PORTLAND, Ore. – Shelby Cloninger scored all 15 of her points after halftime and Hannah Wandersee delivered 14 points and seven rebounds Thursday to help the 6th-ranked Alaska Anchorage women’s basketball team to a 73-69 overtime victory over Concordia-Portland at LCEF Court.
The Seawolves (21-2, 14-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got nine points, eight assists and four steals from sophomore point guard Yazmeen Goo as they remained unbeaten in six all-time meetings against the Cavaliers (12-11, 6-9) and retained a one-game lead in the GNAC standings with five games left.
The hosts were led by 17 points and 13 rebounds from forward Bailey Cartwright, 15 points from guard Danielle Hartzog, and 13 points from guard Kizzah Maltezo, who hit a jumper shot with four-tenths of a second remaining to send it to overtime.
“That was certainly a gut-check game,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy. “Concordia played us very well in Anchorage, so we knew they were not to be taken lightly – they just seem to match up and execute against us very well. That said, we really hurt ourselves with 20 turnovers and a lot of missed layups tonight. Luckily we got some timely jump shooting late, especially those threes in overtime by Rodericka (Ware) and Shelby.”
UAA quickly erased a 31-26 at halftime deficit with a 13-2 run to start the third quarter, and Cloninger hit a three-pointer to make it 42-35 at the 4:33 mark. The Seawolves took their largest edge at 49-40 when Goo fed Cloninger for a jumper, but the Cavs would continue to battle back.
Maltezo put her team ahead for the lone time in the fourth quarter at 58-56 when she buried a trey with two minutes left. Ware would tie it by going 2 of 4 from the foul line, and the Seawolves took the lead when Wandersee blocked Cartwright and drew a foul, converting the bonus free throws for a 60-58 edge with 3.4 seconds left.
The Cavs used their last timeout and were thereby able to advance the ball to the frontcourt, where Maltezo took the inbounds pass and made a strong drive before pulling up for a 15-foot jumper that swished through.
Tied 62-62 in the extra session, UAA grabbed the lead for good when Ware and Cloninger hit three-pointers on consecutive possessions for a 68-64 edge. Concordia’s Erin Higbie scored to make it 68-65 with 1:50 left, and the hosts had a chance to get closer, but Wandersee blocked Nikiyah LeSure in the paint and grabbed the rebound before being fouled.
The 6-1 center from Kodiak calmly drained both charities, and Goo sank a pressure free throw with seven seconds left to close the scoring and clinch the victory.
Ware finished with 10 points and six rebounds, while junior guard Sydni Stallworth tallied all seven of her points in the first half.
The Seawolves play Saturday in a 4:15 p.m. AST tip against Western Oregon in Monmouth, Ore., before returning home for their regular-season finales at the Alaska Airlines Center, Feb. 15 and Feb. 17. The Saint Martin’s game can be seen live at GNAC.tv.