SEATTLE, Wash.—In a defensive struggle, Seattle University defeated CSUB 54-47 in the Western Athletic Conference opener for both teams Saturday afternoon.

CSUB missed its first seven field goal attempts before scoring 4:22 into the game for the first time when Alexxus Gilbert made a bucket. The Roadrunners would go 1-for-13 from the field and miss 3-of-4 free throw attempts in the first quarter as the Redhawks would take a 13-3 lead.

Seattle U (4-12) would extend the lead to 15-3 when Jacinta Beckley connected on a pair of free throws 31 seconds into the second quarter. Keyed by a pair of Daije Harris field goals, CSUB mounted a 15-2 charge that was capped off by a Gilbert three-pointer and gave the Roadrunners the lead for the first time with just under four to go in the first half (19-18). Back to back field goals from Kamira Sanders and Alexis Montgomery returned the lead to the Redhawks. CSUB would go cold again, missing five shot attempts, scoring only two points (from the free throw line) in the final 3:49 of the second quarter.

Both teams did not shoot the ball well in the first half. CSUB would end up 8-of-28 from the floor (29%) while the Redhawks could only muster seven field goals (7-of-27, 26%). The ‘Runners were only 40% (4-of-10) from the free throw line as Seattle would take a 22-21 lead into the break.

CSUB started quickly. The Roadrunners made four of their first six shot attempts. That momentum propelled CSUB to a 11-4 run, capped off by Erika Williams’ first three-pointer of the day and a 32-26 ‘Runner advantage. CSUB suffered through another drought, going 5:48 without a point as SU closed to within one. The Redhawks tied the game with 1:23 to play in the third when Montgomery made 1-of-2 free throws. 

A Harris free throw put the lead back into the Roadrunner hands 13 seconds later. CSUB forced a Montgomery turnover which resulted in a Williams layup and 35-32 ‘Runner lead after 30 minutes.  The Roadrunners turned the ball over on their first two fourth quarter possessions and missed a shot which resulted in field goals from Beckley and Montgomery, returning the lead to Seattle U 36-35.

Former Redhawk Jazmine Johnson put CSUB up 38-36 with a three-pointer the next time down for the Roadrunners. Seattle U returned the favor when Sanders sank a three for the Redhawks on their ensuing possession. The ‘Runners called a play for Williams who was fouled going to the basket. Her free throws put CSUB ahead 40-39 at 7:03 of the fourth. Beckley scored eight seconds later to put SU back up by one.

The teams traded turnovers before a Beckley three-point play created a 44-40 score in favor of Seattle U. Harris responded with a jumper. At 44-42, CSUB had three attempts near the basket, but could not score. Sanders made a steal and went coast-to-coast for a layup. Montgomery’s three-point play after CSUB’s 18th turnover of the game created a 49-42 game. Aja Williams responded with a layup. The Roadrunners again missed two short field goal attempts, but Harris came away with an offensive rebound. She could only muster 1-of-2 free throws as the score went to 49-45.

The teams would exchange misses on offense before Delanie Parry put the game away for the Redhawks with a three-pointer out of a timeout with 1:10 to play. Williams would score with 50 seconds remaining, but 52-47 would be as close as the ‘Runners would get. SU would connect on two free throws in the final 45 seconds of the contest to earn the final seven-point margin of victory.

"I was proud of the way we played defense today," said CSUB head coach Greg McCall. "We didn't take advantage of the opportunities on the offensive end that we did have."

CSUB would shoot 32.1% (17-of-53) for the game while Seattle U wasn’t much better at 34.6% (17-of-52). The free throw line was the difference as CSUB missed eight of 18 attempts from the charity stripe while SU was 12-of-14 from the line.

Montgomery (20) and Beckley (18) combined for 38 of the Seattle U points. Both had seven rebounds. Williams was the lone CSUB player in double figures with 11 points. Brittany Sims grabbed a game high eight rebounds for the ‘Runners.

The Roadrunners (5-10) host UT Rio Grande Valley (11-6, 1-0 WAC) Thursday night at 7 p.m. The game will be streamed on the WAC Digital Network.