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College Hoops: Terrific third quarter propels UAA women past Seattle Pacific at GNAC Tournament

The Seawolves had plenty to cheer about after drubbing SPU on Thursday. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

A 28-point third quarter propelled the UAA women’s basketball team on Thursday to a 79-57 victory over Seattle Pacific in the quarterfinals of the GNAC Tournament.

Eight different UAA players contributed to the scoring bonanza as the Seawolves blew the doors off the Falcons on a neutral court in Ellensburg, Wash., after the teams had exchanged home wins in the regular season.

Junior guard Senya Rabouin’s 18 points on 8-of-14 shooting led a balanced offensive attack that saw six players score eight points or more. Jazzpher Evans added 10 points and Elaina Mack of King Cove finished with nine.

Mack, the only Alaska player on the team, scored five points in the third quarter on a 3-pointer and two foul shots. Her second free throw pushed UAA’s lead to 60-35.

The Seawolves (19-8) advanced to the semifinals and will face nationally ranked Western Washington on Friday at 11 a.m. AST. The 24th-ranked Vikings of Bellingham are 0-2 against UAA this season.

In both wins, UAA forward Kate Robertson played a factor. She missed Thursday’s game with an ankle injury, but it didn’t matter because Tori Hollingshead and Nessa Walsh filled in nicely.

Hollingshead started in place of Robertson and finished with eight points and six rebounds while Walsh came off the bench to post season highs in minutes (24) and points (8) to go with six rebounds and two steals.

“The ladies did an awesome job,” UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said in a press conference. “We were down a player today, but everyone stepped up, and I couldn’t be more proud of them as a group.”

UAA’s Tori Hollingshead made her fifth start of the season Thursday. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

In the first quarter, Mack hit a fadeaway baseline jump shot over a defender to put UAA ahead 10-8. Rabouin hit the team’s first 3-ball early in the second quarter to put Anchorage ahead 23-21.

With the game tied 25-25, UAA went on a 16-5 run to end the first half and scored some pretty buckets. There was Rabouin’s left-hand finish high off glass, Evans’ layup on Vishe’ Rabb’s 40-foot skip pass and Mack’s stop-and-pop 15-footer after getting chased off the 3-point line.

And then there was Rabouin’s 3 to beat the buzzer as the Seawolves took a 41-31 edge into halftime.

Hollingshead got the party started in the third quarter with back-to-back post finishes – one with her left hand, one with her right hand.

That kickstarted a run that saw the Seawolves put up 28 points in the quarter, matching a season high. They previously had 28 points in the first quarter against Adams State and in the second quarter against Simon Fraser.

UAA improved to 16-6 all-time in the GNAC Tournament under McCarthy, of Peters Creek.

McCarthy has led UAA to six GNAC Tournament titles, most recently in 2020. Last year, UAA lost 69-65 to Seattle Pacific in the quarterfinals in a game Rabb went down with a torn ACL in the closing moments.

What a difference a year makes. Rabb is back in the lineup and the Seawolves are back in the conference semifinals, where they are 7-2 all-time under McCarthy.

UAA coach Ryan McCarthy talks with his team during a timeout. Photo by Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report

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