THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
Fri., Dec. 29 — 6 pm AST — SFU West Gymnasium — Burnaby, B.C.
#6 Alaska Anchorage (10-1, 3-0 GNAC) at Simon Fraser (5-5, 0-2 GNAC)
Sun., Dec. 31 — 3 pm AST — Carver Gymnasium — Bellingham, Wash.
#6 Alaska Anchorage at Western Washington (5-5, 1-1 GNAC [12/29 vs UAF])
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: Both games at GNAC.tv
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (7.7 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.3 spg, .474 FG, .756 FT)
G—Kaitlyn Hurley, 5-8, Sr. (6.0 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.1 spg, .324 3FG, 8-8 FT)
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (6.4 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.7 apg, 3.2 spg, .350 FG, .636 FT)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (13.4 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.1 spg, .529 FG, .484 3FG, .842 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (15.7 ppg, 6.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.6 bpg, .570 FG, .857 FT)
KNOW THE FOES: Hosting just its fourth home game of the season, Simon Fraser has gone 5-5 overall and 4-4 against West Region competition thus far, including losses in its first two GNAC games (74-60 at WWU; 70-61 at MSUB) ... coming off a NCAA Sweet 16 berth last year, the Clan are led by UC Irvine transfer Tayla Jackson (13.3 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, .448 FG, .722 FT), a 6-3 Jr. C, along with 5-11 Jr. F Sophie Swant (12.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.2 apg, 1.8 spg, .900 FT) ... Western Washington is also 5-5 overall and 4-3 against West Region foes heading into Thursday’s home contest against UAF ... NCAA Second Round qualifiers last season, the Vikings are led by 6-1 Sr. C Hannah Stipanovich (15.1 ppg, 7.0 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.8 spg, .500 FG) and 5-8 Fr. G Gracie Castaneda (12.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 2.3 apg, .387 3FG, .850 FT).
ALL-TIME vs SIMON FRASER: UAA leads 15-8 overall
At Burnaby: SFU leads 5-4
Last: SFU 90-80 (3/11/17 at UAA)
Streak: SFU 1
Notes: UAA has won seven of the last nine, although both of SFU’s wins have come in stunning, upset form, including last year’s 90-80 NCAA Second Round decision against No. 2-ranked UAA in Anchorage ... the Clan also pulled a 67-66 stunner in Anchorage against No. 1-ranked UAA to close the 2015-16 regular season – the Seawolves’ last defeat against a D-II opponent in the regular season ... UAA has won three straight in Burnaby by a grand total of 11 points (77-72 last season, 76-74 and 63-59) ... UAA leads 9-5 in regular-season meetings since SFU joined the GNAC in the 2010-11 season and 8-5 overall under head coach Ryan McCarthy ... first meeting was a 65-61 UAA win in Moscow, Idaho, Nov. 28, 1981.
ALL-TIME vs WWU: WWU leads 23-22 overall, 12-8 in Bellingham
Last: UAA 79-70 (3/4/17 at St. Martin’s)
Streak: UAA 4
Notes: UAA has won eight of the last nine, including last year’s GNAC Tournament title game in Lacey, Wash. ... the Seawolves won a double-OT classic, 75-72 last year in Bellingham ... UAA has won 13 of the last 17 meetings, although WWU has won three of the last five in Bellingham ... teams have played 19 times since Jan. 2011, including four meetings in the GNAC Tournament finals (all UAA wins) and an NCAA 1st Round game in 2012 ... series tied 16-16 in GNAC regular-season meetings since the league’s formation in 2001-02 ... UAA is 8-4 vs. WWU under head coach Ryan McCarthy.
LAST TIME OUT: Then-No. 2 UAA ran its season-opening win streak to 10 with an 87-76 road win over Notre Dame de Namur on Dec. 16 before seeing a handful of streaks snapped with 68-58 upset loss at Sonoma State on Dec. 19 ... against the Argos, UAA grabbed a big early lead and hung on thanks to a career-high 24 points (8-12 3FG) from Jr. G Tara Thompson and 14 points (7-13 FG), 9 rebounds and 2 blocks from Jr. C Hannah Wandersee ... five Seawolves scored in double figures, including So. PG Yazmeen Goo, who had 10 points (4-5 FG, 2-2 FT), 7 assists and 5 rebounds, playing just 20 minutes from her hometown of Daly City, Calif. ... the victory was UAA’s 14th straight against Pac West Conference foes ... in the non-conference finale, however, the Seawolves scored 11 points fewer than they had all season, despite 16 points (7-14 FG) from Sr. G Rodericka Ware and 10 points from Sr. F Shelby Cloninger ... UAA was outshot .477 to .327 and outrebounded 40-23 as it saw a plethora of streaks snapped, including program records of 39 consecutive regular-season wins over Div. II opponents, 24 consecutive road wins and 17 consecutive non-conference road wins; it also snapped a 7-game win streak against CCAA opponents.
