Call it a Pinck & Pop.
Chugiak’s Nicole Pinckney swished a 17-foot go-ahead jumper off a pick-and-pop play with 2.5 seconds remaining in overtime to propel the UAA women’s basketball team to a 73-71 victory over Simon Fraser at the Alaska Airlines Center.
Pinckney’s game winner came off an inbounds play after she got the ball back at the top of the key and used a screen set by Kate Robertson to pop free and bury the shot over the outstretched hands of a defender closing in on her.
“For Nicole – a sixth-year senior who has overcome a major knee injury and been such a big part of our program’s success – to hit the game winner, that was pretty special,” said UAA coach Ryan McCarthy said.
The Seawolves trailed by 13 points early in the fourth quarter and forced overtime on Jazzpher Evans’ basket in the final minute of regulation.
“Down 13 and with seemingly everything going against us, our ladies found a way to get it done,” said McCarthy, whose team improved to 13-6 overall and 5-5 in the GNAC.
— UAA WBB (@UAAWBB) January 27, 2023
Pinckney finished with 12 points – all coming over the final 18 minutes of the 45-minute game. But just because she wasn’t scoring didn’t mean she wasn’t contributing. She grabbed six rebounds and assisted on Jahanna Hajdukovich’s 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in the second quarter.
Later she canned her own 3 to get UAA within 50-43 with 2:50 left in the third quarter. That shot got her going because she pumped in eight points on 4-of-6 shooting in the fourth quarter. Her assist on Vishe’ Rabb’s basket tied the game at 59 with 4:42 left in the fourth quarter.
Pinckney missed her first opportunity to win the game with 1 second left in regulation, but she didn’t miss her second chance to play hero.
The 5-foot-5 Alaskan has previous experience when it comes to helping the Seawolves close out GNAC victories. Last season, she pumped in a career-high 21 points and iced a 76-72 win over Northwest Nazarene with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left. She also dropped in 10 of her team-high 15 points during the fourth quarter in a 66-58 win over Saint Martin’s.
Pinckney this season is averaging 6.2 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists in 19 games and owns a career-best 3-to-1 assist to turnover ratio.