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February 20, 2010 at 7:05 PM

Game thread: Cal State Bakersfield at Seattle University

REDHAWKS LOSE: Open shots were there, but Seattle U. couldn’t hit the bucket. On defense, it couldn’t stop a more athletic and aggressive Roadrunner squad, losing 64-44 on Saturday. Heck led with 22 points and six rebounds while McCarthy and Murillo added nine apiece. CSU Bakersfield had four players in double figures, led by Williams’ 19 points and seven boards. Davis had 13 rebounds and 13 points. SU is honoring its seniors and they’re all crying. They were presented with framed jerseys and a bouquet of flowers. Murillo’s bunch bought roses and made signs for her farewell. She was called “One of the best players to ever wear a Redhawk jersey.” The players also spoke to the audience that waited for the ceremony. UPDATE: CS Bakersfield wants Bonvicini to make a call about an invitation to the WBI. The Roadrunners are 16-10 and entertaining. A scary lot if they do get a berth.
OFF NIGHT: SU is 4-for-17 from the field in the second half. Doesn’t appear like it’ll work its way back into this one. CS Bakersfield leads 57-38 with 5:15 on the clock.
FAMILIAR FACES: Murillo said she has 40 people from all over the state watching her final home game Saturday. She’s from Yakima, so a bunch drove over for the game. She has nine points and six boards with two steals as the Redhawks trail 46-32 with 11:45 left in the game.
FACES WASHED: Talked to AD Bill Hogan about the students in black face and he took action. Women are back with clean faces. Couldn’t believe the sight, especially considering it’s Black History Month. Glad it’s cleared up. SU down 44-30 with 16:21 remaining in the second half.
ROAD KILL?: CS Bakersfield is on a 12-2 run to build a quick 34-19 lead with 4:13 remaining in the opening half. SU isn’t getting many shots off and the looks they do get are blocked.
DEFENSIVE STOPPER: CS Bakersfield coach Tim La Kose put Williams back in the game with the instructions “Make sure they don’t score, again.” Aside from free throws, SU hasn’t. But the Roadrunners are benefiting much, holding on to a tight 18-15 lead with 10:26 remaining in the opening half.
HOT SHOOTING: The Roadrunners are 4-for-5 from the field, but the Redhawks are starting to play good defense. If they could make smarter passes, they’d be ahead in this game. Cal State leads 11-9 after a layin by Heck.
BLACK FACE?: There are a few students who wear pajamas to games and really get into the competition, which is cool. But Saturday two young women are in black face. Offensive? Yes.
It’s “Senior Day” at Seattle University, but first-year coach Joan Bonvicini altered tradition and will have the ceremony after the game. That’s good for PG Cassidy Murillo, who said earlier this week that she couldn’t sleep.
“She’s a crier,” said redshirt senior F Ashley Brown, the team’s leading scorer. “Usually I have to hold it together for her and then she’ll be OK.”
Brown is also graduating, but could return for her final season of eligibility, if Bonvicini offers another scholarship. F Mercedes Alexander is the final senior who’ll be honored. She was suspended this season due to an academic infraction under the former coach. SU is still appealing the ruling by the NCAA.
It was a trying debut for Bonvicini, who found success at Long Beach and Arizona before being hired by Seattle U in August 2009. The team had the infractions and a eight-game losing streak in a 6-21 record.
“And Coach B hates to lose,” Murillo said. “She tells us every day.”
But players and Bonvicini said it was a positive season overall. I’ll have more on that in Sunday’s paper. But for those who wondered if Bonvicini was using Seattle U as a steppingstone to a certain rumored opening at Washington, she said she’s not.
“I’m very happy to be here,” Bonvicini said. “Washington is a great school and Tia (Jackson) has gotten a lot out of her team, but I’m the coach at Seattle U and I’m proud to be here. I really hope she gets the opportunity to stay.”
Bonvicini worked her team this week after it lost 66-42 to North Dakota at KeyArena on Tuesday. The players were expecting Wednesday off, but ran instead. Saturday is a rematch from a 65-47 road loss in January, but Bonvicini is trying to make sure the players don’t perform like it’s the end of anything — building for the future.
The team ends its schedule with road matchups in the Longwood Tournament in Virginia.
So let’s get to it with your starting lineups:
ROADRUNNERS
F Katie WIlliams
F Phynique Allen
C Tamiko Davis
G Kelly Tarver
G Amber WIlliams
REDHAWKS
F Ashley Brown
F Maggie McCarthy
C Tatiana Heck
G Cassidy Murillo
G Elle Kerfoot
Tonight’s officials are Jay Schumaker, Annette Tracy, and Ann Jonson.

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