Seawolves Fall in NCAA Elite Eight Quarterfinals
Johansson (50) led Seawolves against Ashland.
Johansson (50) led Seawolves against Ashland.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

SAN ANTONIO -- Hanna Johansson scored 17 points as eighth-ranked Alaska Anchorage fell to No. 2 Ashland (Ohio) 71-51 in the NCAA Division II Elite 8 quarterfinals at Bill Greehey Arena Tuesday.

In a game that matched two of the top offensive teams in Division II, the Eagles (32-1) got a game-high 18 points from guard Jenna Stutzman, while National Player-of-the-Year finalist Kari Daugherty added to her national lead in double-doubles with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Ashland will move on to face 5th-ranked Bentley in Wednesday's semifinals.

“It's disappointing right now, but my hat goes off to Coach (Sue) Ramsey and her team for playing a great game,” said UAA head coach Tim Moser. “Ashland is really efficient offensively and they really came to play.”

Meanwhile, the Seawolves (30-5) also got double figures from point guard Sasha King, who scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high four steals, however UAA could not find another offensive weapon as it scored a season-low point total and shot just 31.7 percent on the day.

“It wasn't our night,” Moser added. “We did some things tonight that we haven't done all year. I don't know what to attribute that to, but I'll take the blame as the head coach.

"I'm so proud of this group of seniors – Hanna is here for the second time in her career and that's an amazing accomplishment.”

UAA – which was making its third trip to the Elite Eight in five years– jumped to an early 6-2 lead before the Eagles roared back to take a 15-point lead with 4:33 left in the opening half.

The Seawolves scrapped back within 32-23 at the break and started to cut into the deficit with tenacious defense in the second half.

King sliced it to a 43-40 game on a driving layup with 13:03 remaining and UAA had a chance to tie when Tijera Mathews stole the ball on the next possession, but King's three-pointer was off the mark and Ashland sharpshooter Lindsay Tenyak nailed a trey on the opposite end.

Tenyak, who shot just 2 of 13 on three-pointers in Ashland's three Midwest Regional games, nailed 5 of 6 from distance against the Seawolves and finished with 17 points and six rebounds.

Her timely three-pointer also started a game-clinching 17-2 run for the Eagles, who won their 32nd game in a row after a season-opening loss to Minnesota State.

Forward Kaylie Robison had seven points and a team-high 11 rebounds in her last game for UAA.

UAA managed a 39-32 advantage in rebounding and outscored the Eagles 19-0 in second-chance points, but the Eagles' hot shooting (9 of 16 on threes) proved too much in the end.

UAA's final record of 30-5 matches its 2007-08 NCAA Semifinalist squad as the second-best in program history, while UAA's three Division II losses (29-3 vs D-II competition) were also the least suffered in 34 years of Seawolf women's basketball.