SEATTLE (Dec. 2) – The Seattle University women’s basketball team beat Montana, 60-44, Friday night. The Redhawks outscored the Grizzlies, 22-10, in the third quarter, pulling away for the non-conference victory at the Connolly Complex.
Three different SU (2-6) seniors scored in double figures and the Redhawks harassed Montana (2-5) into 26.8 percent field goal shooting as Seattle U closed out its home stand with a win.
“We got a lot of really good looks in the third quarter,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “We switched some things up (at halftime) and knocked some early shots down, which relaxed us.”
Down two, the Redhawks started the second half with renewed zest, using steady ball movement to put points on the board and regain the lead. Claire Metoyer hit a jumper to tie the game, and after a Grizzles’ basket, Alexis Montgomery sank a jump shot to make it 28-all with 8:16 to play in the third. She followed with a triple on SU’s next possession. Kaylee Best sank a jumper as the teams traded hoops.
Wilma Afunugo tallied an offensive board and a lay-in and then Best drilled a three with 6:00 left in the frame. Another Afunugo bucket gave the Redhawks a 40-33 lead. Later in the period, Montgomery converted a pair of free throws. Afunugo continued her strong quarter with another putback for an 11-point difference. Two Kamira Sanders foul shots put SU ahead, 46-33, for its largest lead of the night. Montana made a three to conclude scoring and the hosts took a 46-36 lead into the final stanza. Seattle U hit 8-15 field goals in the frame, winning the period by 12.
The visitors scored to start the fourth, but Delanie Parry made a layup to answer on the other end. After Montana cut its deficit to six points, Montgomery nailed a trey and then Afunugo finished a three-point play, putting SU ahead, 54-42, with 3:36 to go. Afunugo followed with two free throws and a layup as the Redhawks closed out the home win.
Afunugo shot 6-8 on her way to 16 points and five rebounds, including three offensive, in 23 minutes off the bench. Montgomery tallied 15 points and nine boards, while Best notched 12 points. Sanders had a stellar all-around performance, putting up eight points, six rebounds, five assists, and three assists. SU outrebounded Montana, 41-34, and outscored its opponent, 30-16 in the paint.
“I thought Wilma did a really nice job for us,” said Barcomb. “Kamira played her best overall game. She took it upon herself to step up and she played really well.”
The teams both began slowly, as the first quarter was scoreless for over two minutes to start. Montgomery sank a three-pointer with 7:48 left to start scoring. Montana then scored, but Afunugo split two free throws. Sanders followed with a layup for a 6-2 advantage at the 4:52 mark, but the visitors scored on their next trip down.
With 3:41 showing on the clock, Best scored in the paint and then Jacinta Beckley posted a three-point play, making a layup and the ensuing foul shot for an 11-5 margin. The Grizzlies responded with their own three-point play, but a turnaround jumper by Best made it a five-point difference. In the final minute of the frame, Sanders pulled down a rebound and went all the way to the other end, finishing in traffic for a 15-8 lead through one period. SU contained Montana to 3-16 shooting from the field.
Sanders went coast-to-coast again early in the second quarter, scoring inside for a nine-point lead. Afunugo finished a layup with 8:07 remaining in the half, giving Seattle U a 19-8 advantage. Montana rallied from there, as a Metoyer hoop was the only basket in the midst of a Grizzlies’ run. With the score even at 21, Best drained a trey at the 2:56 mark. The visitors scored the last five points of the half, however, grabbing a 26-24 edge after 20 minutes.
SU hits the road for its next six games, beginning with a trip to Montana State on Sunday. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m.