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March 15, 2012 at 6:57 PM

WBI Game Thread: Seattle U. v North Dakota

REDHAWKS WIN: Technical difficulties messed with the thread. SU won 61-47 behind 14 points and 14 rebounds from Sowell and a team-leading 15 points with nine boards from Shephard. Round two is Sunday at 2 p.m. Sowell and teammates should be commended for their play against Wall. The impressive sophomore, who’s 6-foot-4, finished with 16 points, six rebounds, and six blocks with no personal fouls. But could only score six of those points after the break. “I was trying to pressure her as much as I could and bother her down low,” Sowell said. “My team really had my back, covering the weak side when she got the ball. We made sure we were rotating in and out and bodying up.” Shephard had the big shot of the night, a three-pointer with 4:35 remaining in the game to stop a 7-0 run that cut the lead to 10 points. Shephard’s bucket made the advantage 58-45 and the Redhawks only gave up a two FTs down the stretch. There were 523 in attendance, the school allowing the first 150 students in free. Sowell and Shephard said there’s been a lot of buzz around campus and several players from the men’s basketball, baseball, and tennis teams were in attendance on Thursday.
FIGHTING WHAT?: Have you heard about the Sioux nickname in North Dakota? Apparently there’s an issue with the name being offensive, which is understandable. You can read more about the case here.
SCOREBOARD II: Wright State defeated SIUE 73-64 on Thursday in its WBI opener. SU is entering halftime with a 33-27 lead. If it holds, they’d host Wright State on Sunday at 2 p.m. at Connolly Center.
SCOREBOARD: For those Washington fans, looks like a rematch with Utah is around the corner. The Utes lead Utah State 62-47 with 3:26 remaining in the second half of their Women’s National Invitation Tournament opener Thursday. Word is the second round game with the Huskies will be Saturday at Edmundson Pavilion. I’ll know more later.
REDHAWKS LEAD: SU increased its defensive intensity after a 6-0 run by ND put the Sioux up 16-9 with 10:26 on the clock. SU is shooting 29 percent from the field, but leads 24-23 after a finger roll by Rhea. The Redhawks have scored nine points off 10 ND miscues.


TECH PROBLEMS: There’s an odd connection going on, so updates may be slower than normal. SU facing the same glitches on the court, down 4-2 with 16:10 on the clock. Wall is as advertized and the Mothershed twins are doing a solid job finding her inside, the teams just need to connect…like my computer.
Seattle University has unfurled the banners and dragged Rudy, the approximate 10-foot air-filled mascot, out to make history at Connolly Center on Thursday. The Redhawks are making their Division I postseason debut in the third-annual Women’s Basketball Invitational.
SU coach Joan Bonvicini had a hand in creating the tournament in 2010. She consulted with Sports Tours International, the organizers of the 16-team event, after her tenure at Arizona. Given how the men have three tourneys, Bonvicini felt women would be responsive to a similar opportunity.

Flash forward three years and SU is taking advantage of postseason play in its final season transitioning back to DI. The No. 1 seed in the west bracket, the Redhawks (18-11) are facing No. 8 seed North Dakota, which is on a 12-game winning streak.
The Fighting Sioux (21-10) are a solid rebounding team that shoots 30.3 percent from three-point range. The Redhawks appear to be more balanced and potent, averaging 71.8 points on 44 percent shooting from the field. The fault has been defense lately, losing to Cal Bakersfield on a layup in the waning seconds to end the regular season.
There’s hope the defensive flub has given SU motivation for the WBI opener. You know how it starts, here’s the opening lineups:
SIOUX
F Nicole Smart
F Madi Buck
C Allyssa Wall
G Charnay Mothershed
G Charnise Mothershed
REDHAWKS
F Sylvia Shephard
F Ashley Ward
C Kacie Sowell
G Elle Kerfoot
G Talisa Rhea
Tonight’s officials are Penny Davis, Karen Lasuik, and Julie Vanni.

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