Seattle University women’s basketball took an early lead and was able to extend it to double digits in the second quarter as they earned a 78-69 win vs. host LMU (1-4) in the Thanksgiving Classic.

“This was a very good team win against a good LMU team,” said head coach Joan Bonvicini. “We were very unselfish, had balanced scoring, and Ashlyn [Lewey] and Delanie [Parry] had a very good game. Wilma [Afunugo] had her season-high for the year and Tal Sahar gave us a big lift scoring-wise off the bench. It was a solid win and I’m looking forward to playing a very good Princeton team for the championship tomorrow.”

Wilma Afunugo (Plano, Texas) converted a three-point play 30 seconds into the game and, despite allowing the Lions a lead over the next five minutes, Ashlyn Lewey (Spokane, Wash.) hit a three to regain the Redhawk lead, 14-13, at the 4:25 mark of the first quarter. A Shaylin Heredia (Tolleson, Ariz.) layup put SU up by six, 21-15, at the end of the first quarter.

Seattle U would lead by as many as seven, 23-16, on a Lewey layup by the 7:27 mark of the second quarter before the Lions put together a 7-1 run over the next three minutes to trail by one. The Redhawks extended their lead to nine, 32-23, six minutes later and would lead by double digits on a Tal Sahar (Tarzana, Calif.) three-pointer a minute left in the first half. Taelor Ross (Vancouver, Wash.) drove in a layup to give SU a 12-point lead, 37-25, at half.

Kaylee Best (Seattle, Wash.) sank both free throws to put SU ahead by 17 halfway through the third quarter, 46-29, before LMU scored six straight. The Redhawks led by as many as 15, 50-35, with two minutes remaining in the third period on back-to-back Lewey baskets.

The Lions scored 16 straight to make the game interesting and take their first lead of the half, 51-50, with 8:42 remaining before Sahar and LMU’s  Leslie Lopez-Wood traded baskets to regain a Lions lead. Back-to-back Sahar three’s tied the game and regained the Seattle U lead, 58-55, two minutes later and would keep the lead for the remainder of the contest.

A pair of Afunugo free throws with 2:12 remaining and five straight points from Lewey put Seattle U ahead by as many as 13, 72-59, with 1:09 left and the Redhawks would finish with a 78-69 win.

Lewey led Seattle U with 16 points while three other Redhawks also scored in double figures – Afunugo (14), Sahar (13), and Delanie Parry (Beaverton, Ore.)(13).

SU shot 46.6 percent (27-for-58) from the field to LMU’s 34.5 percent (20-for-58). From behind the arc, the Redhawks averaged 44.4 percent (8-for-18) to the Lions’ 16.7 percent (4-for-24).

The Redhawks (3-3) will face Princeton on Saturday at 3:30 pm PT in the LMU Thanksgiving Classic championship to decide the tournament champion. An all-tournament team and MVP will be announced following the game.

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