Hello again, Seattle U fans, it’s been a while! I do apologize for not having posted yet in 2012, but the last two months have been extremely busy for the Seattle U athletics communications staff. I haven’t been able to keep the blog up-to-date with the latest Seattle U basketball photos and happenings. In an attempt to atone for all of this, I’ll be covering about two months of women’s basketball games this post, so get ready to relive a great two months of Seattle U women’s basketball!
Since the last women’s basketball post on this blog, the SU women’s team has gone 12-5, including a Washington Dental Service Holiday Hoops Tournament victory and two 4-game winning streaks. They’re currently on a 9-3 run in their last 12 games, and it’s time to start thinking about the postseason. Standing at 15-9 on the year with five games left to play, the Redhawks are looking at the definite possibility of a postseason berth, the first one for any Seattle University team since reclassifying back to Division I. Although they cannot go to the NCAA Tournament (since reclassifying schools are not eligible to win NCAA championships), the Redhawks are eligible for the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) or the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI). Because of all the excitement around the team right now, it’s the perfect opportunity to get caught up with the last two months of basketball and get ready for the final five games, including a tough matchup with 2nd ranked Stanford at Palo Alto, Calif.
On with the photos!
We’ll start with shots from the Holiday Hoops Tournament Dec. 29th and 30th. The Redhawks hosted the tournament at KeyArena at KeyArena this year due to the men hosting the Elgin Baylor Classic on the same days. Even though the women had played at KeyArena earlier in the year, they enjoyed the experience of playing at an NBA-ready court, along with all the benefits that came with it. One of those benefits was the video screen on the scoreboard. During player introductions, highlights of the team’s play looped on those video screens, drawing the attention of not only the crowd, but the players themselves…
Sylvia Shephard, Elle Kerfoot, and Kacie Sowell (left to right) watch highlights on KeyArena’s scoreboard while waiting to be introduced to the crowd.
In the first game of the holiday tournament, the Redhawks took on the Red Flash of Saint Francis University. It was a close game, with the Redhawks relying on a layup and three made free throws in the final minute to clinch the victory. They won, however, and I got some nice-looking photos from that game…
Guard Sylvia Shephard battles with Saint Francis guard Nickia Gibbs for a rebound. Shephard scored 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the victory over the Red Flash.
Guard Daidra Brown goes up for a layup despite defensive pressure from Saint Francis center Rebecca Keegan.
Forward Kacie Sowell hauls in a pass under the basket in the second half against the Red Flash. Sowell earned a double-double against Saint Francis, scoring 17 points and bringing down 16 rebounds.
Head coach Joan Bonvicini (right) discusses tactics with the rest of the coaching staff during a timeout against Saint Francis.
Sowell (center) celebrates the win over Saint Francis with Elle Kerfoot (left) and Talisa Rhea (right).
With the win over the Red Flash, the Redhawks advanced to the tournament championship game. In the other first-day game of the Holiday Hoops Tournament, Eastern Michigan took down Saint Louis, earning the right to face the Redhawks for the tournament title.
In the championship game, the Redhawks got off to a slow start, allowing the Eagles to score the first 10 points of the game. SU fought back, however, and took a four point lead into the locker room at halftime. The second half went back and forth with both teams trading buckets throughout the half. Like the game before, Seattle U found themselves down with less than a minute to go, but took the lead thanks to three free throws by Ashley Ward after she was fouled during a three-point attempt with 36 seconds left. It was a terrific game, one of the most exciting games all year. Here are some photos in case you missed it…
Guard Talisa Rhea attempts a long jumper in the first half against Eastern Michigan. Rhea scored 16 points against the Eagles.
Here’s one of my favorite shot from the post; I really like the way Amani is framed by Paige Redditt’s arms.
Brown battles for a loose ball with two Eastern Michigan defenders during the first half.
Forward Renee Dillard-Brown tries to swat a ball out of Eastern Michigan guard Taylor Bird’s hands (right).
Dillard-Brown gets tangled up with Eastern Michigan’s Natachia Watkins while on her way to the basket.
Sowell goes up for a layup over Eastern Mcihigan’s Redditt in the second half. Sowell tallied another double-double, this time with 14 points and 10 rebounds. She also blocked two shots and earned two steals on the night.
The win over Eastern Michigan gave the Redhawks the Holiday Hoops Tournament title, the Redhawks’ first tournament championship since reclassifying to Division I. The team was very excited for the win…
Members of the Seattle University women’s basketball team celebrate their first tournament championship since becoming a Division I program again.
For her efforts (and two double-doubles) over the two days, Kacie Sowell was named tournament MVP.
Sowell accepts her MVP award from Seattle University Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs, Roxanne Levenson.
And of course when you win a trophy, you must take a team photo with it (Kerfoot and Butler are holding the prize).
The Seattle University women’s basketball team poses with the Washington Dental Classic Holiday Hoops Tournament championship trophy.
After the tournament, the women won the next two games, at Idaho and a home game versus Colorado State, but fell in Fresno State due to the three-point shooting of Rosie Moult, who went 9-12 from beyond the arc. The next home game I took photos at was the contest with Chicago State on Jan. 14.
