Coming off her 700th career win, Coach Joan Bonvicini and the rest of the Seattle University women’s basketball team took to the road in search of win No. 701.
Up first was the WAC leading New Mexico State Aggies. After winning the opening tip, Seattle U was able to jump to an early 5-0 lead, thanks to senior center Taelor Ross’ jump shot and a three-point shot from junior guard Masha Shtikel.
New Mexico State would answer with a 5-0 run of their own before converting four Redhawk turnovers on an 8-4 run, giving New Mexico State a 13-9 lead.
Seattle U took a 17-15 lead into the start of the second quarter, but that quickly diminished as the Aggies went on an early 9-0 run. The Redhawks battled back with a three-point shot from freshman guard Tal Sahar, followed by a pair of free throws from junior point guard Shaylin Heredia, tieing the game for the fifth time. Another Heredia jumper gave Seattle U a two point advantage before the Aggies answered with back to back three-point shots, giving New Mexico State a 30-26 lead heading into the half.
Seattle U struck first in the second half after another Sahar three-ball, cutting the lead to one. A 6-0 run by the Aggies pushed their lead to 9, but Seattle U answered yet again with a Ross layup.
Another New Mexico State scoring run pushed the lead to 12 and the Aggies maintained their double-digit lead for the rest of the game. Turnovers played a big role in the Redhawks inability to get back into the game.
“This was a tough loss and we didn’t take care of the ball well,” Bonvicini said. “…Turnovers killed us and we didn’t rebound as well as we should—we need to be more patient and execute our offense better.”
Seattle U was much better in the second leg of their road trip, as they dealt UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) their first home and conference loss of the season with a 74-71 win that went down to the wire.
With just 2:45 to play in the game, the Redhawks found themselves with an 11-point lead, 68-57. A three-pointer from the Vaqueros cut Seattle U’s lead to eight, and kicked off a 14-3 scoring run by UTRGV to tie the game at 71 with just 14 seconds left.
Down to the final possession, redshirt sophomore guard Delanie Parry drained a three-point shot, leaving just six seconds on the clock, giving the Redhawks the 74-71 victory.
“This is a huge, huge win and I’m so proud of them,” said assistant head coach Kristen O’Neill. “It was a team effort from start to finish.”
O’Neill went on to praise her team’s ability to battle through adversity and hand UTRGV their first home loss, concluding, “…This is a big win for us and a great confidence booster.”
The Redhawks were much better all around Saturday night, going 9-for-27 from three-point range. Seattle U also set a season high for rebounds with 51. Sahar led all Redhawks with 21 points, just two points shy of her career high of 23. Sophomore guard Jacinta Beckley finished with eight rebounds, a career high, to go with her 10 points. Sophomore guard Ashlyn Lewey also scored in the double digits with 13 points.
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