THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
Sat., Jan. 6 — 5 pm AST — Alterowitz Gymnasium — Billings, Mont.
#6 Alaska Anchorage (12-1, 5-0 GNAC)
at Montana State Billings (10-4, 3-1 GNAC [1/4 vs UAF])
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM & STATS: GNAC.tv
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (7.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.6 apg, 2.5 spg, .481 FG, .716 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, Jr. (7.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.1 apg, .418 FG, .407 3FG)
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (5.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 3.0 apg, 2.9 spg, .365 FG)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (13.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 spg, .486 FG, .354 3FG, .848 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (14.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.7 apg, 1.6 bpg, .520 FG, .774 FT)
KNOW THE FOE: After getting off to a blazing start at 9-0, Montana State Billings dropped four straight games Dec. 16-28 before earning a 58-56 win at Saint Martin’s on Dec. 30 ... the Yellowjackets feature the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year in 5-10 Sr. F Alisha Breen (21.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg, 2.9 apg, .397 3FG, .895 FT), alongside 5-6 Sr. G Rylee Kane (10.9 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 5.5 apg, 2.2 spg) and 6-0 Jr. G Vanessa Stavish (9.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, .810 FT).
ALL-TIME vs MSUB: UAA leads 32-26 overall
In Billings: MSUB leads 15-13
Last: UAA 82-43 (1/26/17 at UAA)
Streak: UAA 7
Notes: UAA has won nine of the last 10 and 19 of 21 since MSUB joined the GNAC in 2007-08, including a 77-57 victory in the 2016 GNAC Tournament title game ... MSUB’s
last win came 75-72 in Billings, Mar. 1, 2014, and its last win in Anchorage came 62-54, Dec. 19, 2003 in a non-conference affair ... MSUB is UAA’s 3rd-most common opponent (behind UAF and Seattle Pacific), despite the teams splitting into different leagues from 2002-07 … the teams played twice yearly from 1984-85 to 2000-01 as members of the Pacific West and Continental Divide conferences.
SEAWOLVES CLAIM BORDER BATTLES: The Seawolves survived a pair of close games against 2017 NCAA Tournament programs, beating Simon Fraser 84-79 on Dec. 29 in Burnaby, B.C., and Western Washington 64-54 in Bellingham on Dec. 31 ... in the victory at SFU, Sr. F Shelby Cloninger scored a career-high 26 points (12-19 FG, 2-4 3FG) and grabbed 9 rebounds help UAA overcome a 67-63 4th-quarter deficit ... the Seawolves also got 13 points from Jr. C Hannah Wandersee, 9 points (3-5 3FG) from Sr. G Rodericka Ware, and 8 points apiece from Jr. G Sydni Stallworth (4-6 FG) and Jr. G Kian McNair (3-3 FG) as they shot season bests of .565 overall and .438 (7-16) from long range ... at WWU, So. PG Yazmeen Goo had career highs of 14 points (4-8 FG, 6-8 FT) and 7 steals as UAA fended off a late Vikings run for its fifth straight win in the head-to-head series ...
Cloninger overcame a 2-of-14 FG performance with by going a UAA season-best 8 of 8 from the FT line and posting her first double-double with 12 points and a career-high 12 rebounds, plus 4 steals ... Sr. G Kaitlyn Hurley scored 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG) and McNair stuffed the stat sheet with 5 points, 5 rebounds – including three of UAA’s 23 offensive boards – 4 assists and 3 steals.
WINNING WAYS: The Seawolves are looking to extend GNAC regular-season win streaks of 29 overall (including GNAC Tourney), 25 overall (not including GNAC Tourney), and 21 straight on the road ... UAA is a combined 66-3 – including 31-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last four seasons ... at 109-8 (.932), 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.
NIFTY NUMBERS: The Seawolves hold eight top-30 national stats ranks, including three top-10 marks ... UAA is 3rd in assists per game with 20.6, 6th in steals per game (14.3), 10th in turnover margin (+7.5), 13th in turnovers forced per game (23.9), 15th in assist/turnover ratio (1.29), 22nd in scoring margin (+18.2) and offensive rebounding (16.1 orpg), and 29th in scoring offense (78.9 ppg) ... the Seawolves are attempting to lead the nation in steals for the fifth consecutive season ... in the GNAC stats, UAA leads the league in eight categories -- scoring defense (60.8 ppg), scoring margin, rebounds allowed (33.8), assists, steals, TO margin, offensive rebounds per game and offensive rebound percentage (.414) ... the Seawolves also rank 2nd in the league in scoring offense, FG% (.434) and A/T ratio.
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 8th in the GNAC in scoring (14.0 ppg), leading the league in blocks (1.5 bpg), and ranking 3rd in FG% (.520) and 12th in FT% (.774) ... UAA’s 2nd-leading rebounder with 6.4 rpg (13th 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 ... Wandersee’s UAA career ranks already stand at 3rd in FT% (.847), 6th in FG% (.519), 10th in blocks (60) and blocks per game (0.71), and tied for 11th in victories (79).
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 (13.8 ppg) and leading rebounder (6.8 rpg) ... with 10 double-figure scoring efforts in the first 13 games – including successive career highs of 19 points against Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore, 22 at UAF and 26 at Simon Fraser – she holds GNAC ranks of 10th in scoring, 11th in rebounding, 4th in FT% (.848), 8th in FG% (.486), 19th in 3FG% (.354) and 18th in 3FGs per game (1.3) ... the Kamiah, Idaho, native also has eight games with at least 7 rebounds this year, including 10 against Western State, nine at Simon Fraser and a career-high 12 at Western Washington ... in late November, Cloninger claimed GCI Great Alaska Shootout Most Outstanding Player and GNAC Player of the Week honors after leading the Seawolves to the final tournament title ... 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 7.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.1 apg and a nearly 2-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ... Thompson leads UAA with her .407 3FG%, boosted by an 8-of-12 effort 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 7th in 3FG% and 3FGs per game (2.0) ... with a .401 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 6th in UAA and 12th in GNAC history, while her 136 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 four of the last nine games – including successive career-highs of 11 points against Western State, 13 points against Northwest Nazarene and 14 at Western Washington ... the Bay Area native earned all-tournament honors at both the Seawolf Hoops Classic and the GCI Great Alaska Shootout, while her 48 free throws made are 3rd-most in the GNAC ... in the overall GNAC stats, Goo ranks 3rd in assist-turnover ratio (2.0), 2nd in steals per game (2.5), 6th in assists per game (3.6) and 20th in FT% (.716) ... 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 13 contests, posting 5.5 ppg, 2.5 rpg and 1.9 apg ... the Utah native and Snow College transfer scored a season-high 16 points in the win over Div. I Maryland Eastern Shore, and she had a clutch performance in last week’s win at Western Washington with 10 points (4-7 FG, 2-3 3FG), no turnovers and no fouls in 19 minutes.
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 12 games as a Seawolf and dished at least three assists in nine contests, including 19 points, 5 assists and 5 steals against Holy Names ... Ware currently holds GNAC ranks of 3rd in steals (2.4 spg), 9th in assists (3.0 apg), 7th in A/T ratio (1.8) and 7th in 3FGs per game (2.0), as well as UAA’s 3rd-leading scorer (10.8 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 24th nationally with 2.9 steals per game, swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore, and she is 9th in the league with 3.0 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 20th 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 3.8 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 145-27 (.843) at UAA and 159-40 (.799) 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