BOISE (Nov. 20) - Seattle University women’s basketball pushed Boise State to overtime Sunday, but the Broncos came away with a 73-68 decision. Alexis Montgomery and Kaylee Best teamed up for 31 points in the non-conference game at Taco Bell Arena.
"This team could have given me a lot of excuses (following their third game in six days)," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "But I didn't hear a single excuse from this group today. I'm pretty proud of this team."
The Redhawks (1-3) put together their most impressive half of the season to take control Sunday. Featuring tremendous offensive balance and stellar interior defense, SU scored a season-high 24 points in the first period and held the Broncos (3-0) to 4-17 shooting inside the three-point line for the half.
"We attacked and used our athleticism," said Barcomb. "We went to our strengths and when you hit some open looks, it builds confidence."
Montgomery found Joana Alves for a layup to start the scoring. The hosts scored the next five points, but Seattle U followed with a 13-0 run to take charge of the contest. Claire Metoyer scored and then Alves hit a jumper to grab a 6-5 edge. Best drained a three-pointer, and after a Metoyer steal, Montgomery scored inside with 6:11 left in the frame.
Hoops by Kamira Sanders and Montgomery capped the spurt, which gave SU a 15-5 lead with 4:48 remaining in the first. Boise State made a three, but Metoyer answered with a jumper and then Sanders hit one of her own to stretch the lead to 11. After a Bronco trey, Best drained a triple for a 22-11 margin late in the period. The hosts made another three, but Jacinta Beckley sank a pair of free throws for a 24-14 lead through 10 minutes.
SU shot 62.5 percent from the field, as all five starters scored at least four points in the quarter.
In the second period, Boise scored first, but Montgomery’s jump shot put Seattle U back up by 10. Metoyer assisted on Best’s third trey of the half and then Alves scored in the lane for a 31-18 lead at the 7:34 mark. Sanders then hit two foul shots and then set up a Metoyer triple, lifting the Redhawks to a 36-21 advantage with 4:35 to go.
Sanders, a freshman, continued her stellar play with a corner three to extend the lead to 16 points. The hosts rallied with seven straight points, but Montgomery canned a three-pointer with 22 seconds left. The Broncos scored last to make it 42-33 at halftime.
The hosts fared better in the third frame, cutting SU’s deficit. Wilma Afunugo and Genessa Bedoya each scored, but Boise State hit several threes to gain the lead. Late in the quarter, Sanders came up with a steal, leading to a Montgomery bucket. The Broncos led, 52-49, after three periods.
Best made a layup and Alves hit two free throws to begin the fourth. The pair each scored inside to keep the Redhawks close and then Metoyer tied it with a hoop at the 5:22 mark, making it 59-all.
Boise State took another lead, but Montgomery nailed two jump shots to give SU a 64-62 edge with 3:18 to play in regulation. The Broncos tied it, but Metoyer answered with a hoop on the next possession for a 66-64 margin. In the final minute, the hosts tied it at 66, but Best was fouled on the ensuing possession. The senior split a pair of free throws with 31 seconds left.
After Boise State gained a 68-67 lead with a go-ahead jumper, Best was again fouled, this time with four seconds remaining. She missed the first, but made the second attempt, tying the contest at 68. The Broncos were unable to score on their possession, sending the game to overtime.
Defense ruled in the extra session, as neither team could score in the first three-plus minutes. Boise State broke the spell a jumper at the 1:28 mark, grabbing a 70-68 edge. SU missed a three-point try on its next attempt and then the Broncos sank a pair of foul shots. The Redhawks came up empty again and the home team split two free throws to clinch the game in the final seconds.
Montgomery led with 16 points, six assists, and five rebounds. Best tallied 15 points, hitting three treys. Metoyer added 11 points and two steals, while Alves contributed 10 points and eight boards, including five on the offensive glass. Sanders posted nine points and eight rebounds. The Redhawks outscored Boise State, 30-14, in the lane, but the Broncos made 13 three-pointers in the match.
"Kaylee was phenomenal today," said Barcomb. "She and Alexis were big for us, and Joana had her best game of the year. "
Seattle U hosts a pair of non-conference games this week. It welcomes Portland State on Wednesday, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. and then 2016 NCAA Final Four participant Washington visits the Connolly Complex on Saturday, Nov. 26, at 2 p.m.