Humboldt State University Athletics Department:
AZUSA, Calif. – The Humboldt State women’s basketball program’s magical postseason ride came to an end Saturday evening as the Lumberjacks were defeated by the University of Alaska Anchorage 81-73 in the Felix Event Center.
The Seawolves advance to face Montana State Billings in the NCAA West Region Tournament title game on Monday.
“Tonight is a disappointing loss for us,” said HSU Head Coach Michelle Bento-Jackson. “We certainly don’t feel like we gave our best performance tonight and we definitely did not play well enough to win the basketball game.”
For the second straight night the Lumberjacks got off to a slow start. UAA took a 9-0 lead with 6:51 left in the first quarter, but the Green and Gold evened the score at 17 and trailed 19-17 at the end of the period.
The offense ran through Tyla Turner to begin the game as she scored six points, grabbed three boards and dished out a pair of assists in the opening quarter.
“To begin the ball game we weren’t executing what we needed to do defensively,” said Bento-Jackson. “We let them gain the momentum right off the bat, but I will say we did respond.”
Not to be outdone, Tyra Turner was responsible for nine of the team’s 24 points in the second quarter. The sophomore drove to the basket for a layup as time expired to even the game at 41-41.
HSU shot 46.9 percent from the field and was a perfect 6-for-6 at the charity stripe. The Seawolves out-rebounded the North Coast squad 17-9.
A pair of Tyra Turner free throws put HSU ahead by a game-high five points, 50-45, with 7:30 left in the third quarter. The Seawolves’ Sydni Stallworth provided eight points and enough offense to wrestle the lead away from the Jacks. She supplied eight third quarter points, including a 3-pointer at the 3:50 mark that erased HSU’s advantage.
Jovanah Arrington sank a long-distance basket to give the Jacks their last lead of the game, 65-63, less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
The Jacks went cold from the field in the last 10 minutes of action and UAA continued hit baskets. The Seawolves shot 50 percent from the floor and 40 percent from outside the arc in the final 20 minutes.
Tyla and Tyra Turner were the Jacks leading scorers with 18 and 17 points, respectively. Tyla Turner also finished the game with a team-high seven assists and matched her sister with three steals. Riann Thayer pulled down five rebounds, which tied Tyla Turner for the team lead.
“When I first took over this program this last year was about changing the culture and laying the foundation,” said Bento-Jackson.
“We were picked 10th in the preseason for our conference and we definitely overachieved. When I go to bed tonight I will think of all the accomplishments we had this year and I will be very proud.”
HSU finished the season with a 19-13 record.