SEATTLE – Seattle University women’s basketball fell to CSU Bakersfield, 70-60, Thursday night. Courtney Murphy scored 18 points in her Redhawk debut in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) opener at the Redhawk Center.

"It was a tremendous performance by Courtney this evening," said Coach Suzy Barcomb. "That was her first action in 12 weeks and she was outstanding. Bakersfield had a one-two punch that we couldn't overcome tonight."

The visitors grabbed an early 5-0 lead, but it was SU who would control the first period. Olivia Crawford made a three-pointer, and after a CSUB hoop, Joana Alves scored in the lane. Murphy, who missed non-conference play due to a foot injury, sank her first shot attempt, a triple for an 8-7 lead with 4:46 showing on the clock. Alves and Madeline Dopplick both scored and then Kamira Sanders swished a trey for a 15-7 advantage at the 2:02 mark, capping a 12-0 run. 

Murphy connected on another three on the first possession of the second quarter, making it 18-9. The `Runners closed the gap after that, getting within one before a pair of Carla Bieg free throws with 4:16 left in the half. Delaney McCann followed with a bucket to make it a five-point difference. CSUB scored, but Murphy was there for her third three of the half and a 25-19 margin. Up by two in the final minute, Dopplick nailed a trey to give SU a 28-23 lead at halftime.

Bakersfield tied the game at 29 early in the third frame, but Murphy was on the scene once again, draining a three to put her side back ahead. A Bieg three-ball later in the period made it 36-30, but CSUB took the lead mdiway through the quarter. Sanders posted a pair of baskets, but the visitors scored last, making it 45-all entering the fourth.

Alves opened the decisive frame with a layup. CSUB split two foul shots and then Leilia Orji scored after pulling down an offensive rebound with 8:03 to go. The `Runners hit two threes to take the lead, but Murphy swished her sixth trey of the night, pulling SU within 54-52. Trailing by three, Dopplick scored to trim the deficit. CSUB converted a three-point play, but Sanders drove and matched the effort to get the Redhawks within 58-57 at the 2:57 mark. CSUB had the closing kick, however, and held off SU as time ran out.

Murphy shot 6-7 from downtown on her way to 18 points in 24 minutes off the bench. Her six triples are the most by a Redhawk since Kaylee Best sank seven at Grand Canyon on Feb. 16, 2017. Sanders recorded 15 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Crawford contributed five points and eight boards. As a team, Seattle U made a season-high 11 threes.

Seattle U returns to action on Saturday, as Grand Canyon visits the Redhawk Center for a WAC contest.