Seattle University’s women’s basketball team (12-16, 9-4 Western Athletic Conference) went head to head with the WAC’s undefeated number one in standings, New Mexico State University’s women’s basketball team (21-6, 13-0 WAC).
#1 Claire Metoyer tries to finish a tough shot against a NMSU defender.
“My thought coming into the game was fearlessness. There’s no reason to fear this game. There’s no reason to fear this team,” said Wilma Afunugo, senior post for Seattle U’s women’s basketball team. “We have nothing to lose and they have more to lose. You can clearly tell we came out strong.”
Their push for the win wasn’t enough to beat the Aggies at the Connolly Complex on Saturday, Feb. 25, 64-61. This final score keeps the Aggies undefeated in the conference.
Leading the team with six field goals, three 3-pointers, and five free throws was freshman guard for the Redhawks, Kamira Sanders.
Despite the loss, the Redhawks gave the Aggies a run for their until the last minute. At the end of the first quarter, the teams were tied 15-15, second quarter the Aggies led at 28-27. Come third quarter, the Aggies took a 6-point lead against the Redhawks, 50-44. This made the final quarter intense to watch, with each team scraping until the final second and every person in the stands on the edge of their seat. With one minute and 40 seconds left on the clock, the Redhawks were down two points, 60-58. About 40 seconds later, Seattle University was down only one point, 60-59.
#24 Alexis Montgomery goes for a reverse layup against New Mexico State.
Alexis Montgomery, senior wing for the Redhawks, contributed four field goals, a three pointer, and three steals, while Afunugo finished the game with a total of four field goals, three free throws and three assists. Senior wing Kaylee Best didn’t stay behind. Best matched Afunugo with four free field goals, three free throws and three assists.
These individual accomplishments contributed to the overall close call. Zaire Williams, junior guard for New Mexico State, led the Aggies with six field goals and six three-pointers. Senior guard for the Aggies, Moriah Mack, also stood in the spotlight. Mack contributed four field goals, two three-pointers and six free throws.
“They’re a proven winner, they know how to execute in the end. They make the plays that allow them to win the championship,” said Suzy Barcomb, head coach for Seattle University’s women’s basketball team. “We’re just not quite there yet. Just need to grow a little bit more and be able to make more executions.”
The Redhawks tested their limits. Losing by solely three points to a team that has won the championship for the past three WAC tournaments, the Redhawks know they can compete.
Coach Suzy Barcomb coaches the guards from the sideline during a free throw.
“I’m just a freshman and I still have more years…but it is sad that we’re having such a good season so far and that they haven’t done this in a while, so I’m grateful to be a part of it and I’m just hoping that the following years is going to be just as successful,” said Kamira Sanders.
The game played against the Aggies on Saturday evening was the second to the last game of the regular season for the Redhawks. As the season comes to an end, college basketball comes to an end for the Redhawk seniors.
Making sure she enjoys the last games the best she could, Afunugo said she enters each one game like it’s her last—and it soon will be.
“[I] try not to have any regrets on the court and just giving it all I have, that’s the biggest thing for me,” Afunugo said.
This loss followed a loss against the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley’s women’s basketball team (18- 11, 8-5 WAC) on Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Connolly Complex, 58-57.
During Thursday’s game the spotlight was on the senior student- athletes as they led with the most field goals. Montgomery contributed with six field goals, a 3-pointer and both Best and Afunugo managed four field goals, and Best an additional three 3-pointers.
The Redhawks are now tied for second place in the WAC standings with CSU Bakersfield (14-13, 9-4 WAC). Seattle University plays their final regular season game of the year at home against Utah Valley on March 4.
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