UAA
Johansson

LA JOLLA, Calif. -- Alaska Anchorage defeated Cal State Los Angeles, 65-56 on Friday afternoon to advance to the NCAA tournament regional semifinals.

CSULA’s Jazzi Johnson led all scorers with 17 points and eight rebounds. She also had an assist and a steal. For UAA, senior forward Hanna Johansson scored a team-high 13 points and matched a team-high seven rebounds to go along with three assists and two steals.

Although the Golden Eagles went into halftime down 29-23, CSULA played more aggressive defense in the second half, forcing UAA to commit 11 second-half turnovers. But the Seawolves took advantage of the Eagles' closing-half shooting woes by draining their shots from both the arc and the free-throw line.

UAA maintained its lead throughout the second half, leading by as many as 14 when Tijera Mathews hit a free throw with 3:04 remaining to give the Seawolves a 56-42 lead.

The Eagles whittled the lead down to eight at 59-51 when Jazzi Johnson drilled both of her free throws with 52 seconds remaining, but could not gut out the victory.

The underdog Golden Eagles came out of the gate aggressive and scored first on a layup from Johnson 1:36 into the game.

The Seawolves finally matched their intensity during the middle of the opening half. Beginning with a jumper from Haley Holmstead at the 10:30 mark, the Seawolves not only took the lead but also started an 11-0 run lasting nearly four minutes to lead, 23-13.

Down 27-20, CSULA’s Erika Ruiz cut the lead to four, sinking a clutch 3-pointer with 1:34 left in the half. But a foul on Alysa Horn proved costly as she made both her free throws to give the Seawolves a six-point halftime lead. Johansson led all first-half scorers with 11 points and seven rebounds.

Both teams made a pair of threes and seven free throws in the first half, but the Seawolves hit three more field goals, 10-7 and dominated the boards by grabbing 30 rebounds, while the Eagles totaled only 14.