KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Jan. 12) - Seattle University women’s basketball won, 75-65, at UMKC Thursday. Kaylee Best scored 21 points to lead a balanced Redhawk offense as SU picked up a Western Athletic Conference (WAC) road win at the Swinney Recreation Center.
“We executed (in the second half),” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “When you have Kaylee, Alexis, Jacinta, and now Wilma going, that was a new dimension tonight that I thought worked really well.”
Holding a one-point lead through three quarters, the Redhawks (5-12, 2-0 WAC) put together a stellar fourth to put the game away and allow SU to improve to 2-0 in the WAC. Best made a jumper and followed with a layup, giving Seattle U a 53-48 difference. SU forced two missed shots and then solid ball movement led to a Jacinta Beckley corner three-pointer for an eight-point lead at the 7:19 mark.
After a Kangaroo (5-11, 0-3 WAC) bucket, Wilma Afunugo sank two free throws for a 58-50 lead. She then scored in the lane to make it 60-52. Alexis Montgomery, working with through foul trouble, scored and then converted on two free throws for a 64-54 lead. Afunugo made another layup with 2:40 left and then Montgomery, Best, and Ashlyn Lewey connected at the foul line, sealing the decision in SU’s favor and allowing the Redhawks to match a season high in points.
Best put up 21 points, hitting four three-pointers. Beckley and Afunugo tallied 13 points apiece, while Montgomery added 10 and five boards. Lewey contributed nine points and five boards off the bench. Seattle U shot 12-22 (54.5 percent) from the floor in the second half and harassed the ‘Roos into 8-26 (30.8 percent) shooting in the final 20 minutes. SU outscored UMKC, 24-0, in bench points.
Both sides started out well offensively. Montgomery and Beckley each scored early for the Redhawks. After UMKC took a 6-4 lead, Best got rolling. The senior, who entered the game second in the WAC with 36 made three-pointers, sank three first-quarter triples to anchor the SU attack. The first came at the 7:33 mark. Montgomery followed with a bucket for a 9-6 advantage.
The hosts took a 13-9 lead, but Best answered with a second three at the 4:44 mark. The ‘Roos came back with a hoop, but Best drilled another trey, tying the game at 15. A Lewey layup made it 17-all, but UMKC scored the last four points of the frame for a 21-17 difference after a quarter.
In the second period, the hosts stretched their lead to eight. Lewey and Beckley both scored, but UMKC held a 29-21 margin with 4:58 to play in the half. Seattle U closed the frame on a 13-7 run, working to trim its deficit as halftime approached.
Lewey got things started with a three-pointer and then Beckley blocked a shot, grabbed a rebound, and then scored on the other end, making it 29-26 at the 3:35 mark. The home side called timeout and responded with four straight points, but the Redhawks rallied again.
Afunugo scored inside twice, and after the second hoop, Delanie Parry made a steal on the inbounds pass and laid the ball in, getting SU within a point. Seattle U earned another defensive stop and then Beckley scored for a 34-33 lead. UMKC hit a late three, however, taking a 36- 34 edge at halftime.
The third quarter was a back-and-forth affair, as both teams shined at times. Beckley scored to open SU’s scoring and then Claire Metoyer made a layup while being fouled as the Redhawks took a 39-38 lead with 8:17 showing on the clock. UMKC regained the lead, but a Best jumper made it 42-all at the 4:35 mark. Parry then assisted on an Afunugo lay-in, giving Seattle U a two-point margin.
After the ‘Roos took a 47-44 lead, Metoyer set up another Best triple with 45 seconds to go in the third. The hosts split a pair of foul shots and then the Redhawks swung the ball around and found Metoyer for a corner jumper. The senior sank the shot for a 49-48 advantage through three periods.
SU wraps up its road trip on Saturday, as it visits Chicago State for another WAC contest. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. Central (noon Pacific).