UAA women boast No. 2 rank in division II basketball

With only six regular season games left, the UAA women’s basketball team continues to prevail continuously over their competitors — with a 17 game win streak. In addition to their impressive national ranking, the Seawolves lead the conference being the only undefeated team and also claim the title of being the current division II west regional leader.

The most recent of their wins proved to be a dominance over Great Northwest Athletic Conference No. 2 Concordia and No. 10 Western Oregon.

Thursday, February 2 vs. Concordia

The Seawolves kicked off the weekend games with a tremendous win over Concordia. After a previous challenge in quarter four in the last game against Concordia, the Seawolves were able to redeem themselves.

Head coach Ryan McCarthy and the team were aware and well adjusted due to the previous game.

“Concordia is very well coached and has very good athletes on their teams. They are young and right there on that turning point… we had to change up some rules on out defense [after watching Concordia],” McCarthy said.

UAA women took control in quarter one with an immediate 6-0 lead in the first couple minutes of the game with points from forwards senior Autummn Williams and junior Sierra Afoa.

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By the end of period one, the Seawolves were already up 20-7, with 7 of the points coming from Williams. Quarter two allowed UAA an even higher jump in their lead, finishing up with a 27 point lead just before halftime.

The second half allowed the Seawolves some flexibility and relaxation with a consistent lead of 22 points or more. While the third quarter gave light to senior point guard Kiki Robertson, scoring 4 of the 12 shots, the fourth quarter allowed Williams to up her total averages for the game.

Additionally, junior guard Zhara Laster and senior forward Alysha Devine got their appearances in the end of the game with several points and assists of their own.

An end came with an impressive 28 points coming from Williams and a career-high 7 assists. Another significant game for a Seawolf was played by Laster who got three career-high records: 14 points, 11 rebounds and 3 steals.

With the end of the game, the Seawolves overthrew Concordia significantly with a final score of 91-60.

Saturday, February 4 vs. Western Oregon

As the Seawolves close in on the second weekend game and end of the season, energy levels are being worn out, as noticed by sophomore forward Hannah Wandersee.

“Physical state, everybody is a little tired but we are focused, just need to look at one game at a time and keep looking forward and staying motivated,” Wandersee said.

In a coincidentally similar game to Thursday’s game, the Seawolves ended again with 91 points, but this time prevailing with a 41 point lead rather than a 31 point lead. Western Oregon came in ranked only No. 10 in the conference, so UAA had a much larger advantage and quickly pulled in the points after Western Oregon tested them early on.

Period one stared Robertson and Devine early on, combined for the first five shots of the night. But, to put the Seawolves to the test, Western Oregon pushed on them and managed to pull into the lead, more than once.

At first, the Seawolves were up 3 points, 10-7, but Western Oregon’s Kaylie Boschman got two 3-pointers and a layup to challenge UAA and steal the lead. Just when the Seawolves redeemed themselves again with Devine’s offense, Western Oregon’s Kennedy Corrigan again jumped in to steal the lead.

For the final redemption of the night, Laster came in with two points to secure the Seawolves’ lead for the remainder of the night and end off the first period.

UAA prospered doubling their score and more in the second period. From 21 to 47, the Seawolves were able to give credit to Williams and Afoa for their performances, with 7 points from each of them.

While the Seawolves were able to accumulate 26 more points before half-time, Western Oregon only managed 11.

With a confidently secured lead, the Seawolves jumped into the second half with a strong offense. In addition to Williams taking over, scoring time and time again, sophomore guard Tara Thompson and Wandersee jumped in and made shots of their own.

The Seawolves and McCarthy had to look at a lot of options, but it seemed to work out to their advantage.

“Right now we are just damage control with some legs that are banged up. we [were] looking at different lineups and substitutions,” McCarthy said.

Nearing the end of the game, the Seawolves were up by more than 30 points with no slowing down. The fourth period proved to be tied for the most unsuccessful for Western Oregon, only accumulating 11 points.

With a final score of 91-60, the Seawolves successfully won their 17th straight game.

In addition, Williams and Devine had yet another standout game, collectively bringing in nearly half of the points. It proved to be a game high for Williams with 27 points, while Devine had 16 — the most in a GNAC game this year.

With their 17 game win streak, the Seawolves are well on their way to ending the season on top, still holding at No. 2 in the nation. However, McCarthy is only focused on the near future,

“I think it’s nice to be recognized by your peers and the quality of product we have, but for us, we just focus on one game at a time,” McCarthy said.

The Seawolves take off again on Thursday, Feb. 9 to Nampa, Idaho to play Northwest Nazarene.