LAS VEGAS (March 11) – Seattle University women’s basketball fell, 63-48, to New Mexico State in the 2017 Western Athletic Conference (WAC) Championship Saturday at the Orleans Arena. Wilma Afunugo and Kaylee Best were both named to the all-tournament team.
"Congrats to New Mexico State," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "We made some runs at them, but they're talented and they're deep."
The Aggies jumped out to a 5-1 lead, but an Afunugo layup and two Alexis Montgomery foul shots got SU (15-17) back in it. Montgomery scored again to keep pace with NM State (24-6), and then she found Claire Metoyer for a three-pointer from the corner, tying the game at 10 with 2:53 showing on the clock. After two Aggie hoops, Metoyer sank another jumper, pushing the Redhawks within two after a quarter.
The regular season champions scored to start the second, but Best followed with a drive and a lay-in to make it 16-14. The Aggies put together a 13-0 run, though, using their depth to take command of the contest. Afunugo scored and finished a three-point play to slow the rally at the 3:19 mark. Each team struggled from the field to conclude the half and NM State held a 33-18 lead through 20 minutes.
In the third, Seattle U had an ideal start. After a defensive stop, Best converted two free throws. Kamira Sanders made a steal and went in for a fast-break layup. SU picked up another stop and Montgomery finished in the paint on the other end, cutting the deficit to nine and causing an Aggie timeout.
NM State regained its margin as the frame advanced, however. Three Afunugo layups provided the Redhawks with points, but the Aggies went into the fourth quarter with a 48-37 lead.
Best drained a trey at the 4:35 mark in the fourth, tying the school’s Division I career record with 193 threes. Elle Kerfoot also made 193 triples as a Redhawk.
Afunugo recorded her second straight double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Montgomery tallied her ninth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 boards. Best contributed 11 points, 5 steals, and 4 rebounds. Metoyer and Sanders each added seven points.
Seattle U will now await the release of the WNIT field. As the second-place finisher in the WAC, the Redhawks have an automatic berth in the tournament. The WNIT will announce its participants on Monday night.