The UAA women’s basketball team returned late on July 10 after almost two weeks spent in Taiwan. The lengthy trip to the port city of Kaohsiung was due to a pre-season tournament, the 2018 BLIA Cup University Basketball Tournament.
To prepare for the trip, senior Hannah Wandersee explained that it was fast-paced and short in duration.
“We [had] open gyms on our own as a team until ten days before the trip when coaches were allowed to put us through two-a-day practices, along with weight training three times a week. It was hard to try to fit everything in 10 days, so we had to learn quickly,” Wandersee said.
The women opened with a 22-point-win over team Ryerson from Canada. The July 2 game was led by Wandersee and Tara Thompson, earning 19 and 14 points respectively.
The Seawolves not only ended the game strong, but they also started out the first quarter with a significant 8-point lead. However, their strongest lead was an 11-point lead in the third quarter, earning 28 points over Ryerson’s 17.
UAA’s notable debut did not repeat itself on day two when they got back on the court to play against Nagoya Gakuin University.
A fairly even start at the beginning that only put the Seawolves down three points turned into a much worse second quarter when NGU accumulated 22 points while UAA managed 11.
Despite Yazmeen Goo, Sydni Stallworth and Wandersee all scoring in the double digits during the rest of the game, the Seawolves couldn’t manage another win.
UAA ended 12 points down from NGU’s 81.
The Fourth of July was a positive turn around for the Seawolves, resulting in three wins and just one loss in the remaining tournament games.
Despite the minor setbacks, the team maintained a positive attitude.
“We didn’t really know what to expect because we were playing teams from all over the world and the styles are so different, but I felt [like] we dramatically improved,” Wandersee said.
Université de Lyon, Fo Guang University and Taiwan Sports University all suffered losses to UAA as they got their rhythm back. Shanghai University proved to be the only temporary set back for the Seawolves.
Lyon was the first win of the steak for UAA, a 25-point lead gave the Seawolves an 89-64 victory.
A significant improvement from the previous game, the Seawolves have five double-digit scorers. Wandersee had a team-high of 19 points, Goo and Sala Langi managed 12 each and Stallworth and Thompson both accumulated 11.
Two days later, the Seawolves were back in action with a tournament-high 98 points. In comparison to the previous three games, Stallworth pushed Wandersee out of the top-scorer position by accumulating 17 points, compared to Wandersee’s 14.
Nicole Pinckney also contributed to the high-scoring game with the addition of 15 points, the second-highest on the Seawolves’ side.
As the tournament reached its end, the Seawolves suffered a loss to Shanghai University, just 3 points behind, with a final score of 60-63.
Despite the setback, UAA came back on the final day of the tournament with the strongest win yet, a 36-point lead gave the Seawolves an 88-52 win and a third-place finish in the tournament.
The final game gave McCarthy the opportunity to be creative with the lineup.
“We took control early and got a chance to look at a lot of our young players today, so I couldn’t think of a more positive way to end this trip,” McCarthy said.
The Seawolves will be back in action on Nov. 4 in North Carolina with their first game against Duke University.