Wildcats fall in regular season finale

Hanson Lee, Senior Sports Reporter

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Senior Night at Nicholson Pavilion ended in a tough loss for the Wildcats Saturday night as they fell to Alaska Anchorage (UAA) 84-72.

The Wildcats spent their pregame festivities honoring the seniors Qua’shaya Hammon, Beverly Verduin, Rachel Lorentson, Taylor Baird and Jasmin Edwards.

The Wildcats got out to a fast-paced start in the first quarter, leading the Seawolves 23-14.

Head coach Randi Richardson-Thornley said that the Wildcats did a great job of showing up and being the aggressor, but had trouble sustaining that aggression for the whole game.

“We played not to mess up and lose the lead instead of playing to make plays and putting the game away,” Richardson-Thornley said.

The Wildcats led until the third quarter when the Seawolves got into a rhythm and gained what would be the final lead change of the night.  

“Offensively, we were missing a bit of our flow,” Richardson-Thornley said. “We didn’t want their pressure and fast pace to dictate us… we wanted to attack their pressure with some pressure.”

Junior guard Sadie Mensing scored a team-leading 20 points to go along with six rebounds. Mensing said that the team did a great job of being confident and sharing the ball early on in the game, and that they just need to work on maintaining that high level of play for 40 minutes.

“We need to work on our consistency,” Mensing said. “We need to communicate more.”

Offensively, the Wildcats shot 42.6 percent from the field while defensively allowing the Seawolves to shoot over 50 percent.    

Senior forward Taylor Baird earned her last double-double at Nicholson Pavilion, tallying 13 points and 10 rebounds. Baird credited the team’s effort and said that in the end, everybody gave it their all.

“We gave ourselves a chance to get the win,” Baird said. “It’s hard when you make little mistakes.”

Despite the loss, the Wildcats were able to put up a strong showing against the Seawolves. UAA is currently sitting atop the GNAC with a conference record of 18-2 and an overall record of 25-3.

With the regular season coming to a close, the Wildcats have already clinched a spot in the playoffs, so it’s very possible that the Wildcats and Seawolves could meet again later on in the GNAC tournament.

“We could make adjustments on not allowing easy post touches,” Richardson-Thornley said. “[And working on] sustaining that aggressive mentality for 40 minutes on the offensive end.”