LAS VEGAS (March 9) – Seattle University women’s basketball will play Utah Valley in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Tournament semifinals on Friday, March 10. Tip-off at the Orleans Arena is slated for 2:30 p.m.
The Redhawks, the second seed in the tournament, defeated Chicago State, 78-60, in the first round on Wednesday. SU used a 28-12 fourth-quarter advantage to pull away for the victory. Wilma Afunugo scored a season-high 22 points and Alexis Montgomery recorded her eighth double-double of the season with 11 points and a career-high 18 rebounds. Five Redhawks scored in double figures for the first time this season.
Seattle U turned out to be the lone favorite to win in the first round. UVU, the sixth seed, took down third-seeded CSU Bakersfield, 59-53 in overtime, while fifth-seeded UMKC knocked off UTRGV, 77-69. UMKC will take on top-seeded New Mexico State in the other semifinal Friday at noon.
Mariah Seals and Sam Lubcke combined for 41 points to lead Utah Valley past CSUB. Lubcke grabbed 10 rebounds (seven offensive), while Seals tallied five steals. Taylor Gordon contributed 10 points and 11 boards in the OT win.
SU beat Utah Valley twice during the regular season. On Feb. 4, the Redhawks took a 69-51 decision at UVU. Montgomery put up 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Kaylee Best added 15 points and 5 assists. Seattle U then closed the regular season with a 65-55 victory on senior day at the Connolly Complex on March 4. Montgomery logged 21 points and 8 boards, while Best scored 15 points.
Montgomery was an All-WAC First Team selection, as well as an All-Defensive Team member. Kamira Sanders earned WAC Freshman of the Year and Best was named All-WAC Second Team. For Utah Valley, Gordon was a second team pick and Lubcke was chosen All-Newcomer.
Seattle U beat UVU, 64-62, in the first round at the 2015 WAC Tournament. Best posted 16 points and 4 rebounds for the Redhawks. SU is 6-4 all-time in the WAC Tournament. It is looking for its third WAC Championship appearance since 2013.
The Wolverines are 2-3 all-time in the conference playoffs. They beat UMKC in the first round at last year’s WAC Tournament.