SEATTLE – (Nov. 10) Seattle University women’s basketball fell, 74-69, to Idaho State Friday night. Alexis Montgomery scored a career-high 31 points in the season opener at the Connolly Complex.
"When you're young, you're going to make mistakes," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "We have to play better. We can't rely on Alexis to score 31 points every night."
After a high-scoring first half, the teams settled into a more reasonable style in the closing frame. A Kamira Sanders breakaway layup put SU (0-1) ahead, 60-59 with 9:07 remaining in the fourth. The sophomore split a pair of foul shots to make it 61-59, but the Bengals answered to tie it with 6:09 to play. On the Redhawks’ next possession, Jacinta Beckley hit a free throw for a one-point edge. Idaho State came back with a three-pointer to take the lead and it did not look back.
With 3:12 left, Montgomery scored to cut Seattle U’s deficit to 66-64. ISU (1-0) converted four free throws on its next two trips, though, and held off t Redhawks to claim the decision by five.
Montgomery made 13-23 from the floor on her way to 31 points. The WAC Preseason Player of the Year tallied eight rebounds and four steals in 35 minutes. Her previous career high came against Loyola Marymount on Dec. 6, 2014, when she scored 26 points. The total is the most by an SU player since Chelsie Morrison compiled 35 points on Feb. 16, 2008.
Sanders put up 15 points, nine boards, and five steals. Beckley scored 10 points and Ashlyn Lewey added seven points to go with three steals.
The first half was played at a frenetic pace, as both teams scored seemingly at will for much of the first 20 minutes. Sanders scored first for SU, followed by a three-point play by Montgomery. The senior scored again to make it 7-3 at the 8:22 mark. After a Bengal three, Lewey scored on a putback for a 9-6 advantage.
Montgomery converted another three-point play a minute later, and after a Madeline Dopplick jump shot, the Redhawks led 11-6 with 6:39 remaining in the quarter. The teams went back and forth for the rest of the frame, with each Seattle U bucket answered by ISU. Beckley scored in the lane and Delaney McCann sank a jump shot for a 22-18 margin late in the period. Each side hit a free throw in the final minute to make it a 23-19 count after 10 minutes.
Lewey opened the second quarter with a layup and then a straight-on trey for a 28-24 difference with 8:06 to play. The vistors grabbed the lead after that until a Montgomery jumper put SU ahead, 32-31 at the 5:38 mark. Another bucket by the Beaverton, Ore., native kept the Redhawks rolling.
Sanders connected on a triple from Dopplick with 4:11 left. The scoring slowed a bit in the closing minutes, but Montgomery drilled a jumper with 10 seconds showing on the clock, cutting the Bengals’ margin to 46-45 at the half.
The teams their scoring output in the third frame, as both teams shot 33 percent from the floor in the period. Montgomery hit two more jumpers early and then scored in transition for a 51-46 lead at the 6:36 mark. ISU tied it at 51 and eventually took a 56-53 advantage. McCann found Beckley for a three-pointer from the wing, making it 56-all. After the visitors split two free throws, Leilia Orji pulled down an offensive rebound and then scored, giving SU a 58-57 margin through three quarters. Idaho State took control in the fourth, however.
Seattle U hosts Hawai’i on Sunday. The game is slated for a 1 p.m. tip-off at the Connolly Complex.