REDHAWKS WIN: The good news is SU won 74-56, advancing to the championship game of its tournament for the second consecutive season. The Redhawks will play Akron at 8 p.m. on Saturday at Connolly Center. The bad news? Both Bonvicini and Kerfoot credited a tough week of practice with the victory. So, more tough practices to come! Actually, it was the time to teach. SU did have four games jammed together against established teams to open the season, so it was rocky start with a roster full of new faces. With time to focus on certain areas, the Redhawks snapped out of their shooting slump and got a needed win. SU shot 48 percent from the field and although it was outrebounded (43-38) and outscored in the paint (30-28), it still controlled the flow of the game. Ward and Sowell were impressive, again, Ward going 3-of-3 from three-point range and finishing with 14 points. Sowell had 10 points and 10 boards for her second double-double of the season. The Redhawks have never won their tournament. SU was second last year and the inaugural version was really a round-robin style, so it really doesn’t count. The team may not be as hot offensively as it was on Friday, but solid execution and defense are still going to be key against Akron. The Redhawks could also cut down on the turnovers (21). But really, it’s the performance is what you’d want to see after a tough week practice.
LITTLE TEACHING: Bonvicini has put in the bulk of her youth, freshman Jessi Williamson closing out the highlights with a block. Others were getting instructions on procedure.
BIG APPLAUSE: SU coach Joan Bonvicini put in freshman PG Jasmine Lemon for Kerfoot, who received a warm applause from the crowd and teammates as she took the bench. Kerfoot tweeted that she was sick, spending most of the Thanksgiving break in bed, but she’s en fuego Friday. Kerfoot leads all scorers with 19 points and three assists. SU is up 68-42 with 4:20 remaining in the game.
TOO FAST: SU is a little out of control, moving a little to fast on offense to convert. Good thing it started the half as well as it did the game, leading 60-36 with 9:08 on the clock.
HALFTIME: The Dons stitched together a little 9-3 run to close the half only down 37-28. The Redhawks had two sloppy turnovers and missed shots to zap opportunities at holding on to the once 19-point lead. After a 20 percent shooting to open the game, the Dons closed shooting 7-of-14 from the field. SU will have to clean up its defense and grab the rebounds if its going secure the win. The Dons are out-rebounding the Redhawks 20-16. Kerfoot still leads the Redhawks with 11 points, Ward and Sowell following with six points apiece. Ale has 12 for the Dons. Winston has six points to help the USF bench outscore SU’s 10-9.
FOR THREE: Seattle U. has stuggled with its offense in its three-game losing skid, but it appears to have snapped out of it against USF’s defense. The Redhawks are 7-for-11 from three-point range. SU leads 37-22 with 3:30 left in the first half.
LITTLE FLOW: USF hasn’t threatened SU’s lead, but at least found its shooting touch with a few moves in transition. Ale spun for a layin and Daniels picked off a dribble to score on the other end. A bucket by Sowell off an assist from Ward has the Redhawks up 27-10 with 9:14 on the clock. Kerfoot leads with 11 points.
BALLIN’!: SU is feeling it. Ward and Kerfoot have nailed three-pointers while Ward spotted senior Maggie McCarthy in transition for a layin that forced Azzi to call time. The Dons can’t shoot (15.4 percent) and are down 23-4 with 12:36 left in the half.
HOT START: There’s no lagging from overindulging on turkey on Seattle U.’s bench. The Redhawks are playing with good energy and hitting shots to take a 10-2 lead with 15:52 on the clock. Kerfoot had two three-pointer and Rhea had a nice dish in transition to Sowell to highlight the early run. The Dons have made some bad passes and are shooting 20 percent (1-of-5) from the field.
Day 1 of Seattle University’s annual Thanksgiving Tournament is underway at Connolly Center on Friday. Loyola Chicago (3-1) and Akron (1-3) are playing a tight second half, the Zips getting the 97-86 win behind a late second-half flurry. G Taylor Ruper led with 20 points on 6-for-11 from the field.
Akron faces the winner of Seattle University’s headliner with San Francisco. The game features two teams desperate for a win. The Dons (1-4) are transitioning back to a quality program under second-year coach Jennifer Azzi and the Redhawks (1-3) are looking to regain momentum after a thrilling season-opening win against UC Santa Barbara.
SU assistant coach Joy Hollingsworth isn’t with the Redhawks, healing from an illness.
The Dons will challenge the Redhawks with its three-point shooting. Senior Katy Keating is shooting 57.1 percent from beyond the arc. But USF isn’t strong from the FT line, shooting 69.2 percent, which could bode well for SU on defense.
There’s a Stanford undercurrent with the teams involved. Seattle hoops fans should remember Azzi from her ABL days playing with the San Jose Lasers. Azzi also won a NCAA title for the Cardinal in 1990. On her bench is fellow Stanford alum Katy Steding, who also played one season for the Storm (2001).
Loyola assistant coach Clare Bodensteiner is a 2006 graduate of Stanford.
Let’s get you ready with the starting lineups:
F Vania Singleterry
F Katy Keating
C Whitney Daniels
G Rheina Ale
G Mel Khlok
F Ashley Ward
F Talisa Rhea
C Kacie Sowell
G Elle Kerfoot
G Sylvia Shephard
Tonight’s officials are Darla Foutz, John Weeks, and Ashley Gilpin