After a summer exhibition in Taiwan that gave the team a chance to acclimate to new players, the UAA women’s basketball team was back in action with their first regular season game against NCAA Division I competitor Duke.
The Seawolves returned to competition with the addition of four new faces and a new assistant coach. Many standout players and three experienced coaches returned to the team, including head coach Ryan McCarthy.
Joining the Seawolves were two Div. I transfers and two freshmen. Cameron Fernandez and Jeneva Toilolo came to UAA with ample collegiate experience; however, despite their experience they did not play in the starting game against Duke.
Kimani Fernandez-Roy and Jahnna Hajdukovich came to UAA as true freshmen, both getting a chance to play in the first game.
Fernandez-Roy spent ample time on the court against Duke; however, her 14 minutes only allowed her to attempt three field goals and one 3-pointer with no success. She did manage to steal two rebounds.
On the other hand, Hajdukovich only played for three minutes, which did not give her enough time to make any contributions.
Getting the majority of the action were five of the returners who played as starters for the game.
Hannah Wandersee, Tara Thompson, Kian Mcnair, Yazmeen Goo and Sala Langi all started the Seawolves and led the team.
Goo, a junior guard, made the biggest contribution to the team with the accumulation of 13 points. She made five field goals, two 3-pointers, one free throw and two rebounds.
Trailing behind her was non-starter, senior Sydni Stallworth and Thompson, who each added nine points for UAA.
Stallworth made three field goals, one 3-pointer and two free throws in her only 15 minutes of playing time, nearly half the time of the starters.
Mcnair also added to the Seawolves tally with the addition of seven points.
With their combined efforts, the Seawolves made a total of 59 field goal attempts, 32 3-pointer attempts and seven free throw attempts.
In comparison, UAA’s 32 3-pointer attempts masked Duke’s 12 attempts.
Despite their efforts and attempts, the Seawolves fell far behind Duke. In the first period, UAA held the lead for all of 12 seconds until Duke took over and inched their lead farther away from the Seawolves.
In the first period alone, Duke nearly doubled the score of the Seawolves. With the Seawolves accumulating 17 points, Duke masked their contributions with a total of 29 points.
UAA’s deficit continued until it was maxed out in the third period with a 24-point lead by Duke. However, both teams evened out by accumulating 15 points each in the third period which slowed Duke’s lead.
The Seawolves managed two points less than Duke in the fourth period, solidifying an addition of 12 more points to their score, but with an already large deficit, the Seawolves weren’t able to manage much redemption.
With a 21-point deficit, the Seawolves suffered their first loss of the season at 54-75.
Coach McCarthy knew their competition was tough, so he was just aiming for individual achievement and progress.
“Against an opponent like Duke, any mistake that you make gets turned into points, so we had to hold ourselves to a high standard. In the first half we didn’t do that, but in the second half we did a much better job of executing our game plan and playing to the standard of our program,” McCarthy said.
The Seawolves will transition back into home games with the Seawolf Hoops Classic. This tournament is taking place at the Alaska Airlines Center over Nov. 16-17.
For more information and a full schedule, visit www.goseawolves.com.