Seattle University women’s basketball (9-16, 3-7 WAC) led through the majority of the first half and, despite a near comeback late in the game, suffered a 60-53 loss at Grand Canyon (13-13, 5-5 WAC) in Western Athletic Conference action.

Seattle U won the opening tip and Taelor Ross (Vancouver, Wash.) scored the first points of the game on a layup a minute in before Cheyenne Hedrington tied the game and Dana Jones and Alyx Bloom combined to give Grand Canyon a 7-2 lead.

Just 20 seconds later, Tal Sahar (Tarzana, Calif.) hit a three and Delanie Parry (Beaverton, Ore.) followed with a layup to tie the game. A Masha Shtikel (Shoreline, Wash.) three would again tie the game a minute later before the Redhawks followed with a 15-0 run to lead, 22-10, with two minutes left in the opening quarter. GCU’s Zelor Massaquoi drove in a layup 20 seconds later but the Redhawks would lead by double digits, 22-12, through the first 10 minutes.

Bloom cut the Redhawk lead to seven early in the second quarter but a Cydnee Ceballos (Phoenix, Ariz.) layup would extend the SU lead back to nine, 24-15, by the seven-minute mark. A jumper from Ross halfway through the quarter would give the Redhawks an eight-point advantage, 26-18, but GCU closed the quarter on a 14-5 run, regaining the lead, 32-31, at half on a Jessica Gajewski three.

Ross regained the SU lead 90 seconds into the second half on a jumper, 33-32, but GCU answered with a 8-0 run to lead by seven, 40-33. Parry and Ross hit a trio of jumpers near the halfway mark of the third period to cut the Redhawk deficit to three, 42-39, but the Lopes would put together a 10-0 run to lead, 52-39, heading into the final 10 minutes.

Shtikel hit a three-pointer eight seconds into the fourth quarter to cut into the Redhawk deficit and SU would trail by 10 two more times in the first half of the final period. Courtney Hayes drove in a layup at the 5:33 mark to put GCU up by 10, 56-46, before SU put together a 7-0 run to cut the Lopes’ lead to three, 56-53, with 18 seconds left.

Ceballos was fouled at the 18-second mark, hitting one-of-two and, the Lopes came down with the rebound but would be called for traveling, giving SU the ball back. The Redhawks set up a three-point attempt, which fell short, and GCU went four-for-four from the line to close the contest.

Shtikel led Seattle U with career highs in points (15) and three-pointers (5) while Ceballos recorded her first career double-double (11 points, 11 rebounds) with career highs in both categories. Sahar also pulled down eight rebounds, which tied her career high.

The Redhawks return home to host the WAC leaders in UTRGV on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 7 p.m. and New Mexico State on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 7 p.m., a game which will be broadcast on the American Sports Network (ASN).

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