BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – (Jan. 27) Seattle University women’s basketball fell, 75-68, at CSU Bakersfield Saturday afternoon. The Western Athletic Conference (WAC) decision at the Icardo Center snapped SU’s four-game winning streak.
"Three-ball shooting is contagious and they caught fire," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "We got back in it with the second quarter. Kamira stepped up for us offensively."
A ‘Runner hoop stretched the SU (10-11, 4-2 WAC) deficit to 63-51 with 6:20 remaining in the fourth, but Seattle U refused to give up. Alexis Montgomery converted a three-point play at the 4:47 mark. She made a jumper to trim the margin, and after a CSUB (10-10, 4-2 WAC) bucket, McKenzi Williams scored to get within, 65-58. Free throws by Montgomery and Kamira Sanders got Seattle U within five with 1:11 to go. Sanders connected on two more foul shots, and after two CSUB free throws, Sanders sliced through the defense and scored while being fouled with 30 seconds left. The hosts answered with enough free throws to escape with the decision.
Montgomery posted 28 points and eight rebounds. The senior sank 15-15 free throws and moved into eighth on SU’s career scoring list. Her 15 made foul shots are the most by a Redhawk since Ashley Ward hit 16 on Nov. 11, 2012. Coincidentally, Montgomery passed Ward on Seattle U’s career scoring list Saturday. Ward scored 1,302 career points, while Montgomery now has 1,318, good for eighth all-time at SU.
Sanders tallied 19 points, five boards, two steals, and two assists in 37 minutes. Kallin Spiller added eight points and four rebounds.
The hosts were on fire to open the game, converting 14-18 shots in the first quarter, including 6-7 three-point tries. Sanders did her best to keep the Redhawks afloat, assisting on a Madeline Dopplick three and then making a jumper early. Montgomery made four free throws and then drained a three. Sanders sank a trey and then Ashlyn Lewey found Spiller for a jumper late in the period. CSUB hit two threes in the final minute of the frame to grab a 35-22 advantage.
Lewey drilled a triple and followed with a layup to start the second quarter. Sanders sank a jumper to force a ‘Runner timeout 2:02 into the frame. SU’s defense carried the Redhawks back into the game, as it allowed a season-low five points, contained the home side to 2-13 field-goal shooting and forced six turnovers. Late in the quarter, Montgomery converted a jumper and then notched two foul shots to make it a 40-35 deficit at the break.
The five points are the fewest allowed by an SU defense since January 26, 2017, when the Redhawks gave up five points in the fourth quarter at New Mexico State.
A Spiller layup and a Sanders jumper kept SU close in the third frame. Later in the period, Sanders and Montgomery both scored, making it a five-point deficit. CSUB closed the quarter with two three-pointers, taking a 58-47 advantage after 30 minutes.
The Redhawks return to WAC action on Saturday, Feb. 3, as they head to Utah Valley. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. Pacific at Lockhart Arena.