PORTLAND, Ore. – Senior center Hannah Wandersee scored 21 points and junior guard Safiyyah Yasin added 16 points off the bench Saturday to help 12th-ranked Alaska Anchorage overcome a Concordia-Portland upset bid for a 75-68 women’s basketball victory at LCEF Court.
The Seawolves (15-1, 7-1 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) also got 14 points on 4-of-7 three-point shooting from senior guard Tara Thompson as they pushed their winning streak to eight and remained unbeaten in seven all-time meetings against Concordia.
The Cavaliers (7-9, 2-6) were led by 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting and eight rebounds from guard Keesha Sarman, but the hosts were unable to capitalize on a 39-29 rebounding advantage.
“Concordia’s ball handlers did a good job for most of the game against our press, but our pressure finally started to pay some dividends late,” said UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy, whose team outscored the Cavs 11-2 in points off turnovers in the final quarter. “Kian (McNair) and Sydni (Stallworth) made a couple huge steals during our closing run, and Hannah showed lots of poise offensively with some clutch shots down the stretch.”
UAA never led by double figures, having to erase a 29-23 deficit midway through the second quarter. Wandersee – who scored a season high for the second game in a row – notched a pair of baskets during an 11-1 run, and the Seawolves took a 39-35 lead at halftime.
Despite an offensive lull that saw the Seawolves score just two baskets in the opening seven minutes of the second half, the Cavaliers were never able to retake the lead.
Concordia cut it to a one-point game three times in the fourth quarter, making it 55-54 on Jewel Paaluhi-Caulk’s layup with 7:44 left. Thompson nailed a midrange jumper 15 seconds later, however, and the senior connected on a transition three-pointer on a feed from Goo to make it 60-54.
Clinging to a 70-64 lead, the Seawolves got the clincher when McNair fed Wandersee for a hook shot that barely beat the shot clock. The GNAC’s steals leader, McNair then earned her fourth swipe of the game on the Cavs’ ensuing possession.
UAA – which came in with a GNAC-best 14.3 steals per game – made 19 steals and forced 26 turnovers, getting four swipes as well from Yasin and junior point guard Yazmeen Goo, who also had five assists. Stallworth finished with eight points, three steals and two assists.
The Seawolves complete the first half of GNAC play next week when they host Saint Martin’s on Thursday and Seattle Pacific on Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center. Tip-off both nights is 7 p.m. Call 907-786-1562 or visit GoSeawolves.com or AlaskaAirlinesCenter.com for tickets.