THIS WEEK IN ALASKA ANCHORAGE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL...
Thur., Jan. 18 — 6 pm AST — Marcus Pavilion — Lacey, Wash.
#4 Alaska Anchorage (15-1, 8-0 GNAC) at Saint Martin’s (5-11, 1-7 GNAC)
Sat., Jan. 20 — 6 pm AST — Brougham Pavilion — Seattle, Wash.
#4 Alaska Anchorage at Seattle Pacific (12-3, 6-2 GNAC [1/18 vs UAF])
LIVE VIDEOSTREAM: Both game at GNAC.tv or portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa
LIVE STATS: Thursday at GNAC.tv or portal.stretchinternet.com/uaa ... Saturday at www.sidearmstats.com/spu/wbball/
UAA PROBABLE STARTERS (2017-18 stats)
G—Yazmeen Goo, 5-10, So. (7.4 ppg, 2.1 rpg, 4.1 apg, 2.4 spg, .439 FG, .747 FT)
G—Tara Thompson, 5-7, Jr. (8.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.0 apg, .488 FG, .493 3FG [33-67])
G—Kian McNair, 5-5, Jr. (6.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 2.8 apg, 2.8 spg, .395 FG)
F—Shelby Cloninger, 6-0, Sr. (14.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.1 apg, 1.3 spg, .493 FG, .377 3FG, .865 FT)
or G—Kaitlyn Hurley, 5-8, Sr. (5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 1.9 apg, .377 3FG, .909 FT)
F—Hannah Wandersee, 6-1, Jr. (13.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 bpg, .508 FG, .814 FT)
KNOW THE FOES: Saint Martin’s has lost seven straight and nine of its last 10 games, following a 5-2 start ... the Saints are led by Sr. C Elin Johannson (15.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg, .514 FG, .711 FT) and Fr. G/F Saniah Simpson-Patu (14.2, 7.3 rpg, 1.9 apg) ... ranked No. 4 in the latest D2SIDA NCAA Div. II West Region media poll, Seattle Pacific takes a 3-game winning streak into Thursday’s contest in Fairbanks ... the Falcons – whose three losses have come by a combined eight points – are led by 5-10 Sr. G Jordan McPhee (15.1 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 1.9 apg, 1.2 bpg, 2.5 spg, .753 FT) and 6-0 Sr. G/F Courtney Hollander (11.6 ppg, 7.5 rpg, .837 FT).
ALL-TIME vs SMU: UAA leads 27-15 overall
In Lacey: UAA leads 11-9
Last: UAA 73-31 (2/16/17 at UAA)
Streak: UAA 6
Notes: UAA has swept four of the last five regular-season series and won 17 of the last 21 games overall ... UAA’s 6-game winning streak equals its longest against the Saints ... SMU’s last win came by a 58-48 count in the 2014 GNAC Tournament quarterfinals in Lacey ... UAA leads 20-12 in GNAC regular-season meetings (since 2001-02) and 8-3 under Ryan McCarthy (since 2012-13) … teams have played at least once per season since 1997-98 ... first meeting was a 74-67 SMU win in Tacoma, Dec. 4, 1992.
ALL-TIME vs SPU: SPU leads 34-28 overall, 21-8 in Seattle
Last: UAA 76-68 (3/3/17 at SMU, GNAC Tourney semis)
Streak: UAA 11
Notes: The Seawolves’ current win streaks of 11 overall and five at SPU are both their longest in series history; the 11 straight wins – all under Ryan McCarthy – also equal UAA’s 4th-longest streak against any opponent ... UAA has won 14 of the last 15 overall, including 71-62 last year in Seattle ... the teams have met 25 times since Jan. 2008, including three times in the NCAA Division II West Regionals and twice in the GNAC Tournament … SPU leads 18-14 in GNAC regular-season meetings, taking the first 11 encounters … SPU is UAA’s 2nd-most common opponent, squaring off at least once per season since 1990-91 … series started in 1979-80.
STREAKS CONTINUE VS. WOLVES, CAVS: UAA ran its program-record win streak to 28 in a row against Western Oregon and stayed unbeaten in five all-time meetings against Concordia-Portland with respective 85-53 and 76-58 victories at the Alaska Airlines Center last week ... in the first game, Jr. G Kian McNair scored a career-high 15 points (3-3 3FG, 6-6 FT), Sr. G Kaitlyn Hurley had 13 points (3-6 3FG) and 5 assists, and Jr. C Hannah Wandersee scored 12 points to lead a blowout of the visitors from Monmouth ... Fr. G Nicole Pinckney sparked the early offense with a career-high 9 points, and fellow rookie Sala Langi tied her personal bests with 9 points and 7 rebounds as well ... on Saturday, the Seawolves were challenged until the final minute in a battle with the regionally 7th-ranked Cavs, getting 18 points (7-14 FG) and 8 rebounds from Wandersee, 13 points and 9 assists from So. PG Yazmeen Goo, and clutch shooting from Sr. G Tara Thompson (11 points, 3-3 3FG in final 6 minutes) to pull out the win ... Langi had another solid effort with a career-high 10 points (4-5 FG), 4 rebounds and 2 steals as UAA outshot CU .463 to .354 overall and .444 to .286 from long range.
