting 51 percent from the field, 38 percent from three-point range and 75 percent on free throws. Highlighted by three 30-plus efforts in the final six games, the 5-10 forward has led the nationally 2nd-ranked Seawolves in scoring 25 times, while posting other league ranks of second in steals, fifth in field-goal percentage, seventh in assist/turnover ratio (1.5), 11th in assists and eighth in three-point percentage and threes made per game (1.7).
Only the third player in league history to earn four GNAC Player of the Week honors in the same season, Williams was runner-up to national scoring leader Taylor Peacocke of Western Washington for the GNAC Player of the Year award. The Rochester, N.Y., native follows Keiahnna Engel in giving UAA back-to-back GNAC Newcomer of the Year awards and nine in the last 15 seasons.
Robertson picked up her second GNAC Defensive Player of the Year award in three seasons after leading the league with 3.4 steals per game and helping the Seawolves to NCAA Div. II statistical ranks of No. 1 in steals (16.1 spg), No. 2 in turnover margin (+11.6), turnovers forced per game (26.3) and scoring margin (+30.), and No. 3 in scoring defense (52.8 ppg allowed). The 5-5 point guard ranks in the top 25 nationally in four statistical categories – 6th in steals, 12th in A/T ratio (2.5), 21st in assists (5.5 apg) and 20th in free throw percentage (.867).
Sporting a personal win-loss record of 59-2 in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the past three seasons, the Honolulu (Mid-Pacific Institute) native is the league’s career assists and steals leader, ranking No. 24 on the all-time NCAA Div. II assists list with 681, and closing in on the top 25 with 369 steals. She is also the reigning two-time GNAC Tournament MVP, having helped the Seawolves to three straight league titles and the most wins (96) in DII over the past three years, along with a national runner-up finish in 2016.
Meanwhile, McCarthy was voted by his peers as the GNAC Coach of the Year for the second time in three seasons. The Anchorage native has led the Seawolves to a 27-1 record – with the only loss against Div. I program Portland – and the first 20-0 league record in league history. Picked to finish third in the GNAC preseason poll after losing seven seniors from last year’s DII-record 38-win team, the Seawolves have risen to No. 2 in the nation for the last five top 25 polls, currently riding program-record win streaks of 23 overall, 27 vs. DII opponents, 21 on the road, and 18 in conference road games.
Under McCarthy’s guidance, UAA also leads the nation in steals per game for the fourth straight season and ranks in the top 20 nationally in nine additional categories, including second in assists (19.5 apg), fifth in scoring offense (82.8 ppg) and sixth in assist/turnover ratio (1.33).
A 6-foot senior forward, Devine was named honorable mention for the second year in a row, currently sporting averages of 7.4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. The Wasilla High School product ranks among the league leaders in steals, and she is tied for the fourth-most victories in UAA program history with 103, having earned NCAA West Regional Championships MVP honors during last year’s run to the national title game.
The Seawolves are the top seed for the GNAC Tournament, which opens with quarterfinal action Thursday at Marcus Pavilion in Lacey, Wash. UAA will face either No. 4 seed Northwest Nazarene or No. 5 seed Seattle Pacific at 1:15 p.m. AST on Friday, with live video available at gnac.tv.