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Updated Saturday, January 5, 2013 at 10:01 PM

Seattle U women breeze to 72-60 victory over San Jose State

By Jayda Evans
Seattle Times staff reporter

Seattle University hasn't had many games this season as easy as Saturday night's.

The Redhawks used four consecutive fast-break buckets in the second half to quickly pull away in a 72-60 victory over San Jose State at Connolly Center.

It was the second time SU has won by double-digit points, the other coming in a 72-59 home win over Portland State Dec. 9.

"It feels good," SU sophomore Kacie Sowell said.

Entering Saturday, four of Seattle U's five wins were decided by two possessions or fewer.

"In the past, we've let a few of our leads go," Sowell said. "It was a focus (Saturday), having that lead and keeping it at the end there. Even just building on it as we closed out the game — that was big for us."

SU led 35-32 at the break. It used a 19-7 run to open the second half to bury SJSU.

Redhawks senior guard Daidra Brown was a catalyst in the barrage. She picked up a steal and passed to sophomore Sylvia Shephard for the first fast-break basket with 12:35 left in the game.

Shephard mimicked the play, feeding Brown on the next break. Senior Maggie McCarthy finished the run with back-to-back fast-break layins of her own, giving SU a 54-39 lead.

The plays made the Spartans (4-11, 1-3 Western Athletic Conference) more timid, giving the Redhawks a chance to finally take advantage of their size inside. The Redhawks outscored the Spartans 28-16 in the paint in the second half.

"When we went to a zone in the second half, that's when our runs really started to happen," said SU coach Joan Bonvicini. "And then we were focused on getting the ball inside. We did a much better job of that."

Sowell, the Redhawks' 6-foot-1 center, scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the second half. .

The Redhawks (6-6, 3-0) finished their inaugural conference weekend at home with two wins to reach .500 overall after an 0-3 start.

"What I said to the team was I'm very pleased we won our conference games at home," Bonvicini said. "But how you really contend for a conference title is winning on the road. We won at Idaho, and this will be our first two-game series (at New Mexico State and Denver) ... it will be a good challenge for us."


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