The Cougars regained a four-point lead early in the second half and would lead by as many as five halfway through the third quarter, 37-32, but Seattle U took back the lead for good on a four-point play by Kaylee Best (Seattle, Wash.) with a minute left in the period. Cydnee Ceballos (Phoenix, Ariz.) hit a jumper 42 seconds later to give the Redhawks a three-point lead, 42-39, at the final quarter break.
A minute and 20 seconds into the fourth quarter, Layne Murphy hit one of two foul shots following a Sh’Toya Sanders jumper to tie the game for the fifth and final time at 42. The Redhawks responded with a 17-0 run over the next five minutes and, despite a Konner Harris three with 3:08 left, would earn the 59-45 come-from-behind victory.
“I’m really a person that lives in the moment, but now that it’s happened, it’s a big honor and is very humbling,” said head coach Joan Bonvicini. “I’m very thankful for the wonderful people who have played for me and, as much as I hope I’ve had an impact on them, they’ve had an even bigger impact on me. I’ve now worked at three great schools and when you’re a basketball coach, you work really hard but I feel very privileged to do something I love and that I have a passion for. It keeps me young, I have a wonderful job, and I’ve had a great life so far.”
The Redhawks got the ball first but the Cougars would score the opening two points on a Layne Murphy jumper at 9:18. The lead would change three times, with one tie, over the next three minutes and changed hands six total times in the opening quarter, the score tied at 16 through the first 10 minutes.
Chicago State led by only as many as four early in the second quarter before a Shaylin Heredia (Tolleson, Ariz.) layup at the 3:21 mark regained the lead for the Redhawks, 26-25. After Taelor Ross (Vancouver, Wash.) went 1-for-2 from the line, the Cougars followed with a pair of jumpers over the final two minutes to take a two-point lead, 29-27, into the half.
Ross led the Redhawks with 17 points while Murphy scored a team-high 14 for the Cougars. SU outrebounded CSU, 44-35, also leading in assists, 14-9, and steals, 8-6.
Seattle U closes the homestand with a sweep and returns to the road for a single game at Bakersfield next Saturday before traveling to New Mexico State and UTRGV the following weekend. The Redhawks return home on Thursday, Jan. 28 vs. Utah Valley and Saturday, Jan. 30 vs. Grand Canyon, which will also be the now annual Women in Leadership game.