The Seattle University women’s basketball team made some key free throws down the stretch to hold off Missouri-Kansas City, 81-76, in the quarterfinals of the WAC tournament in Las Vegas Wednesday night.

The third-seeded Redhawks (15-15) lost both regular-season meetings to the sixth-seeded Kangaroos (11-19), but build a big lead in the first half.

“This was a hard fought battle,” Seattle U coach Joan Bonvicini said, “but I thought the difference in this game as opposed to our last two meetings with Kansas City was our defense. ”

Sylvia Shephard led the Redhawks with 24 points, one shy of her career high. Kim Nezianya led the ‘Roos with 25 points.

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Seattle U advances to face Bakersfield, a 65-63 overtime winner over Utah Valley, in the tournament semifinals on Friday at 2:30 p.m.

SU men open against New Mexico State

The Seattle University men’s basketball team will open WAC tournament play in Las Vegas against second-seeded New Mexico State at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. The seventh-seeded Redhawks are attempting to reach their first Division I NCAA tournament since 1969. A victory advances Seattle U into the semifinals on Friday against either Chicago State or Bakersfield. Another Redhawk victory takes the team to the title game Saturday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

From sports-information reports