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SEATTLE (Jan. 7) - Seattle University women’s basketball took down CSU Bakersfield, 54-47, Saturday afternoon. Alexis Montgomery scored 20 points and Jacinta Beckley tallied a career-high 18 points to lead the Redhawks in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) opener at the Connolly Complex.

SU (4-12, 1-0 WAC) grabbed an early lead before CSUB (5-10, 0-1 WAC) rallied and took control. It was a one-point game at halftime and a three-point difference through three periods. Beckley scored to start the fourth quarter and then Montgomery gave the hosts a 36-35 edge with 8:16 left. The visitors answered with a three-pointer, but Kamira Sanders hit one of her own for a 39-38 advantage.

After CSUB took a one-point lead, Beckley drove for another bucket with 6:55 to go. Two trips later, the junior scored inside while being fouled. She finished the three-point play for a 44-40 lead that Seattle U would not relinquish. The Roadrunners scored, but Sanders responded with a steal a layup. With 3:01 remaining, Montgomery converted a three-point play for a 49-42 margin. A Delanie Parry trey with 1:10 left sealed it in the Redhawks’ favor.

“We got some key buckets late in the game,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “You could see the momentum shift and our kids were really thrilled to get the first WAC win. This is a big win for the team.”

SU’s defense led the way in the first quarter, as it harassed the ‘Runners into 1-13 field goal shooting. Montgomery got SU started right, draining a three-pointer on the Redhawks’ first possession of the afternoon. She followed with a pair of free throws for a 5-0 advantage with 6:01 left in the frame. After a CSUB layup, Ashlyn Lewey sank a trey, making it 8-2 at the 5:16 mark. The Redhawks then forced CSUB into 0-5 shooting the rest of the frame, also picking up three turnovers. Lewey made a layup and Beckley drilled a three for a 13-3 advantage through 10 minutes.

The visitors came back in the second period, though, taking a 17-15 edge with 4:47 left in the half. Montgomery canned a three to briefly regain the lead, and after a CSUB hoop, Sanders scored in the lane. Montgomery followed with a lay-in for a 22-19 difference. Two Roadrunner foul shots made it a one-point Redhawk lead entering the break.

In the third quarter, neither side got much separation. Montgomery made two free throws and then Beckley hit a jump shot. CSUB made a three for a six-point lead, but Beckley continued her big day with another jumper at the 5:51 mark. Montgomery scored and Kaylee Biddell added a free throw to trim the deficit. A late visitor basket made it 35-32 CSUB through three frames.

Montgomery, the WAC’s leading scorer entering Saturday, put up 20 points, along with 7 rebounds and 3 steals in 35 minutes. Beckley, making her second straight start, posted 18 points, 7 boards, 3 steals, and 2 assists. Lewey added five points and seven rebounds off the bench. Sanders contributed seven points and five boards in 34 minutes. SU converted 12-14 free throws on the day.

“I thought Lex (Montgomery) was pretty amazing today,” said Barcomb. “’J’ (Beckley) has bought into her role and made some big plays for us.”

SU hits the road for a pair of WAC games next weekend. It plays at UMKC on Thursday, Jan. 12, and then at Chicago State on Saturday, Jan. 14.