SEATTLE – (Dec. 22) Seattle University women’s basketball put together another fourth-quarter comeback, but fell short against UC Irvine, 84-79, Friday afternoon. Alexis Montgomery scored 28 points to lead the Redhawks in their final non-conference game at the Connolly Complex this season.

“The third quarter destroyed us today,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “We came out flat and I’m not sure why. UC Irvine executed really well. It takes so much energy to have these big fourth quarters and we just aren’t going to win games when we have to score 85 points.”

Playing its fifth game in nine days, SU (6-8) trailed, 60-49, after a rough third period. It followed with a 16-4 run in the fourth quarter to make the Anteaters earn a decision late. UCI (7-6) opened the fram with a layup, but Jacinta Beckley drilled her third three of the day to get the offense going. Montgomery stole the ball and converted two free throws to get within eight points. Madeline Dopplick made a steal, which led to a Montgomery three-point play in transition and a UCI timeout.

The visitors replied with a basket, but Montgomery sank a trey with 7:09 left to make it 64-60. UC Irvine hit two foul shots and then Montgomery canned a jumper off a Beckley assist. SU came up with a pair of stops and Kallin Spiller hit a cutting Kamira Sanders for a lay-in at the 5:31 mark. On the Redhawks’ next trip, Spiller split two free throws, bringing her side within 66-65. An Anteater three-point play put UCI back ahead by four before two Beckley foul shots. SU continued to work to rally, but the visitors sank enough free throws to hold off the Redhawk charge.

Seattle U outscored the Anteaters, 30-24, in the fourth, continuing its trend of stellar fourth-quarter play. On the season, the Redhawks have won the final period by 4.8 points and have tallied seven fourth quarters with at least 25 points this year.

Montgomery recorded 28 points, including 17 in the second half, on 8-16 field-goal shooting. The WAC’s top free-throw shooter converted all nine of her free throws attempts and made three threes. The senior collected six rebounds, five steals, and four assists in 37 minutes. With 303 total points this season, Montgomery has the third-most points in the nation.

Beckley put up 18 points, hitting three treys, in 39 minutes of action. Sanders notched 11 points and five assists, while Spiller registered eight points, five boards, and four assists. Dopplick finished with six points and six assists.

The teams went end-to-end in the first half, with both offenses finding success. Beckley sank a three from the right corner, and after a UC Irvine hoop, Sanders hit Spiller for a layup. Montgomery made a steal and found Dopplick for a trey from the right wing at the 7:45 mark.

UCI tied the game at 8 after that, but Sanders connected on a jump shot and Beckley drained her second triple of the quarter. A Delaney McCann basket made it 15-13 and then Sanders and Montgomery each sank a pair of free throws to close SU’s scoring. A late Anteater three-pointer and two foul shots put the visitors ahead, 20-19, after a period.

In the second frame, Beckley and Sanders finished in the lane and Montgomery followed with a jumper as the Redhawks claimed a 25-20 advantage a minute into the quarter. UCI hung around, though, before Spiller scored. McKenzi Williams sank two foul shots before another Montgomery jumper gave SU a 32-27 margin.

The visitors scored again, but Genessa Bedoya swished a jumper from just outside the paint to make it a four-point difference. After a UCI three, Montgomery nailed a corner triple. A Beckley bucket with 46 seconds left put Seattle U up by five before a UC Irvine three closed first-half scoring with the hosts ahead, 40-38.

SU made 14-28 field goals, including four treys, in the first half. Eight different Redhawks scored in the first 20 minutes.

UCI controlled the third frame, holding SU to nine points, and giving itself breathing room down the stretch.

Seattle U heads to CSUN for its final non-conference contest of the season on Saturday, Dec. 30.