The UAA Women’s Basketball team proved once again they are the class of the GNAC and have some more hardware to further prove it. The Seawolves claimed a 67-52 GNAC Championship win over rival and second seeded Western Washington in Lacey, Washington on March 3 to officially punch their ticket to the West Region postseason.
The top seeded Seawolves (27-4) got a team-high 19 points from junior guard Haley Holmstead. The eventual tournament MVP would connect on 9 of 14 shooting on the night to pace the Seawolves’ offensive attack.
UAA shot 52.3 percent from the field on the night. Though they only went 1 of 3 from three-point range, they were far more accurate than the Vikings who finished the night shooting 27.7 percent from the floor.
UAA also got a stellar performance from reserve guard Tijera Matthews. The junior came off the bench to drop 12 points and take down a team-high eight rebounds on the night.
Pitching in would also be 2012 GNAC Player of the Year Hanna Johansson. The 6’2” senior center finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 30 minutes of action. Senior forward Kaylie Robison nearly missed out on a double-double (nine points, eight rebounds) on the night.
WWU (21-7) would get a game-high 21 points and 12 rebounds from junior center Britt Harris. Her 9 of 15 shooting effort (60 percent) would be the only one on the Vikings squad that was over 25 percent individually.
UAA owned a 39-34 advantage in rebounds but committed 21 turnovers on the night in comparison to the Vikings’ 15 giveaways.
Seawolves stave off late charge from Clan
After having a comfortable lead for most of the second half, UAA got a scare down the stretch from the fifth seeded Simon Fraser Clan. However, the Seawolves were able to hold onto a 74-70 decision in the GNAC Semifinals on March 2.
Holmstead shot 6 of 12 from the field and drained all 10 free throw attempts to finish with a game-high 22 points for UAA. Fellow guard, freshman Gritt Ryder, would pitch in with 12 points of her own in 28 minutes of play to help the cause.
The Seawolves saw Johansson barely miss out on a double-double with 10 points and eight rebounds. Robison wasn’t far behind with eight points and eight boards herself. Sophomore reserve guard Alysa Horn had nine points and seven rebounds of her own off of the bench.
The Seawolves, who were up by as much as 18 points in the second half, went cold in the later stages of the game while SFU (17-11) made a furious comeback.
Junior forward Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, a GNAC first team selection, finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead SFU. Also helping was junior guard Kristina Collins (21 points, four assists) and junior guard Carla Wyman (13 points, five rebounds).
The Clan also outrebounded UAA 39-32 on the night but were edged by the Seawolves in shooting, converting 41.8 percent of their shots to UAA’s 45.0 shooting percentage on the night.