SEATTLE – (Jan. 18) Seattle University women’s basketball knocked off three-time defending Western Athletic Conference (WAC) champion New Mexico State, 69-59, Thursday night. Jacinta Beckley scored a career-high 25 points as the Redhawks won their conference opener at the Connolly Complex.

“We’ve been trying to hammer the team about starting faster,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “We were locked in defensively and that’s what got us going offensively. Jacinta was good with the ball tonight. Genessa was a huge spark for us. She knows exactly where to be and how to get us in our offense.”

SU (9-10, 3-1 WAC) led for nearly the entire game, beating back any Aggie attempts to rally throughout the night. It held a five-point lead after a quarter, a seven-point margin at half, and a 12-point advantage after 30 minutes.

Ahead 29-22, at the break, Alexis Montgomery hit a free throw and then Beckley sank a trey. After an Aggie three, Montgomery scored in the lane to make it 35-25 with 7:25 left. Two Kallin Spiller layups kept the Redhawks up and then Madeline Dopplick sank a triple for a 44-33 advantage late in the frame. Montgomery connected twice and SU took a 50-38 lead into the fourth.

NM State (9-9, 3-1 WAC) scored to start the final period, but Kamira Sanders canned a jumper to reply. Dopplick drained another three-pointer and then Montgomery finished a putback as the lead ballooned to 57-41 at the 7:58 mark.

Beckley closed out the contest with six late points as Seattle U claimed its third WAC win in four outings. She totaled a career-high 25 points on 9-19 shooting in 36 minutes.

SU contained NM State to 33.3 percent shooting from the floor (18-54). The Redhawks held a 30-14 advantage on points in the paint and outscored the Aggies, 19-7, off turnovers.

Montgomery recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th double-double of the season. she added four assists and two steals on the night. Spiller contributed 12 points and five boards. Sanders filled the stat sheet with five points, five rebounds, a personal-best seven steals, and two assists. Genessa Bedoya was key off the bench, putting up a career-high six rebounds, including three offensive boards, to go with three assists and two steals in 18 minutes.

SU contained the Aggies to 4-16 field goal shooting in the first period. The Redhawk offense was not at its sharpest, but Beckley kept her side afloat. The senior made SU’s first basket and then dropped a bounce pass to Spiller for a layup. Buckets by Spiller and Montgomery gave the hosts the lead and then Beckley sank a jumper, followed by a foul shot on the Redhawks’ next trip. McKenzi Williams found Spiller for another hoop to make it 14-8 and then Williams closed first-quarter scoring with two free throws.

The visitors hit a pair of threes to start the second period, but a Beckley three-point play put the Redhawks back ahead, 19-17. She came back with two jumpers to stretch the margin midway through the frame. After a brief NM State spurt, Beckley converted another and-one opportunity on a putback. A Montgomery jumper gave Seattle U a 29-22 lead with 2:49 left, and neither side could score after that.

In the third period, SU found its rhythm offensively, scoring 21 points to maintain the edge in the contest.

Montgomery moved into ninth on the school’s career scoring list, passing Mandy Matzke. She now has 1,271 points as a Redhawk.

The victory snapped NM State’s 17-game WAC regular-season win streak and marked SU’s first win over the Aggies since Jan. 9, 2014.

On Saturday, the Redhawks host UTRGV in another WAC contest. Tip-off is slated for 4 p.m. at the Connolly Complex.