UAA men’s and women’s basketball compete in first games of the season

Both the UAA men’s and women’s basketball teams had a busy first week of competition. While the men were able to stay local and play two home games at the Alaska Airlines Center, the women’s team traveled to North Carolina to compete.

Junior guard Victoria Langi managed seven rebounds during the women’s basketball match against St. Andrews on
Oct. 29. Photo courtesy of Skip Hickey.

Oct. 29: UAA Women’s Basketball vs. St. Andrews

The UAA women traveled to Laurinburg, North Carolina to compete against National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, or NAIA, rival St. Andrews University. As their season opener, the Seawolves came in strong with a 35-point win (97-62) featuring impressive stats.

UAA finished the game with a 41.1% field goal average, 35.0% 3-pointer average and 55.0% free-throw average. In contrast, St. Andrews finished with 38.9%, 21.2% and 57.1% in each respective category.

Senior guard Safiyyah Yasin led UAA offensively by collecting a total of 22 points for the night, doubling as the team-high and her all-time career-high. She secured four 3-pointers (3FG), eight field goals (FG) and two free throws in just 19 minutes of playing time.

Freshman guard Rachel Ingram debuted her collegiate career with an impressive 18 points (seven FG, four 3FG) as the second-highest scorer for the night.

UAA head coach Ryan McCarthy was satisfied with the way the women performed during their first game.

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“We were sluggish offensively to start the game, which isn’t uncommon for the first game of the season. I thought our defensive pressure was the key to getting a comfortable cushion there in the second half,” McCarthy said. “Overall, I was pleased with our effort, and especially with [Yasin], the way she asserted herself and took over the game at certain points.”

While Yasin and Ingram played the offensive line, junior forward Tennae Voliva took over the defense with a total of 12 rebounds for the night. In addition, the East High School graduate also managed a career-high six steals.

Junior guards Sala Langi and Kedranea’ Addison aided the defense with seven and five rebounds, respectively.

The Seawolves had a few days of rest before continuing their North Carolina competition against Duke.

Nov. 3: UAA Women’s Basketball vs. Duke University

The women continued their competition in Durham, North Carolina in a 31-point loss (59-91) against Duke University.

Despite the loss, McCarthy wasn’t disappointed with the results.

“I thought for the fact that we played without our fifth-year senior leader and primary ball-handler, we did well overall. We showed the hustle that’s indicative of our program, no matter the score, and we controlled the aspects that we could control – minimizing our turnovers and forcing them into some,” McCarthy said. “But against a team of that size and quickness, it was difficult to get open looks and certainly on the boards.”

Many individual players prospered under the pressure. Yasin led the team again with a total of 14 points for the night, followed by sophomore guard Nicole Pinckney with 11.

Defensively, Voliva took the lead with a total of seven rebounds.

Yasin and Pinckney contributed to the team’s total 58.3% free-throw average, 33.3% 3-pointer average and 27.4% field goal average for the night.

However, UAA’s team averages were substantially less than Duke’s, who finished the game with a 68.4% free-throw average, 42.9% 3-pointer average and 50.7% field goal average.

The women’s basketball team will be back in action on Nov. 9 against Chaminade at the Alaska Airlines Center.

Senior guard Niko Bevens scored 27 points in the Nov. 1 game against Portland Bible. Photo courtesy of Skip Hickey.

Nov. 1: UAA Men’s Basketball vs. Portland Bible

In their season opener at the Alaska Airlines Center, the UAA men’s basketball team had a blowout 49-point win (105-56) against Portland Bible

In a first-half takeover, the Seawolves scored an impressive 60 points before half-time, while Portland Bible secured only a third of that at 19.

Nearly half of the Seawolves’ points in the first half are credited to senior guard Niko Bevens, who accumulated 26 points in the first half and 27 for the night. He ended with a 60.0% field goal average and a 62.0% 3-pointer average.

Senior forward Tyler Brimhall also aided in the offensive blowout, adding 18 points to UAA’s total, and sophomore guard Tobin Karlberg collected 14 points for the night.

Overall, the Seawolves collected 44 rebounds, in comparison to Portland Bible’s 26. The Seawolves also managed 52.9%/47.2%/82.4% averages (FG/3FG/FT), while their rivals secured 34.0%/35.7%/76.9% averages in the same categories, respectively.

Nov. 2: UAA Men’s Basketball vs. Portland Bible

The Seawolves and the Wildcats met again the following day at the Alaska Airlines Center. A chance for possible redemption for Portland Bible resulted in another blowout win for the Seawolves.

While the second game between the two competitors wasn’t as high scoring, the Seawolves still more than doubled the Wildcat’s score, finishing 80-34.

In contrast to the previous game, Karlberg took over the highest-scoring role for the Seawolves, earning a total of 18 points for the night, followed by Brimhall with 17 and sophomore Jack Macdonald with 12 points.

Defensively, junior forward Oggie Pantovic led UAA with rebounds, solidifying six total for the night, with junior guard DeAndre Osuigwe contributing five. Osuigwe also scored eight points, while Pantovi scored six.

The men’s basketball team will be back in action on Nov. 8 against the Coast Guard at the Alaska Airlines Center.