CHICAGO – (Jan. 11) Seattle University women’s basketball made the largest comeback in its Division I history, rallying past Chicago State, 63-56, Thursday night. The Redhawks trailed by 17 late in the third quarter before putting together a 23-3 run to pick up the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) win at the Jones Convocation Center.
“Our defense provided some energy for us in the fourth quarter,” said Coach Suzy Barcomb. “The team responded to the challenge we gave them at halftime. Kallin played big for us late and we made our free throws down the stretch.”
After struggling for nearly three periods, Seattle U (7-10, 1-1 WAC) suddenly sprang to life and came away with its first WAC victory of the year. Madeline Dopplick hit a jump shot with 39 seconds left in the third and, after a CSU (0-17, 0-2 WAC) free throw, Jacinta Beckley converted a three-point play off an inbounds pass, pulling the Redhawks within 48-35 after three frames.
Dopplick assisted on an Alexis Montgomery three-pointer to start the fourth. Kamira Sanders pulled down a rebound and Kallin Spiller cashed in a putback to get SU to an eight-point deficit. After a Sanders steal, Montgomery converted a putback, forcing a Chicago State timeout with 8:46 remaining.
The hosts scored on their next trip, but Dopplick answered with a triple. After another defensive stop, Spiller went 1-2 at the foul line. Spiller scored after a Dopplick offensive board to cut the deficit to 50-48. Spiller secured the rebound to end CSU’s chance and then she scored on the other end, tying the contest with 4:53 to play.
A McKenzi Williams steal set up Montgomery, who worked her way toward the hoop and finished through contact. Her ensuing free throw was good, as the Redhawks grabbed a 53-50 lead at the 3:32 mark.
Chicago State was not done, however, sinking a three to tie it back up with 2:46 to play. Beckley earned a trip to the free throw line and the senior converted a pair of foul shots to give SU a 55-53 edge with 2:30 remaining. SU made a stop and Sanders scored in the lane for a four-point margin. It closed by hitting 6-8 free throws to seal the match.
In the fourth quarter, Seattle U outscored CSU, 28-8. It hit 8-13 field goals and held the Cougars to 2-13 accuracy. Montgomery and Spiller combined to shoot 6-7 from the field in the decisive frame. SU also notched a 15-3 advantage in rebounding.
Montgomery put up 26 points and seven rebounds, including five on the offensive glass. She sank three treys on the night. The senior passed Sylvia Shephard on the school's career scoring list. Montgomery's 1,241 points are 10th-most in SU history.
Spiller recorded 13 points and six boards. Beckley, Dopplick, and Sanders each scored eight points, as Sanders tallied seven rebounds and five steals in 39 minutes.
Montgomery scored SU’s first points, and after a Spiller layup, Dopplick set up a Montgomery three for a 7-6 lead. At the 5:20 mark, Sanders made a lay-in. Beckley’s layup in the final minute of the quarter gave SU a two-point lead, but the hosts answered to make it 13-13 after 10 minutes.
In the second frame, Spiller scored in the lane to regain the lead, and then the freshman split two foul shots. The hosts took the lead shortly thereafter, but a Montgomery triple gave Seattle U a 19-18 edge with 5:32 to play in the half.
CSU tried to run away, going up by 10, but Montgomery hit a jumper with 1:32 left. The Cougars replied with five more points, though, and entered the half with a 13-point margin. They followed by expanding their lead in the third before SU turned the game around.
The Redhawks will play at Kansas City on Saturday. The WAC game is set for a noon Pacific tip-off at the Swinney Recreation Center.