Joan Bonvicini promises her Seattle U women’s basketball team is headed in the right direction — even if the passing seems to be off target.
The Redhawks had another turnover-filled game but were able to control the ball enough Saturday for a 74-63 win against Montana State at Connolly Center. SU trimmed its turnovers to just nine in the second half to secure the win.
“It is frustrating when you’re turning over the ball,” Bonvicini said of SU’s 25 miscues that MSU converted into 21 points. “But I like the way we responded when they made a run, and I liked our decision-making down the stretch. But a lot of the turnovers were really not from them (MSU defense), they were from us.”
The Bobcats (4-3) pulled to 60-57 with 6:52 left in the game on a layin by junior guard Kalli Durham. But the Redhawks (4-6) played error-free long enough to use an 8-0 run to build a 68-57 lead with 3:55 remaining.
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Senior forward Ashley Ward was a catalyst, getting the ball to sophomore post Taelor Ross for a layin and making two free throws during the run. Ross and forward Kacie Sowell also forced turnovers with blocks and steals to slow MSU’s aggressive play.
Sowell finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. Ross had 14 points and two steals. But they combined for nine turnovers.
“When we got the ball inside to the post, it was an easy layup,” Ward said of the in-game adjustment. “That was the big thing. Moving the ball a bit better and not forcing it. But they’re (MSU) a good team and had good ball pressure. Once we settled and reversed the ball, we were better.”
Ward scored all of her 13 points in the second half.
Sowell left the game with 5:26 remaining in the first half and didn’t return until after the break. She fell hard on a breakaway layup attempt that was ruled a turnover instead of a foul. Sowell cried on the court and could only stumble to MSU’s bench before composing herself.
“I got hit the wrong way and tweaked something in my back,” Sowell said. “It’s an injury I’ve been dealing with, so it was more scary than anything. Just trying to walk it off and get back on the court was what I wanted more than anything.”
SU leaves for a five-game trip. The Redhawks’ next home game is Jan. 9 against New Mexico State.
Montana State plays at Washington (3-3) on Sunday. First-year Bobcats assistant coach Salvo Coppa is the husband of third-year UW assistant Adia Barnes. The couple married in 2012.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @JaydaEvans