Against Chicago State, the Redhawks played well; very well in fact. They may have scored 80 points on the night, but the SU defense still was the most effective unit on the floor, limiting the Bobcats to just 38 points and a 25.9% field goal percentage while forcing 23 turnovers. The offense certainly played well, however, as Kerfoot put up 18 points on the day while three others, Rhea, Sowell, and Shephard, each scored in double-digits. Speaking of Sylvia, here’s her now, earning two of those 10 points.
Shephard goes up for a layup in the first half of the Chicago State game Jan. 14. She ended the game with 10 points, four rebounds, and two assists.
Daidra Brown passes the ball to an open teammate during the first half of the Chicago State game. Brown had four points, seven rebounds, six assists, and two games throughout the contest.
As said earlier, Elle Kerfoot scored 18 points on the game, and all of them came from three-point field goals. Three of those three pointers came in the first half, which put her tied with Ashley Payne for career three-point shots made for Seattle U. After halftime, she didn’t even need a minute before making her fourth on the night, giving her the number one spot in career three-pointers.
Elle Kerfoot lines up her 169th career three-pointer, making her number one all-time in school history in three-point shots made.
Sowell blocks a shot by Chicago State guard Caneka Davis. Sowell put up another double-double against the Bobcats, scoring 10 points and grabbing 10 boards. She also added one assist, one block, and one steal.
Maggie McCarthy looks past Chicago State’s Caneka Davis for an open teammate. McCarthy played 12 minutes on the night, scoring two points while adding two assists and one steal.
After the 80-38 romp over Chicago State, the Redhawks went south to California for two games. They lost an overtime nail-biter 79-81 at Pacific, then turned around to blow out UC Irvine 86-58. Ashley Ward scored 20 points against the Anteaters in a homecoming game for her as she came to Seattle U from Irvine, Calif.
The next home game looked to be a tough one for the Redhawks, and it proved as much on the court. On Jan. 25, Seattle U hosted Brigham Young University, then the 23rd-ranked team in the nation. The Cougars took the lead five minutes into the first half and never relinquished it. Seattle U didn’t quit on the game, however, as they fought back from a deficit as big as 22 with six minutes left in the game, but narrowed the score to 55-69 at the final buzzer.
Ward looks past BYU guard Kim Parker towards the basket early in the first half. Ward led the team with 18 points against the Cougars, and added two rebounds, two assists, and one steal.
Daidra Brown (middle left) and Maggie McCarthy (middle right, facing camera) reach for a rebound, along with two Cougar defenders, during the first half of the BYU game Jan. 25.
Unfortunately those are my only two photos from that game as there were technical difficulties with my memory card for the second half and I lost those photos in the process. I’m sure there was great stuff on there, too.
Oh well, we cannot let those losses (of photos or basketball games) get us down! The Redhawks have bounced back from the loss to BYU by winning the next three games, a seven-point nail-biter at UW Milwaukee, a convincing 11-point road win against Portland State, and a 31-point blowout win over Utah Valley at home Feb. 18. Unfortunately I was not able to photograph the game action against Utah Valley, but I did get some photos of the pre-game ceremonies that day.
The Feb. 18 game was designated as SU’s annual Pink Game in which players wear pink warm-ups, headbands, shoe-laces, etc. to raise awareness for breast cancer. In addition, the school partnered with the Susan G. Komen foundation to help raise money for breast cancer research. Two breast cancer survivors were honored at mid-court before the game, and the team’s seniors earned the right to escort these two brave women onto the court.
The seniors of the Seattle U women’s basketball team escort two breast cancer survivors to center court prior to the Feb. 18 game against Utah Valley. The Utah Valley game was designated as Seattle U’s Pink Game in an effort to raise funds for breast cancer research.
Honoring breast cancer survivors wasn’t the only pre-game ceremony before the Utah Valley game, however. Against Portland State, Kerfoot broke another milestone, becoming the 1th player in program history to score 1,000 points and was honored before the home crowd for that achievement.
Athletic Director Bill Hogan (left) and head coach Joan Bonvicini (right) honor Elle Kerfoot (middle) for eclipsing the 1,000 career points mark.
As noted before, Seattle U went on to beat Utah Valley 70-39 in another great defensive effort. The Redhawks caused 26 turnovers and limited the Wolverines to making just 27.1 percent of their shots, and only 20.7 percent in the first half. Daidra Brown earned six steals on the day, and Sylvia Shephard grabbed four balls away from Utah Valley players.
Talisa Rhea led the team in scoring with 19 points, taking the team scoring lead for the time-being with 336 points on the year. Sowell is hot on her tail, however, with 333 points scored. The two have been trading the scoring lead back and forth throughout the season.
Including Wednesday night’s game at Chicago State, there are five games left in the regular season. Who will take the team scoring title, Rhea or Sowell? Can the Redhawks hang with the Cardinal in a tough road game against Stanford? Will the Redhawks make the postseason, becoming the first SU team to do so since reclassifying? Stay tuned for these answers and more by coming to one of the two remaining home games (Sunday, Feb. 26 at 2:00 p.m. or Saturday, March 3 at 4:00 p.m.) or checking out GoSeattleU.com!
Have any questions or comments for me? Like the photos? Hate the photos? Want to wish the team luck on its’ march to the playoffs? Say so in the comments section below!