The new North Court in the Connolly Center at Seattle University saw some awesome early season action on Saturday with the Redhawks capturing a win over the visiting Chicago State Cougars. The win also marked a career milestone for Seattle U head coach, Joan Bonvicini, given that the win was the 700th victory of her illustrious career.
The Seattle U Redhawks took on the Chicago State Cougars in the newly renovated Connolly Center
With the win, Bonvicini became just the 17th Division I coach to reach the milestone, and the 22nd coach across all divisions to notch 700 career wins.
“I’m really a person that lives in the moment, but now that it’s happened, it’s a big honor and is very humbling,” Bonvicini said. “I’m very thankful for the wonderful people who have played for me and, as much as I hope I’ve had an impact on them, they’ve had an even bigger impact on me. I’ve now worked at three great schools and when you’re a basketball coach, you work really hard but I feel very privileged to do something I love and that I have a passion for. It keeps me young, I have a wonderful job.”
The Redhawks outplayed the Cougars through all four quarters, even if the score didn’t always reflect that fact. While the lead flip flopped all the way through the third quarter, Seattle U outshot Chicago State from mid-range the entire game, and while the Cougars managed to drain a higher percentage of threes prior to the half, the Hawks came out strong in the fourth, going on a 17-0 run in the final quarter to stay in the win column and complete a 2-0 home stand.
Despite strong play from the Redhawks in the opening half, the Cougars ended the first half with a two point lead after a pair of jump shots found the bottom of the basket in the final two minutes of the second quarter. The Hawks were thus down 29-27 going into their locker room.
The Cougars held the lead and extended it to five points halfway into the third, however, Seattle U responded thanks to a four-point play from Kaylee Best with just one minute left in the period. Senior forward Cydnee Ceballos proceeded to drain a shot from outside just 42 seconds later, giving the Redhawks a three-point lead, 42-39, as the third quarter drew to a close.
The fourth was, as aforementioned, a bit of a blowout. While the Cougars managed to tie the game up thanks to a jump shot and a split pair of free throws from Layne Murphy, the Hawks slammed the door, locked it and threw away the key when they scored 17 straight points over five minutes. Chicago State drained one more three, but the effort proved futile and Seattle U closed out a 59-45 victory on their new home court.
Guard Delanie Parry looks for a teammate to pass to.
Senior Taelor Ross led the Hawks with 17 points, while Murphy led the Cougars with a team high 14 points. Seattle U also shot 69.2 percent from the stripe, a much better percentage than the Cougars 45.5 percent.
Thus, Seattle U ended their two game home stand by sweeping the competition and will take to the road once more for a single game down California way. They will be taking on Bakersfield on Saturday before continuing south to New Mexico, where they will face New Mexico State. Seattle U will wrap up the road trip against University of Texas- Rio Grande Valley.
Will McQuilkin is a senior Communication major, hailing from a small California farm town in the San Geronimo Valley, often described as a hamlet. He has survived not one, but two surgeries on his right hand (pinky finger and thumb) due to baseball related injuries. His favorite candy is Sugar Babies.