NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Seattle University women’s basketball (6-9) earned a large lead early and was able to hold on down the stretch for a 62-56 win at CSU Northridge (2-12) in their non-conference finale.

“I’m pleased with the way we finished this game; we showed a lot of mental toughness, knocked down some key free throws, and were able to close it out with the win,” said head coach Joan Bonvicini. “It was particularly important to finish our non-conference schedule with a win, and doing it on the road is even better. We were able to get all 10 players in today, everyone contributed, and I’m very, very pleased with my team. I look forward to beginning WAC play at home next weekend.”

SU jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first five minutes of the contest after Kaylee Best (Seattle, Wash.) scored seven of the Redhawks’ opening 12 points.

Claudia Ramos put CSUN on the board with a three at the 4:26 mark of the first quarter and Caroline Gilling pulled the Matadors within two, 13-8, by 1:47, but the Redhawks would increase their lead back to double digits, 18-8, to end the quarter.

Taelor Ross (Vancouver, Wash.) scored seven on the Redhawks’ 11-2 run in the first three minutes of the second quarter and Wilma Afunugo (Plano, Texas) gave SU a 20-point lead, 31-10, 20 seconds later. Tal Sahar (Tarzana, Calif.) and Emily Cole traded three’s with just under four minutes remaining in the opening half and despite a 14-2 Matador run to close the half, the Redhawks remained on top by double digits, 38-26.

Shaylin Heredia (Tolleson, Ariz.) opened the third quarter with a three-point play before CSUN scored 10 straight to trail by five, 43-38, by 5:52. The Redhawks outscored the Matadors, 7-4, over the remainder of the third quarter to lead, 50-42, heading into the final 10 minutes of action.

A Katelin King three and Channon Fluker layup pulled the Matadors within three, 50-47, in the first minute of the final quarter before Sahar and Heredia scored back-to-back baskets to put SU ahead by seven, 54-47, by the midway point of the period. King hit her second three of the game with 2:21 left as the Redhawks held on to a two-point lead, 54-42, and, despite two CSUN layups in the final two minutes, would close out the win on free throws.

Best led all players on the floor with a season-high 21 points while Ross added 15 for the Redhawks. Sahar set a new career-high in rebounds (8). Fluker led the Matadors with a double-double (20 pts, 14 rbs).

The Redhawks held CSUN to 32.4 percent shooting (23-for-71) from the field, as well as 21.2 percent (7-for-33) from behind the arc. Seattle U went 76.3 percent (29-for-38) from the line to the Matadors’ 33.3 percent (3-for-9).

With the win, Bonvicini is one step closer to her 700th career win, now just two away (698). She looks to accomplish the milestone as the Redhawks host their first two Western Athletic Conference games next weekend, vs. UMKC on Thursday and Chicago State on Saturday.

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