WINNING WAYS: The Seawolves are looking to extend GNAC regular-season win streaks of 32 overall (including GNAC Tourney), 28 overall (not including GNAC Tourney) and 22 straight on the road ... UAA has also won 14 consecutive GNAC home contests ... UAA is a combined 69-3 – including 32-1 on the road – in GNAC regular-season and tournament games over the last four seasons ... at 112-8 (.933), the Seawolves have the most victories and the best winning percentage in NCAA Div. II since 2014-15 ... the Seawolves have clinched the program’s 12th consecutive winning season and are seeking their 11th NCAA Tournament berth in 12 years ... UAA has gone a combined 162-14 (.920) 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 11 top-50 national stats ranks, including seven top-20 marks ... UAA is 3rd in assists per game with 20.6, 5th in steals per game (14.1), 10th in turnover margin (+7.1), 12th in turnovers forced per game (23.0), 144th in assist/turnover ratio (1.29), 16th in scoring margin (+18.6) and 18th in scoring offense (79.3 ppg) ... the Seawolves are attempting to lead the nation in steals for the fifth consecutive season, although they currently trail defending national champ Ashland (17.1) by a wide margin ... in the GNAC stats, UAA leads in nine categories and ranks No. 2 in four others.
WANDERSEE WONDERFUL: 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 7th in the GNAC in scoring (13.9 ppg), leading the league in blocks (1.5 bpg), and ranking 3rd in FG% (.508), 8th in FT% (.814) and 13th in rebounding (6.4 rpg) ... 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% (.829), 7th in FG% (.515), 8th in blocks (64, needs one more to tie for 7th), 9th in blocks per game (0.74) and 11th in victories (82).
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 (14.1 ppg) and co-leading rebounder (6.5 rpg) ... with 11 double-figure scoring efforts in the first 14 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 6th in scoring, 10th in rebounding, 4th in FT% (.865), 4th in FG% (.493), 14th in 3FG% (.377) and 18th in 3FGs per game (1.4) ... 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.
TNT BLOWIN’ UP: Whether it’s her deadeye three-point stroke or her solid all-around game, Jr. G Tara (N.) Thompson has lived up to her GNAC Preseason All-Conference status, currently checking in as UAA’s 4th-leading scorer with 8.4 ppg ... 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, Thompson ranks 9th nationally and 2nd in the GNAC with her .493 3FG%, boosted by an 8-of-12 effort in the win at Notre Dame de Namur and a school-record-tying 6-of-6 display at MSU Billings ... with 12-of-15 accuracy over the last four games, Thompson has also raised her percentage in GNAC contests to a ridiculous .607 (17-28) ... the former Dimond High star led the GNAC in 3FG% last season and currently holds league ranks of 2nd in 3FG%, 3rd in 3FGs per game (2.4) and 6th in FG% (.488) ... with a .418 career 3FG%, Thompson ranks 3rd in UAA and 5th in GNAC history, while her 147 total 3FGs rank 6th on the all-time Seawolf list.
FEELIN’ GOO: 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 five of the last 12 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 59 free throws made are 7th-most in the GNAC ... in the other overall GNAC stats, Goo ranks 5th in assists (4.1 apg), 2nd in assist-turnover ratio (2.2), 3rd in steals per game (2.4) and 15th in FT% (.747) ... 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 seven of 16 contests, posting 5.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg and 1.9 apg, along with seven blocked shots ... 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 the 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 three 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 seven of 15 games as a Seawolf and dished at least four assists in nine contests, including 19 points, 5 assists and 5 steals against Holy Names, and 13 points and 6 assists against MSU Billings ... UAA’s third-leading scorer (10.9 ppg), Ware currently holds GNAC ranks of 4th in steals (2.4 spg), 8th in assists (3.1 apg), 4th in A/T ratio (2.0) and 7th in 3FGs per game (1.9) ... 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) at UAF in early December and 15 points (3-3 3FG, 6-6 FT) last week against Western Oregon ... 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 28th nationally with 2.8 steals per game, swiping seven in the win over Maryland Eastern Shore, and she is 10th in the league with 2.8 assists per game ... junior-college transfer Sydni Stallworth (2-time 1st Team NJCAA All-American at Pima CC) has also provided a big lift off the bench, ranking as UAA’s 7th-leading scorer (5.8 ppg) ... 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.
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 4 rebounds thus far, along with a clutch four points in the win at MSU Billings.
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 148-27 (.846) at UAA and 162-40 (.802) 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