MONMOUTH, Ore. – Senior center Hannah Wandersee scored a season-high 20 points and 12th-ranked Alaska Anchorage used a season-best 24 steals to pull away for a 74-56 women’s basketball victory over Western Oregon on Thursday at the New P.E. Building.
The Seawolves (14-1, 6-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 11 points and six steals from Kian McNair and 10 points from fellow senior guard Sydni Stallworth to win their seventh straight game and extend their program record with a 30th consecutive victory over WOU.
The Wolves (5-8, 2-5) were led by a career-high 23 points from center Natalie DeLonge, who also delivered team-bests of nine rebounds and three blocks. Guard Olivia Denton added 11 points and five rebounds for the hosts, but she committed seven of her team’s 33 turnovers.
“We got into some big foul trouble in the first half, otherwise we might have been able to utilize our press even more effectively,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose team entered Thursday ranked fourth in NCAA Div. II with 13.6 steals per game. “Luckily our game plan worked well anyway and we were able to wear them down towards the end.”
UAA trailed 13-9 late in the opening quarter before taking the lead for good at 21-18 on a Tara Thompson three-pointer with 7:23 left before the half. Despite having three players with three fouls, plus two more on Wandersee, the Seawolves were able to stretch their halftime edge to 41-30 when Safiyyah Yasin scored on a feed from Sala Langi with 33 seconds left.
The Wolves stayed close, trailing 56-45 with 25 seconds left in the third quarter, but the Seawolves secured the win with a 12-2 run over the next five minutes, capped by a steal and layup from Langi.
Wandersee – the GNAC Preseason Player of the Year – reached the 20-point mark for the eighth time in her career, shooting 8 of 17 from the floor, along with five rebounds and no turnovers. Meanwhile, Stallworth shot 3 of 5 overall and 2 of 2 from long range, plus two assists and no turnovers.
Yasin and junior point guard Yazmeen Goo – who played with a cast on her right hand for the second straight game – each added five steals, while Goo also tallied nine points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.
With Wandersee and fellow post Tennae Voliva in foul trouble much of the night, the Seawolves also utilized a near-flawless effort from true freshman forward Kimani Fernandez-Roy, who had seven points on 3-of-3 shooting, two rebounds and two steals in 13 minutes off the bench.
UAA won despite getting outrebounded 41-32, earning 20 more shot attempts (65-45) than WOU.
The Seawolves stay in Oregon to face Concordia-Portland (7-8, 2-5) at Saturday at LCEF Court. Tip-off is 4:15 p.m., with live video and stats available at gnac.tv.