Seawolves keep winning streak

With the scoreboard stopped at 8.6 seconds
remaining in the second half, UAA’s Hanna
Johansson, Brittany Collins and Viki Wohlers
huddled closely on the end of the bench as if
hoping for the best but fearing the worst.
That edge of the seat feeling was the sort of
tension during both the Jan 22 game against the
Northwest Nazarene Crusaders and the Jan 24
battle against the Seattle Pacifi c Falcons. The
Seawolves came out victorious in both matches,
winning 65-54 against the Crusaders and 53-49
against the Falcons.
In the Jan. 22 game against the Crusaders, the
Seawolves failed to show their crowd why they
were ranked second during the fi rst half. After
being out shot and turning the ball over far more
than usual, the Seawolves came out of the fi rst
half trailing, 29-35.
The momentum swung UAA’s way in the
second half, however, when Johansson hit a
turnaround jumper to tie the score for the fi rst
time at 39. She followed that up with an open layup
after fi nding a hole in the Crusaders defense on
the next possession, prompting the packed crowd
to their feet.
“We weren’t really very aggressive in the fi rst
half besides Hanna,” Seawolf head coach Tim
Moser said. “I think Hanna really sparked us.”
Like a spark combined with the fi erce and
consistent defense by Jackie Thiel and Kiki Taylor
out front, the Seawolves thrived for the rest of the
game, sealing the game at 65-54.
Crusader head coach Kelli Lindley attributed
UAA’s success and spark in the second half to
“We weren’t getting as many easy buckets in
transition because we weren’t getting as many
rebounds,” Lindley said.
UAA doubled NNU’s rebounds totaling 42
to the Crusaders’ 21. Rebecca Kielpinski led the
Seawolves in rebounds with nine rebounds and
10 points while Johansson led the Seawolves in
scoring with 17 points.
The game on Jan 24 offered not even a hint of
such relief to Moser nor to the Seawolf fans, as it
was neck and neck to the very end.
Although UAA came out expecting rivalry
from the well-matched SPU, they couldn’t help
their 23 percent shot average versus SPU’s 39
Their luck seemed to be changing when Dasha
Basova hit a pair of consecutive treys, however,
the Falcons continued their aggressive defense
and bulls-eye shooting, ending the fi rst half with
the Seawolves down, 20-30.
From there UAA fought for each and every
success they could get, racking up 10 steals total
and pressing SPU full court to spark their defense.
Senior Ruby Williams did her share to keep the
Seawolves in the game as well, attacking SPU’s
basket from the blocks and putting 10 points on
the board.
When Seawolves guard Tamar Gruwell
released the ball from beyond the arc with 1:03
remaining in regulation, the packed gym held its
breath only to erupt in celebration as UAA took
the lead 51-49.
“About time, I thought,” Gruwell said after
having missed fi ve shots from beyond the arc
before the last attempt.
The Falcons would stay at 49 until the end,
even giving UAA two more points by fouling
Thiel at 8.6 seconds to go, where UAA’s guard
made both free-throws, 53-49.
UAA’s victory over SPU not only enhances
the rivalry brought on by last season’s upset when
UAA beat SPU on their home court for the Western
Regional Championship but also marks the 16th
straight win in their latest winning streak.
“They’re good; they’re a good team and we’re
probably going to see them two more times,”
Moser said. “They just play so hard and physical,
and they’re really a good team and they really
want to beat us; that’s a bad combination.”
The Falcons were led by senior forward Kelsey
Burns with 16 points, and followed by senior
Kelsey Hill and junior Daesha Henderson, both
with 10 points.
The Seawolves had seven of their 11 team
members who played score, Nicci Miller leading
the pack with 15 points. Kielpinski grabbed
the game high of 11 rebounds and put up seven
“If you just take it one possession at a time, get
some stops on defense, you’ll be fi ne,” Kielpinski
said. “That’s what coach is always telling us and
it’s so true.”