SEATTLE – (Dec. 17) Seattle University women’s basketball battled, but eventually fell, 85-73, to Pacific Sunday afternoon. Alexis Montgomery led the Redhawks with her fifth straight double-double in the non-conference contest at the Connolly Complex.
"If we played that game a month ago, we would have caved in the first half," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "We should look at the second half and take away the positives from that today. We battled really hard to stay in it and hopefully we can take the positives and move forward with that."
Playing their third game in five days in three different states, the Redhawks (6-6) were slow to start. In the second half, SU found its groove, scoring 49 points in the final 20 minutes to push the Tigers (5-5).
The visitors worked with a lead of as much as 15 points in the second half, but Seattle U continued to work and trimmed the margin to seven in the fourth quarter. The Redhawks’ full-court press yielded five Tiger turnovers in the final frame. A Kamira Sanders layup made it 76-69 with 2:46 left, but Pacific hit two shots and then made enough free throws to hold off the Redhawks.
Montgomery notched 25 points and 13 rebounds for her fifth straight double-double. The Beaverton, Ore., native has seven double-doubles this season and 18 in her career. She added six assists, two steals, and a block in 35 minutes Sunday.
Sanders recorded 13 points and seven boards, including four on the offensive glass. Madeline Dopplick registered 12 points, hitting three threes, to go along with four assists and three rebounds. Kallin Spiller continued her strong play with 10 points and five boards, while Jacinta Beckley added nine points, six rebounds, four assists, and four steals.
Neither team shot well in the first period, as the sides combined to miss 24 field goals in the opening 10 minutes. Montgomery scored first for SU, but the Tigers got out to an 8-2 lead. Baskets by Sanders and Montgomery inched the Redhawks closer, as both teams struggled to hit shots.
Spiller and Beckley each scored as Seattle U got within 14-10 at the 2:36 mark, but a Tiger three-point play put the visitors ahead, 17-10, after the first.
The visitors finished another three-point play to open the second frame before Spiller made a jumper. After a Tiger three, Montgomery sank a corner triple to make it 23-15 with 8:40 remaining in the half. Beckley assisted on a Beckley trey to trim the deficit further, but Pacific answered and eventually gained a 32-19 margin late in the quarter. Montgomery scored, and after a Tiger foul shot, McKenzi Williams drove and set up a Dopplick three from the left corner. The junior drained the shot as time expired, pulling the Redhawks within 36-24 at halftime.
In the third period, two Montgomery free throws and a Beckley jump shot got SU going. After Pacific went up by 12, Spiller converted a pair of foul shots and Montgomery sank a jumper to get the home team within 40-32 with 7:02 showing on the clock. The Tigers looked to pull away again, but Seattle U continued to work, as Montgomery, Spiller, and Beckley each scored to keep it close. With the visitors ahead by 13, Dopplick set up Beckley for a three, which she banked in with 3:15 to play in the third.
Down 15, Dopplick replied with a corner three-pointer and then Montgomery found Spiller with a nice pass in the lane, pulling SU within 56-46. Montgomery scored late in the frame, but the Tigers entered the fourth with a 61-48 advantage.
Sanders hit a trey to start the fourth. After two Delaney McCann free throws, Montgomery scored inside and then Sanders made aa layup, getting SU within 65-57 with 7:29 to go. Pacific scored twice around a Dopplick hoop and then the Tigers made a three to take a 73-59 advantage.
Leilia Orji came up with a steal to set up a Montgomery layup, and then a Dopplick block led to a Williams lay-in on the other end. SU’s pressure forced another Tiger turnover, as Beckley came away with the ball and found Sanders for a bucket at the 4:05 mark. Pacific scored, but later Montgomery’s steal and jumper made it an eight-point difference. A Sanders bucket ended up being a last gasp, as the Tigers escaped with the decision.
Montgomery moved into 11th place on SU’s all-time scoring list, passing Kaylee Best in the rankings. Montgomery has 1,123 career points. Sylvia Shephard is next on the list with 1,236 points.
The Redhawks play at Washington on Wednesday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena.