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Friday, November 23, 2012 - Page updated at 07:30 p.m.

Seattle U women host tournament, looking for first win of season

By Jayda Evans
Seattle Times staff reporter

In its first season as a legit Division I program, Seattle University has one hope: stop trending downward.

The Redhawks are 0-3, losing their games by one, two, and three points. Being within a bucket of a win is frustrating and motivating as the team prepares to host its third annual Thanksgiving tournament. Seattle opens against Portland (1-3) at 8 p.m. Friday at Connolly Center.

"We know we have a good team," Redhawks coach Joan Bonvicini said. "It's a lot of little things. Obviously there are similar things when you lose by one, two, and three. But it's not just finishing games, it's things in between. We just want to get rolling here."

Seattle U. opened its season with a one-point loss at home to Pacific, then dropped a tight game to Washington in overtime last week at KeyArena. SU lost on the road to Colorado State on Saturday.

Portland could be a welcome opponent. The Redhawks defeated the Pilots 69-55 in December 2011.

SU lost senior leadership in Talisa Rhea and Elle Kerfoot from last season's team but the returning players seem to be a cohesive unit. Junior forward Kacie Sowell leads the WAC in rebounding (10.7), and junior forward Ashley Ward is fourth in scoring (19.3 points).

"We're used to playing with each other and reading each other," Ward said. "I'm pretty confident we're going to get on a win streak."

SU started slowly last season, too. It was 2-4, including the championship-game loss in its tournament, before two separate four-game win streaks propelled a 20-12 finish.

SU is averaging 22.7 turnovers a game and shooting 35.9 percent.

Boston College (2-2) and Sacred Heart (1-2) play the tournament's opening matchup at 6 p.m. Friday. The consolation game is at 6 p.m. Saturday and the championship at 8 p.m.

"We're ready for our first win, we really are," Bonvicini said.

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