Seawolves Dominate For Three Quarters To Advance To Semis
Janna Hajdukovich led Alaska Anchorage with 13 points to go with seven rebounds. Photo by Rio Giancarlo.
Janna Hajdukovich led Alaska Anchorage with 13 points to go with seven rebounds. Photo by Rio Giancarlo.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

SEATTLE – Alaska Anchorage set the pace for three quarters and held off a fourth-quarter surge by Seattle Pacific as the No. 2 seeded Seawolves took a 57-50 win from the No. 7 seeded Falcons in the quarterfinals of the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships at Royal Brougham Pavilion.

The Seawolves limited the Falcons to just five field goals through the first three quarters and took a dominating 47-27 lead into the fourth quarter. Seattle Pacific found its legs in the final 10 minutes, however, outscoring Alaska Anchorage 23-10 in the period whole shooting 7 of 17 from the field.

Junior guard Jahnna Hajdukovich led Alaska Anchorage with 13 points to go with seven rebounds. Freshman guard Jazzpher Evans finished with 10 points while senior forward Tennae Voliva had 10 rebounds and six steals. The six steals tied the tournament record set by Western Washington's Trishi Williams in 2013 and equaled by the Seawolves' Kiki Robertson in 2017.

Senior forward Natalie Hoff led Seattle Pacific with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds and made 8 of 8 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Kaprice Boston finished with points and made 5 of 5 from the line as the Falcons connected on 18 of 22 from the charity stripe.

With the win, Alaska Anchorage (20-5) advances to face No. 3 Central Washington in the semifinals on Friday at noon in Marcus Pavilion in Lacey. Seattle Pacific ends the season with a 12-18 overall record.

After a slow start for both teams over the first five minutes, Alaska Anchorage settled in and took charge over the final five minutes of the first quarter. Evans’ jumper at the 4:39 mark gave the Seawolves a 9-2 lead. Junior forward Kimani Fernandez made it 11-4 with her lay-in with 2:35 left before the Falcons hit their first basket from the field on Boston’s three-pointer with 1:03 to go.

After Hoff connected to bring SPU within 15-9 early in the second quarter, Alaska Anchorage proceeded to score 11 unanswered points over the next four minutes with the run ending when sophomore guard Ra’Anaa Rey connected on a free throw for a 26-9 lead. Seattle Pacific hit three field goals in the stanza and made six free throws in the final four minutes to cut the deficit to 36-20 at the half.

The Seawolves kept the foot on the gas in the third quarter, building a 43-22 lead on senior guard Lauren Johnson’s lay-in with 4:15 left in the quarter before building their biggest lead of 25 points with 1:51 left when freshman guard Malia Marfil’s short jumper made it 47-27.

In the fourth quarter, Seattle Pacific flipped the script. While making just two field goals in the third, the Falcons went 7 for 17 in the fourth and limited UAA to just 2 of 18. Freshman center Schuyler Berry cut the deficit to 15 points on her jumper with 4:39 left and Hoff brought the Falcons within 10 with her bucket with 2:09 to go.

Alaska Anchorage did not make its first field goal of the period until junior guard Nicole Pinkney connected with 4:39 left. The Falcons proceeded to draw closer but time simply ran out for the comeback as senior guard Bailey Brennan connected with 13 seconds left to close the game with a seven-point margin.