Seawolves Avoid Viking Sweep To Retake Throne
Alaska Anchorage improve to 6-1 all-time in GNAC Women's Basketball Championships title games. Photo by Matthew Breshears.
Alaska Anchorage improve to 6-1 all-time in GNAC Women's Basketball Championships title games. Photo by Matthew Breshears.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

SEATTLE – Alaska Anchorage lost just one game to a conference opponent this year, so it’s only fitting that the Seawolves would end up having to face that same team for all the marbles.

The top-seeded Seawolves denied a surging No. 3 Western Washington, 89-68, in the final of the GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships on Saturday at Royal Brougham Pavilion, extending their win streak to 13 games.

The Seawolves went into the break with a 16-point cushion, outscoring Western Washington 43-27 in the first half and limiting the Vikings to just 10 points in the second quarter. Leading the entire game, the Seawolves completed the 21-point rout shooting 58.9 percent from the field, 47.1 percent from three-point range and 83.3 percent from the free-throw line.

Senior guard Safiyyah Yasin, the tournament’s most valuable player, led the Seawolves with 26 points on 9 of 13 from the field, 2 of 2 from beyond the arc and 6 of 7 from the charity stripe. Yasin also scored a career-high 31 points against Central Washington in the semifinals, marking the first 30-plus point game by a Seawolf since 2018-19 GNAC Player of the Year Hannah Wandersee’s 32-point performance in 2018.

Senior point guard Yazmeen Goo scored 13 points on 5 of 8 from the field to go with three assists and a rebound. Junior guard Stephanie Jackson scored 11 points off the bench while adding three assists and two steals while junior forward Sala Langi also scored in double digits with 10 points while contributing three rebounds

The Vikings struggled to keep up despite connecting on 51.1 percent from the field, 39.1 percent from outside and 84.6 percent from the free-throw line. Ball security was the name of the game as the Seawolves scored 32 of their points off of 23 Viking turnovers.

Junior forward Kelsey Rogers paced the Vikings as she connected for 14 points on 5 of 8 from the field and 4 of 4 from the free-throw line. Senior guard Lexie Bland finished right behind Rogers with 13 points to go with five assists while junior guard Maddison Coleman put up 10 points and two rebounds off the bench.

The Vikings (22-9) returned to the final for the seventh time and the first time since 2017. It also marked the fifth time that the Western Washington men’s and women’s teams both advanced to the title game in the same season.

With the win, Alaska Anchorage improved to 31-2 on the season and earns the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Women’s Basketball Championship. The Seawolves are 6-1 all-time in GNAC Women’s Basketball Championships finals, winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012 before completing a three-peat from 2015-2017.