Regaining the lead for the final time with 1:26 left in the third quarter, 44-43, the Redhawks responded with a 19-7 run to lead by 13, 63-50, with 6:34 remaining in the game. After UTRGV cut the lead to eight, SU would lead again by double figures, 68-57, with 2:45 left.
Idil Turk hit a three for the Vaqueros with two minutes remaining to cut the SU lead to eight, 68-60, jumpstarting a 14-3 UTRGV run to tie the game for the eighth time,71-all, with 14 seconds left.
With one possession left to win it, Delanie Parry (Beaverton, Ore.) hit a clutch three with six seconds remaining to give the Redhawks a momentous 74-71 road victory.
“This is a huge, huge win and I’m so proud of them,” said associate head coach Kristen O’Neill Phillips. “It was a team effort from start to finish. We battled through so much and I’m really proud of these girls for getting the win. We know we have a great team and we’ve certainly had our ups and downs this season, but to beat a great UTRGV team on the road, who was previously undefeated at home, this is a big win for us and a great confidence booster.”
The Redhawks won the tip for the second straight game but UTRGV would take a 4-0 lead on two Anushka Maldonado layups in the first minute of play. Shaylin Heredia (Tolleson, Ariz.) was fouled at the eight-minute mark and, after sinking both free throws, Jacinta Beckley (Wellington, New Zealand) tied the game 45 seconds later on a layup.
Fouled at the 6:37 mark, Taelor Ross (Vancouver, Wash.) went 1-for-2 at the line to give the Redhawks their first lead of the game, 5-4. Thirty seconds later, Ross hit a jumper to tie the game for the second time, 7-7.
The Vaqueros would lead by three two different times just over and under the four-minute mark before a Parry layup tied the game for the third time, 12-12, with 1:04 remaining in the first quarter. Nichele Hyman hit a jumper 25 seconds later to put the Vaqueros up by two, 14-12, at the first quarter break.
Maldonado gave UTRGV a five-point lead with a three 14 seconds into the second quarter before Tal Sahar (Tarzana, Calif.) and Beckley erased the deficit and gave SU a 18-17 lead just under three minutes later.
The game tied three more times over the next three and a half minutes, at 23 for the final time with 3:21 until half, UTRGV responded with a 7-0 run to close the half, leading 30-23.
Trailing 30-23 at half, the Redhawks opened the second half with a 10-6 run to trail by just three, 36-33, with 5:54 left in the third quarter. Maldonado gave the Vaqueros a five-point lead, 38-33, and again, 41-36, a minute later before an Ashlyn Lewey (Spokane, Wash.) layup tied the game at 43 with 2:14 left in the third.
Masha Shtikel (Shoreline, Wash.), Lewey, and Beckley combined to go 5-for-6 from the line to build the Redhawk lead, 48-43, with 30 seconds left in the third period, a lead they would keep for the remainder of the contest.
Sahar led the Redhawks with 21 points, two shy of her career high, while Lewey (13) and Beckley (10) also scored in double figures. Beckley (8) recorded a career high in rebounds while Ceballos (6) and Heredia (6) each matched their career highs.
As a team, the Redhawks led from behind the arc, shooting 9-for-27 (33.3 percent) to UTRGV’s 25 percent (7-for-28), which proved to make the different. Seattle U also out-rebounded the Vaqueros, 51-42, setting a new team high for boards this season.
The Redhawks return home to host Utah Valley on Thursday, Jan. 28 (7 p.m.) and Grand Canyon on Saturday, Jan. 30 (4 p.m.). Saturday’s game will be the program’s second annual “Women in Leadership” game where five female community leaders will be honored at halftime. ROOT Sports’ Jen Mueller, founder of “Talk Sporty to Me”, will also moderate a Q&A with the honorees at a postgame reception directly following the game.