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Originally published March 21, 2013 at 9:48 PM | Page modified March 22, 2013 at 12:00 AM

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Seattle U women lose to Saint Mary's, 68-51, in first round of WNIT

Seattle U, which won the WAC regular-season title, has its season end abruptly at the hands of Saint Mary's in the WNIT

Special to The Seattle Timest

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MORAGA, Calif. — Even with Thursday night's disappointing ending to the Redhawks' season — a 68-51 loss at Saint Mary's in the first round of the WNIT — the 2012-13 campaign was a step forward for Seattle University's women's basketball.

"Our goal was to win the WAC regular season. We exceeded a lot of expectations that a lot of people had for us," fourth-year Seattle coach Joan Bonvicini said. "I am extremely proud of my team."

The Redhawks (20-11) couldn't overcome a huge disparity in rebounds against Saint Marys (21-10), getting outboarded 54-29 by the more physical Gaels. Saint Mary's had 18 offensive rebounds to 10 for Seattle.

"Getting out-rebounded was a huge part of (the loss), particularly on the offensive end," Bonvicini said. "They had 18 offensive rebounds and scored 18 points off those rebounds."

The Gaels move on to play at Northern Colorado on Sunday in the second round while Seattle reflects on a disappointing finish to an otherwise successful first season in the WAC.

After winning the conference regular-season title outright, Seattle lost to Idaho last Saturday in the WAC tournament final, keeping the Redhawks out of the NCAA tournament.

Bonvicini said she knew coming into Thursday's game that the West Coast Conference in which the Gaels play was more physical than the WAC.

"We knew this was going to be a physical game, and it was," Bonvicini said. "I (also) think it is tough going on the road."

The Redhawks also shot poorly, 28 percent (17 for 60), including 4 for 19 on three-point attempts.

The Redhawks were not able to contain Saint Mary's guard/forward Jackie Nared, who led all scorers with 24 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Nared hit three-pointers at critical times and slashed through Seattle's interior defense for hard-fought buckets.

"Nared is a really good player," Bonvicini said. "She is really multidimensional. I was impressed."

Sylvia Shephard paced the Redhawks with 20 points. Kacie Sowell led Seattle in rebounds with 13.

"(Saint Mary's) guards were bigger than most of our guards," Shephard said. "We had a tough night tonight. Saint Mary's is a very good team."

Saint Mary's went on a 14-0 run over a seven-minute stretch midway through the first half. The Gaels went into the break with a 31-20 lead and a 26-15 rebounding advantage.

They led by 10 to 15 points throughout the second half, and the Redhawks never make a serious run.

"There is a lot to build on from this season. This will make us tougher. The core of our team is coming back," Bonvicini said.

"For us, it's a disappointing way to end, but overall I'm very happy with the season."


SU — Shephard 7-19 2-3 20, Ward 1-9 4-4 6, McCarthy 0-8 0-0 0, Sowell 4-11 2-2 10, Adhiambo 2-4 2-2 6, Clark 1-2 0-1 2, Flournoy 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 1-5 0-0 2, Ross 0-1 2-4 2, Stoffel 1-1 1-1 3. Totals 17-60 13-17 51.

SMC — Nared 6-13 9-10 24, Gaze 3-9 2-4 10, Hatten 1-6 0-1 2, Rosenthal 2-8 2-4 6, D. Mauldin 3-5 3-4 9, Nicholson 3-5 2-2 9, Kasen 0-0 0-0 0, Hendricksen 0-2 0-0 0, S. Mauldin 0-0 1-2 1, Greco 2-4 0-0 5, Arter 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 21-54 19-27 68.

Halftime — SMC 31-20. Three-point goals — SU 4-19 (Shephard 4-12, Ward 0-2, McCarthy 0-3, Clark 0-1, Brown 0-1), SMC 7-12 (Nared 3-3, Gaze 2-3, Hatten 0-3, Nicholson 1-2, Greco 1-1). Fouled out — Brown. Rebounds — SU 29 (Sowell 13), SMC 54 (Nared 13). Assists — SU 10 (Ward 3), SMC 12 (Hatten 5). Technical fouls — Brown. Total fouls — SU 19, SMC 16. A — NA.

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