UAA women’s basketball put to the test in back-to-back games

Kiki Robertson:Simon Fraser Athletics .jpg
Senior guard Kiki Robertson stays focused during an offensive play during Saturday, Feb. 25’s win over Simon Frasier. Photo credit: Simon Fraiser Athletics

 

As the women’s basketball season is nearing the end, the team only seems to defy all odds and continues to break records. Before coming into the weekend, the women had already cliched a 21 game win streak, as well as remaining the reigning Great Northwest Athletic Conference and West Regional No. 1 seeds. In addition, the women still hold their No. 2 position in the national division II rankings, only 31 points behind the No. 1 Ashland.

The Seawolves came into the weekend of Feb. 23-25 prepared to play the second two highest seeds in the conference, first, No. 2 Western Washington and No. 3 Simon Fraser.

Thursday, Feb. 23 vs. Western Washington

Being No. 2 in the conference, the team and head coach Ryan McCarthy knew it wouldn’t be an easy game.

“They’re a well coached team and they play very hard… We haven’t played them since the beginning of December, but we can diversify what we can and cannot do and change things up,” McCarthy said.

The Seawolves debuted the night against WWU with the first lead of the night, credited early on to senior guard Kiki Robertson and senior forward Autummn Williams.

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By the end of the first quarter put the Seawolves ahead, but only by 3 points, something that the team wasn’t used to, usually obtaining a lead much larger. Slowly redeeming themselves, the Seawolves pooled their effort with eight of the women securing points.

By halftime, the Seawolves had a slightly larger lead at 32-23. Temporarily, they stayed within in a safe lead, enough to get them through the third quarter.

Junior forward Sierra Afoa and Williams came into the spotlight after halftime, managing a combined 10 points total to keep the team at a steady 10 point lead coming into the fourth quarter.

Quickly, the game started to go downhill for the Seawolves. With many offensive errors and not enough points, Western Washington managed to tie the game up, sending the teams into overtime.

Each team managed to score 10 points in the first overtime period, reluctantly sending the game into a second overtime, with Williams having scored 5 of those 10 points.

Second overtime again brought out Williams and sophomore guard Tara Thompson to score the majority of points, pushing the Seawolves past Western Washington at 75-72.

Overall, Williams put 31 points total into the game, helping lead the Seawolves to 22 straight wins.

Saturday, Feb. 25 vs. Simon Fraser

In a change of scenery, the Seawolves moved from Bellingham, WA to Burnaby, BC to take on GNAC No. 3 Simon Fraser.

Although the team is ending up just as successful this season as they were last season, the seniors and Alysha Devine know that things have changed.

“Last year, we went in and we were basically just playing not to lose, but also not to win. This year it’s just a different mindset, we go in and we just want to get the win and keep this going,” Devine said.

With an unusual slow start, the Seawolves let Simon Fraser spike the first lead of the night early on. Quickly enough, Shelby Cloninger and Thompson stepped and pushed the lead out of Simon Fraser’s favor.

The Seawolves slowly paced their lead, but not enough to stay safe by the end of the first quarter, at only a 4 point lead, 15-11.

The second quarter only proved to set the Seawolves back even more. Even though seven of the Seawolves managed to get in at least one point, Simon Fraser was able to match them for almost all of them. Williams got in the last 2 points before halftime, leaving the Seawolves only at 38-33.

Coming into the second half, the Seawolves had a lot more pressure put on them, causing the lead to switch quickly and dramatically. Many offensive errors led the Seawolves to miss points that Simon Fraser was then getting.

Halfway through the third quarter, the Seawolves continued trailing behind at 54-59.

In a turnaround, the Seawolves managed to redeem themselves before time ran out. Freshman guard Kimijah King and Colinger jumpstarting the beginning of the fourth quarter and Williams finishing it off getting the Seawolves to 77-72.

This pushed the Seawolves to 23 straight wins and leaves with the GNAC Championships to play in next. Now that the final regular week is over, head coach McCarthy is happy with the results.

“We are healthy, we are good. For us, I just want to see what we do and how we react when we are hit with some diversity,” McCarthy said.

The women take off again to Lacey, WA for the GNAC Tournament semi-finals on Friday, March 3.