Similar to the schedule of the UAA men’s basketball team, the women have just about three weeks left until the Great Northwest Athletic Championships, including four more regular season games. Over the weekend of Feb. 8-10, the Seawolves traveled to Oregon to compete against Concordia University and Western Oregon University.
Despite the No. 1 rank that the Seawolves hold in the GNAC standings, Head Coach Ryan McCarthy knows that any team can still challenge them.
“We have a lot of respect for both of these opponents, especially Concordia, they’re a tough matchup for us. I think a lot of the time, in league play the second time around, comes down to match ups,” McCarthy said.
While the Seawolves hold an almost undefeated conference status, with a 14-1 conference record and a 21-2 overall record, Concordia and Western Oregon fall closer to the end of the standings.
Before this weekend, Concordia had six conference wins and nine conference losses which gave them a safe spot at No. 7 in the standings.
Western Oregon University falls a little bit behind at No. 9 out of 11 teams, with a previous total of five loses and 10 wins.
Taking a look back to last year, the Seawolves were able to prevail over both teams significantly. Against Concordia, UAA previously won by over 30 points with a final score of 91-60. Similarly, UAA beat Western Oregon by 41 points, a final score of 91-50.
The first match that the Seawolves participated in this year was against Concordia, an overtime game that gave UAA a challenge. This game was a much different outcome than the 30 point win last year. This time, the Seawolves only outscored Concordia by 4 points (73-69).
A lot of the success can be given to senior forward Shelby Cloninger and junior forward Hannah Wandersee.
Cloninger, just coming back off of injury, managed to score 15 points for the team in her 27 minutes of playtime. In addition, she accumulated a total of three rebounds and a 3-pointer.
Wandersee was right behind Cloninger, accumulating 14 points in her 34 minutes of playtime, the most time any of the Seawolves got to be on the court. Wandersee was also UAA’s highest rebounder for the night, with a total of seven.
Other standout players that helped the Seawolves sink the overtime win were senior guard Rodericka Ware and sophomore guard Yazmeen Goo.
Goo spent her 35 minutes of playtime accumulating 9 points, 2 rebounds and 8 assists. Rodericka on the other hand, spent her 19 minutes tallying up 10 points and 6 rebounds to help the Seawolves win.
Despite individual success during the game, the entire Seawolf side went downhill after the first quarter. Starting out with a 46.2 percent shot average in the first quarter, they trailed out with a 25.0 percent average in the fourth quarter, finishing with a 38.5 percent average on the game.
In contrast, Concordia stayed consistent throughout the first three quarters, with an average about 33 percent. It wasn’t until they managed a 46.2 percent average in the fourth quarter that put the Seawolves in trouble.
UAA went into the fourth quarter with 47 points, Concordia with 40. However, UAA only scored 13 while CU scored 20, putting them in a tie that lasted for 4 minutes and 10 seconds.
The Seawolves were able to redeem themselves in overtime, scoring 13 points while Concordia scored 9, but they were still put to the test while the score switched leads eleven different times that put the Seawolves behind for 17 minutes of the game.
In a much less stressful game, the Seawolves returned on Feb. 10 to take on Western Oregon.
Wandersee contributed the bulk of the points, with 32 for the night, she posted her career-high points.
Wandersee out-scored everyone on the Seawolves and everyone else from Western Oregon by at least 10 points. The second highest point scorer from UAA was Goo, who contributed 13 points.
In addition to being the top-scorer of the night, Wandersee also contributed as the top-rebounder with a total of 9. She was followed by Cloninger with 7 and Kian McNair with 6.
Despite Wandersee’s success in the game, the Seawolves were only able to out score Western Oregon by eight points. While UAA posted a 43.5 percent point average, that was met by WOU’s 42.2 percent. In addition, the Seawolves only made five more field goal attempts and one more 3-pointer attempt.
Ware proved to be the most successful in 3-pointers, posting a total of three successful of her seven attempts.
Overall, the Seawolves saw a successful night, outscoring their rivals in three of the four periods, leaving coach McCarthy satisfied with their progress.
“[It’s nice to finally] have a full and healthy squad, I think we are on our way up to peaking right now,” McCarthy said. “We have made some adjustments offensively that have really gave us some open shots and I think our team is collectively starting to understand what we’re trying to do defensively, in a controlled-chaos kind of way.”
The team will get to utilize their home-court advantage in their next games. On Feb. 15 they will compete against Seattle Pacific and on Feb. 17. they will go up against Saint Martin’s.