Taelor Ross (Vancouver, Wash.) led Seattle University in scoring while Ashlyn Lewey (Spokane, Wash.) notched a double-double, but Montana State was able to earn an 80-51 victory over the Redhawks in the 2015-16 season opener for both teams Friday evening at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Ross shot 8-of-12 from the field as she finished with 18 points, seven rebounds, and two blocked shots. Lewey pulled down six offensive rebounds as she collected 14 points, 12 rebounds, and four assists in 34 minutes on the court.
Montana State (1-0) took an early 7-4 lead in the first quarter, but baskets by Lewey and Ross put the Redhawks ahead, 8-7. The Bobcats would score seven straight points, capped by a three-pointer from Hannah Caudill, as they took a 16-11 lead after the first quarter.
A jumper by Jacinta Beckley (Wellington, New Zealand) and a three-pointer from Lewey tied the game at 16-16 early in the second quarter, but Montana State responded with a 16-3 scoring run over the next five minutes, punctuated by a traditional three-point play from Delany Junkermier. Ross scored the next four points, but Lindsay Stockton converted her own traditional three-point play. A three-point play from Lewey cut the Bobcat lead to 40-28 at halftime.
The Bobcats extended their lead throughout the second half, shooting 47.1 percent from the field while holding Seattle U to just five made field goals after halftime. In the game, Montana State won the rebounding battle, 51-36, and scored 30 points off 22 Redhawk turnovers, while Seattle U scored only seven points off 16 Bobcat turnovers.
“I thought Ashlyn and Taelor played real solid games, but otherwise we had a lot of breakdowns, and they (Montana State) were more disciplined tonight,” Seattle U head coach Joan Bonvicini said. “We are going to have an opportunity to get better, but it starts with practicing better. We will play better, but we need our guards to do a better job, and we need to improve our rebounding.”
Seattle University (0-1) travels to Missoula, Mont., to face the Montana Grizzlies Sunday, Nov. 15, starting at 1 p.m. local time (12 noon Pacific time). The Redhawks will then play their next two games in Seattle, first facing the University of Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m., before hosting Evergreen State at Bellevue College next Friday, Nov. 20, also at 7 p.m.