SEATTLE U WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ADVANCES TO WBI QUARTERFINALS: Seattle University women's basketball defeated North Dakota, 61-47, in the first round of the Women's Basketball Invitational, marking the first Division I postseason win for any Seattle U team since they began their reclassification during the 2008-09 school year. The Redhawks are 13-5 at home this season, winning 11 of their last 13 home contests. The Redhawks welcome the Wright State Raiders to the Connolly Center for a quarterfinal matchup on Sunday, Mar. 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are on sale through the end of the day Friday, Mar. 16 at the O'Brien Center on campus, and will be available at the door on game day. Prices are as follows: $12 reserved seats, $8 general admission, $5 students/youth/senior citizens. The first 125 Seattle U students (with ID) will receive a free ticket.
COACH BONVICINI COACH OF THE YEAR HISTORY: Head coach Joan Bonvicini was named College Sports Madness Independent Coach of the Year for the 2011-12 season and has now been named Coach of the Year in every conference she has been a part of. At Long Beach State, she was named WCAA Coach of the Year and Big West Coach of the Year three times (1981, 1984, 1986) and was named PCAA Coach of the Year in 1986. At Arizona, she was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1998. Regionally, she has been honored as Region VIII Coach of the Year four times (1981, 1984, 1986, 1998) and, nationally, was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1981.
THE NORTH DAKOTA GAME: Fueled by Kacie Sowell's 16th double-double of the season and double digit scoring by two other SU players, the Redhawks topped North Dakota in the first round of the WBI, 61-47. North Dakota took early leads in the first half, going on an 8-2 run to take a 10-4 lead and another 6-0 run, but Seattle U powered back and held a six-point lead, 33-27, at the halftime break. The Redhawks went on a 6-2 run coming out of halftime and held a 10-point lead, 39-29, at the first media timeout of the second half, with 15:44 left in the contest. The Sioux never came back to within less than 10, and the Redhawks held as much as a 17-point lead, 55-38, with 8:47 left. Seattle U won by a 14-point final margin, 61-47, to notch their first DI postseason win and advance to the WBI quarterfinals. Shephard led the Redhawks with 15 points and 9 rebounds, Sowell scored 14 points and brought down 14 rebounds, and Talisa Rhea scored 11 points and recorded five rebounds. Allyssa Wall led North Dakota with 16 points and six rebounds. Seattle U topped North Dakota in field goal percentage (34.3 percent to 30.9 percent) and three-point percentage (27.6 percent to 14.3 percent), but the Sioux led in free-throw percentage (78.6 percent to 55.6 percent) and rebounds (50-39). This game marked Sowell's sixth double-double in the past seven games.
SCOUTING WRIGHT STATE: Wright State enters Sunday's game with a 21-12 record and topped SIU Edwardsville on their home court in their WBI first round game, 73-64. Despite this win, this was the first road win for the Raiders since Feb. 9 at Milwaukee, where they won 64-52. The Raiders made their first ever Division I postseason appearance in last year's WBI, going 1-1. They defeated Buffalo, 82-79, in the first round before falling, 75-73, to Manhattan in the quarterfinals.
SEATTLE U VS. WRIGHT STATE: This will be the first ever meeting between Seattle University and Wright State.
WBI RANKINGS: Seattle U is among the leaders in several categories among WBI teams. They lead all WBI teams ranked by the NCAA in scoring offense (71.4), scoring margin (7.4), field-goal percentage (43.6 percent), and rebound margin (5.8), are ranked second in assists per game (16.1), tied for second in steals per game (10.7), rank third in win-loss percentage (63.3 percent), are tied for third in fewest turnovers per game (16.0), and are tied for fourth in assist-turnover ratio (.84). Three Redhawks also rank among the top individually as Talisa Rhea ranks second among WBI players in assists per game (5.2), Ashley Ward ranks first in free-throw percentage (85.6 percent), and Kacie Sowell ranks first in field-goal percentage (59.2 percent), and third in double-doubles (16).
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Kacie Sowell is fourth in the nation in field goal percentage, hitting 59.2 percent of her field goal attempts. By hitting 85.6 percent of her free throw attempts, Ashley Ward is 25th in Division I in free throw percentage, while Talisa Rhea is 30th in the country in assists per game (5.2).