SEATTLE – Senior forward Shelby Cloninger had 13 points and nine rebounds but the rest of the Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team could not overcome a slow start Saturday, seeing its 33-game league winning streak halted with a 66-48 loss to Seattle Pacific at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
The nationally 4th-ranked Seawolves (16-2, 9-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 12 points from junior center Hannah Wandersee as they dropped a GNAC regular-season or conference tournament game for the first time since a 67-66 loss to Simon Fraser on Feb. 27, 2016 at the Alaska Airlines Center.
The Falcons (14-3, 8-2) – ranked No. 4 in the latest D2SIDA NCAA Div. II West Region poll – got 23 points and eight rebounds from guard Rachel Shim as they led start to finish, snapping an 11-game losing streak against UAA.
“I give SPU a ton of credit for being the aggressor and taking us out of what we wanted to do offensively,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy. “At the same time, we need to be accountable for the making a lot of simple errors that put us behind the 8-ball and cost us a chance to even be within striking distance late. We will regroup and be grateful that we have a one-game lead at the midpoint of the league season, and try to improve as we head down the homestretch.”
Returning from a three-game absence due to injury, Cloninger connected on four of her first seven three-point tries to keep UAA within 47-42 after three quarters. But the Seawolves would shoot 0 of 12 as a team in the final period, seeing the Falcons pull away late.
The Seawolves shot just 26.4 percent from the field and were outrebounded 46-30 as they also saw a 23-game GNAC road winning streak come to an end, while the 18-point margin marked UAA’s worst setback of any kind since a 76-49 home loss to Northwest Nazarene on Jan. 17, 2013.
UAA returns to the Alaska Airlines Center for four of its final six games, beginning Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. against Simon Fraser. Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com for tickets.