IRVINE, Calif. – Seattle University women’s basketball led in the second half at UC Irvine Saturday, but the Anteaters pulled out a 65-60 contest at the Bren Events Center. Joana Alves set career highs with 29 points and 12 rebounds in the Redhawks’ final non-conference game of the regular season.

SU (0-13) put together some of its best play of the season in the middle portion of the contest, taking a 38-28 lead early in the third quarter and maintaining a 46-41 margin after 30 minutes of action. However, UCI was able to hit enough shots to go up in the fourth period and hang on for the victory. Seattle U outrebounded its foe, 51-38, on the day.

“Our win loss record doesn’t accurately reflect our improvement in preseason, nor the growth in our competitive nature,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “Clearly, it was a career day for Joana and we needed every point. We’ll continue to look forward to taking another step forward as we enter WAC play.”

In the first frame, the Anteaters got out to a 15-7 advantage. The Redhawks earned seven free throws in the first period, sinking five to stay close.

Seattle U fared much better in the second quarter, as it scored 23 points to take a halftime lead. Alves hit two foul shots and then Carla Bieg swished a three-pointer. Leilani Peat followed with a baseline jumper and then Alves scored in the lane. An Alves jump shot made it an 11-0 run as SU went ahead, 18-15, with 6:20 remaining in the half.

The teams traded buckets after that, with an Olivia Crawford hoop keeping the Redhawks up. Delaney McCann scored and Peat converted a pair of free throws, giving SU a 24-23 edge late in the frame.

After a UCI free throw evened the score again, Bieg swished a corner three. In the final minute of the half, Alves knocked down a triple, giving the Redhawks a 30-24 lead at the break.

Alves opened the second half with another trey, screening for Madeline Dopplick and then popping to the line for a wing three and a nine-point advantage. The hosts hit two free throws, but Dopplick stepped into an open three and hit, making it 36-26. UCI answered, but Dopplick made a 15-foot pull-up jumper for a 38-28 margin with 7:33 remaining in the third.

The Anteaters inched closer, but Sarah Rahon set up a pair of Alves jump shots to keep distance. Another Alves hoop later in the quarter kept SU up and then Kamira Sanders scored late to make it 46-41 after three periods.

Alves continued to work in the fourth, sinking another jumper to hold a five-point lead in the first minute of the frame. UCI came back with eight straight points before Sanders made two foul shots to stanch the momentum. The Redhawks had several chances to regain the lead, but the hosts held on to a slim margin late. In the last minute, Sanders and Alves both scored on the same possession to score the Anteaters, but UCI connected on its free throws to close out the day.

Alves shot 11-21 from the floor on her way to 29 points. She pulled down 12 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. Sanders tallied 11 points and matched a career high with nine rebounds.

The Redhawks open WAC play on Thursday, as they welcome CSU Bakersfield to the Redhawk Center. The rematch of the 2018 WAC Championship is slated for a 6 p.m. tip-off.