NORTHRIDGE, Calif. – Seattle University women’s basketball made a late run, but came up short at CSUN Saturday afternoon. Alexis Montgomery led with 24 points and 13 rebounds in the final non-conference game of the regular season at the The Matadome.
"We executed our defensive game plan in the first half," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "We need more people to step up and score. We've got to figure out how to get better and move forward heading into the WAC."
The match was tightly contested nearly throughout, but SU (6-9) found itself down, 58-44, with 5:56 left in the fourth quarter. The Redhawks rallied with a 12-0 burst to push the Matadors. Jacinta Beckley made two foul shots to start the run, and after Kallin Spiller grabbed a rebound, Beckley drilled a three off a Spiller assist. SU used a full-court press to success, as Beckley followed with a steal. That possession ended with a Madeline Dopplick trey to make it a six-point margin with 4:27 to go.
CSUN (7-7) committed another turnover, and then Spiller came up with an offensive board and was fouled. The freshman converted both free throws. Kamira Sanders stole the ball near midcourt and breezed in for a fast-break layup, trimming the deficit to 58-56 at the 2:32 mark.
The hosts answered with two baskets before a Montgomery score made it 62-58 in the final minute. CSUN struggled at the foul line, leaving the door open for the Redhawks. Montgomery scored again to make it 63-60 with 23 seconds showing on the clock. Seattle U forced a five-second call on the ensuing inbounds, giving SU possession down three. The Redhawks were unable to score, though, and the Matadors closed with four free throws to seal the contest.
SU held a 50-44 advantage on the glass, including a season-high 25 offensive rebounds. The offensive board total is the most by the Redhawks since they pulled down 26 against CSU Bakersfield on Feb. 28, 2015.
Montgomery recorded her ninth double-double of the season, including her seventh in eight games. The senior added three steals in 39 minutes.
Beckley compiled 15 points and 8 boards. She sank three three-pointers. Sanders added nine points, five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Spiller notched four points and eight boards. Fluker paced CSUN with 28 points, 16 rebounds, and 13 blocks in 37 minutes.
Montgomery had it all going in the first half, totaling 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. She made a layup and a jumper to start the Redhawks’ scoring. After a Sanders bucket, Montgomery scored again. Beckley followed with a layup while being fouled to make it 10-10. A minute later, Dopplick found Montgomery for a three-pointer from the right corner. A McKenzi Williams hoop made it 15-12 with 1:24 left in the period. CSUN hit a foul shot to pull the hosts within two after a quarter.
Dopplick sank a long three to start second-period scoring. After CSUN scored twice, Montgomery drained a trey from the top of the key at the 6:45 mark, giving SU a 21-17 advantage. The Matadors grabbed the lead as the frame went on, but Beckley set up a Joana Alves lay-in to even the score at 23. Another Montgomery jumper made it 25-all, but CSUN closed with four Channon Fluker free throws to take the lead entering halftime.
Beckley came out firing in the third, hitting a three-pointer after collecting a steal to open the frame. After a pair of CSUN buckets, Beckley sank a jump shot. With 6:51 left, the senior hit another triple, pulling SU within 36-35.
Later in the period, Spiller scored inside and then Montgomery had a tip-in to get Seattle U within two points. Sanders finished a three-point play off a nice find from Alves, cutting the deficit to 43-42 with 2:32 remaining. CSUN held a five-point margin after three quarters.
The Redhawks open Western Athletic Conference action next weekend. They play at Grand Canyon on Saturday, Jan. 6. The Lopes are eligible for postseason play for the first time this season.