WINNING WAYS: The Seawolves are looking to extend GNAC regular-season win streaks of 27 overall (including GNAC Tourney), 23 overall (including GNAC Tourney), and 19 straight on the road ... UAA is a combined 64-3 – including 29-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last four seasons ... at 107-8 (.930), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... the Seawolves are seeking the program’s 12th consecutive winning season and 11th NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years ... UAA has gone a combined 160-14 (.919) in the last 11 seasons on its home courts ... the loss to Sonoma State snapped a 41-game winning streak against Div. II non-conference opponents in the regular season, marking the first such setback since Ryan McCarthy’s Seawolf coaching debut, Nov. 9, 2012, against Colorado Mines.
NATIONAL NUMBERS: The Seawolves hold eight top-25 national stats ranks, including four top-10 marks ... UAA is 2nd in assists per game with 21.2 – trailing only defending national champ and current No. 1-ranked Ashland (24.3 apg) – along with 3rd in steals per game (14.8), 5th in turnover margin (+8.55), 9th in turnovers forced per game (24.9), 15th in assist/turnover ratio (1.29), 17th in scoring margin (+20.1), 23rd in scoring offense (79.8 ppg) and 25th in offensive rebounding (15.9) ... the Seawolves are attempting to lead the nation in steals for the fifth consecutive season.
WANDERSEE AWAKENING: A reserve in 66 of 71 career games before this year, Jr. C Hannah Wandersee has entered the starting 5 and delivered in a big way, ranking 6th in the GNAC in scoring (14.9 ppg), leading the league in blocks (1.5 bpg), and ranking 2nd in FG% (.534) and 3rd in FT% (.880) ... UAA’s leading rebounder with 6.7 rpg (11th in GNAC), she collected GNAC co-Player of the Week for her efforts against Hawaii Pacific and Cal State LA, earned the Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player award the following week, and made the GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team – in November alone ... the Kodiak product had her first career double-double against a Div. II opponent with her then-career-high 24 points and career-high-tying 11 rebounds against Hawaii Pacific, and she has twice already equaled her career-best 4 assists ... her career-high 27-point effort against Northwest Nazarene marked her third career 20-plus game, and her 12 field goals against the Nighthawks was the most for a Seawolf since Autummn Williams tallied 14 at NNU last February ... Wandersee’s UAA career ranks already stand at 2nd in FT% (.847), 6th in FG% (.524), 11th in blocks per game (0.68), 12th in blocks (56, needs three more to reach top 10), and 13th in victories (77).
SURE-SHOT SHELBY: Sr. F Shelby Cloninger has proven GNAC coaches correct so far as a GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick, standing as UAA’s 2nd-leading scorer (12.8 ppg) and rebounder (6.1 rpg) ... with eight double-figure scoring efforts in the first 11 games – including career highs of 19 points against Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore and 22 at UAF -- she holds GNAC ranks of 14th in scoring, 15th in rebounding, 6th in FG% (.505), 10th in 3FG% (.405) and 19th in 3FGs per game (1.4) ... the Kamiah, Idaho, native also has six games with at least 7 rebounds this year, including 10 against Western State, 8 against NNU and 7 against Eastern Shore as she earned GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player and GNAC Player of the Week honors ... a transfer from North Idaho College after playing at Div. I Utah State, Cloninger averaged 8.1 ppg, 4.1 rpg and 1.2 spg in 17.6 minutes per contest in her first season at UAA in 2016-17.
TARA TERRIFIC: Another GNAC Preseason All-Conference pick, Jr. SG Tara Thompson has shaken off some early injury woes and shown her solid all-around game recently, including one of the best long-range touches in school and league history ... the 2nd-leading scorer (8.9 ppg) on last year’s 30-win team and a bench contributor on UAA’s 2016 NCAA Runner-Up squad, she has posted 8.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.3 apg and a team-best 21/8 assist/turnover ratio ... Thompson has 11 treys in her last two games, including an 8-of-12 shooting performance in the win at Notre Dame de Namur ... the former Dimond High star led the GNAC in 3FG% last season and currently holds league ranks of 8th in 3FG% (.429) and 3rd in 3FGs per game (2.3) ... with a .404 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 6th in UAA and 12th in GNAC history, while her 135 total 3FGs rank 6th on the all-time Seawolf list.
GOO STUFF: Following one of the most productive rookie campaigns for a point guard in program history, So. PG Yazmeen Goo has blossomed into a scoring threat as well, scoring double figures in three of the last seven games – including 11 points against Western State and a career-high 13 points against Northwest Nazarene ... the Bay Area native earned all-tournament honors at both the Seawolf Hoops Classic and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, while her 55 free throw attempts are nearly twice as many as her closest teammate ... in the overall GNAC stats, Goo ranks 2nd in assist-turnover ratio (2.2), 3rd in steals per game (2.3), 5th in assists per game (4.0) and 17th in FT% (.727) ... Goo and UAA have also gotten a boost with the return of Sr. SG Kaitlyn Hurley, who missed the second half of last season ... a dangerous scorer from anywhere on the court, Hurley has started five of 11 contests, posting 5.1 ppg, 2.7 rpg and 1.8 apg ... the Utah native and Snow College transfer scored a season-high 16 points in the win over Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore.
TRANSFER TRAIN’S A-CHUGGIN': UAA’s four active transfers have all made immediate impacts, with Sr. G Rodericka Ware (Academy of Art) and Jr. G Kian McNair (Portland State) standing out as all-tourney picks at the Seawolf Hoops Classic ... Ware began her career at Central Arizona College before earning First Team All-Pacific West Conference honors last year with Art U, posting 17.4 ppg, 4.0 apg and a league-leading 2.8 3FGs made per game ... the Lakewood, Wash., native has scored double figures in six of 10 games as a Seawolf and dished at least three assists in seven contests, including 19 points, 5 assists and 5 steals against Holy Names ... Ware currently holds GNAC ranks of 2nd in steals (2.8 spg), 7th in assists (3.3 apg), 6th in A/T ratio (1.8), 7th in 3FGs per game (1.8) and 20th in scoring (11.6 ppg) ... meanwhile, McNair led Portland State with 11.3 ppg as a freshman and recorded 18 double-digit scoring efforts in 57 career games with the Vikings ... the Vallejo, Calif., product found her scoring touch with season highs of 14 points (6-12 FG) against Holy Names and 9 points against Western State and at UAF ... McNair has shown the ability to stuff the stat sheet, with other season highs of 6 rebounds vs. NNU and 6 assists against both NNU and Eastern Shore ... McNair also leads the GNAC and ranks 20th nationally with 3.0 steals per game, swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore, and she is 12th in the league with 2.8 assists per game ... junior-college transfers Sydni Stallworth (2-time 1st Team NJCAA All-American at Pima CC) and Rainey Kuykendall (from 2-time NJCAA national runner-up Trinity Valley CC) have provided a big lift off the bench as well ... Stallworth is one of five Seawolves averaging more than 2.0 apg – dishing a season-high 6 assists against Holy Names – and she keyed UAA’s 4th-quarter run in the GCI Great Alaska Shootout title-game win over Tulsa with 6 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals ... Kuykendall (pronounced KIRK-en-dahl) has played some of the most productive minutes on the team thus far, delivering 10 points (3-6 FG, 4-4 FT), 9 rebounds and 4 blocks against HNU and Western State ... the Chicago native and Trinity Valley (Texas) CC transfer ranks 15th in the GNAC with 0.6 blocks per game, while she is a perfect 8 of 8 at the foul stripe for the year.
FEELIN’ FRESH: The future looks bright as UAA’s three true freshmen are already making early contributions, including Pacifica, Calif., product Sala Langi, who ranks third on the team with 4.1 rpg ... former Chugiak High all-state guard Nicole Pinckney tallied 12 points in the Seawolf Hoops Classic and was a key player in UAA’s GCI Great Alaska Shootout title run, while former East High star Tennae Voliva has posted season highs of 5 points and 3 rebounds thus far.
McCARTHY IN CHARGE: Now in his sixth season at UAA and seventh overall as a head coach, Ryan McCarthy has led the Seawolf program to new heights, capturing three straight GNAC regular-season and tournament titles and ascending as high as No. 1 or No. 2 in the national rankings in every season since 2014-15 ... McCarthy earned his second GNAC Coach of the Year honor in the last three seasons in 2016-17 and ‘three-peated’ as the WBCA’s NCAA Div. II West Region Coach of the Year ... in 2016-17, the Anchorage native took UAA to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year (including three straight top-2 regional seeds), posting its second straight 30-win season (30-2) and recording the first 20-0 league record in GNAC history ... the previous season, McCarthy’s crew set an NCAA Div. II record with 38 victories, advancing all the way to the 2016 National Title Game in Indianapolis ... his 2014-15 club claimed what was then 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) his first four seasons and has increased the Seawolves’ GNAC victory total every year (11, 12, 17, 18, 20) … playing its up-tempo ‘Mayhem’ style, McCarthy’s 2016-17 crew has also led the nation in steals per game for four straight seasons ... McCarthy sports a head-coaching record of 143-27 (.841) at UAA and 157-40 (.797) overall, having served in an interim capacity at Northwest Nazarene in 2011-12 … McCarthy is assisted by 6th-year associate head coach Shaina Afoa, 1st-year assistant and former Seawolf standout Alysha Devine, and 4th-year volunteer assistant Patrick Flanigin.
2017-18 SEAWOLF INDIVIDUAL HONORS
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Player of the Game vs Md. Eastern Shore
GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player
GNAC Player of the Week, Nov. 20-26
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
GCI Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team
Preseason All-GNAC Team
GNAC co-Player of the Week, Nov. 6-12
Seawolf Hoops Classic Most Outstanding Player
Seawolf Hoops Classic All-Tournament Team