SAN ANTONIO -- Ashland University head coach Sue Ramsey and her team have preached a "one game at a time" mentality all season. It helps keep things in perspective when in a 31-game winning streak.
On Tuesday (March 20) afternoon, the Eagles used that mentality to win their 32nd straight game, 71-51, over Alaska-Anchorage at Bill Greehey Arena in San Antonio.
The Eagles (32-1) were 9-for-16 from 3-point range in the game and shot 48 percent (24-for-50) overall.
The Seawolves (30-5) were held to just 51 points and had a season-low 23 points at halftime. UAA shot just 31.7 percent (20-for-63) from the field.
"We just focus on the things that we can control, which is our defense and rebounding, and we used those in the win today," Ramsey said.
Alaska-Anchorage, the only team ranked better than AU offensively left in the tournament, came out with an early 6-2 lead, but AU quickly erased that and turned it into an 18-8 lead.
Tenyak hit three of her five 3-pointers in the first half as she led the Eagles with 11 points at the break.
"I want to thank my teammates for their passes. Alyssa (Miller) looks right at me on the skip passes," said Tenyak. "We found out during shootaround that it's a shooter's gym and our shots were falling."
After UAA's opening salvo, the Eagles frustrated the Seawolves defensively. All-American Hanna Johansson had 13 of her team's 23 first-half points on 5-for-10 shooting. She was 1-for-6 in the second half and finished with 17 points.
"In the first half, they were physical with us. We talked at halftime about needing to be stronger," said junior forward Kari Daugherty (Fresno, Ohio/River View/Dayton). "Their motto was to be as physical as they could with us."
Daugherty finished with 14 points (4-for-10) and 13 rebounds for her 16th straight double-double.
Alaska-Anchorage cut the AU lead to 43-40 in the second half. The Eagles used suffocating defense to force turnovers and missed baskets, allowing the Eagles to get into their transition offense. AU used that offense to flip a 17-2 run to put the game out of reach.
Junior Kaci Finfrock (West Milton, Ohio/Milton-Union) hit a 3-pointer in that stretch as did Tenyak to help the Eagles from long range. Finfrock finished with six points and handed out two assists.
The Seawolves actually out-rebounded the Eagles, 39-32, for the game and pulled down 17 offensive rebounds - a season-high for an AU opponent.
This was the third trip to the Elite Eight in five seasons for the Seawolves. UAA lost to Northern Kentucky in 2008 and Minnesota State-Mankato in 2009 in the Elite Eight. Both the Norse and Mavericks went on to win the national title.
The Eagles will now play Bentley (Mass.) in the national semifinal at 7 p.m. Eastern time. The Falcons beat Wayne State (Neb.), 72-67, after coming back from a 19-point second half deficit in the first NCAA Tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday.
The NCAA Tournament Semifinal will air on CBS Sports Network (DirecTV 613).