Given that it had been nearly a year since she played in a college game, Janealle Sutterlict’s slow start last Friday was understandable.
But the Wapato graduate got up to speed quickly.
Scoring 18 of her game-high 20 points in the second half, Sutterlict led a strong upset bid that fell just short as her Saint Martin’s women’s basketball team lost to Division I Seattle University 80-69 in the Saints’ season debut.
The 5-foot-8 sophomore guard hit two 3-pointers in the third quarter and again in the final period. Sutterlict twice made shots in the third quarter that gave Saint Martin’s the lead, and her pair of free throws with 9:07 left tied the game at 54-54.
Sutterlict, the CWAC’s 2019 player of the year who was last month featured by the GNAC for her Native American heritage, played in 27 games as a freshman, averaging 8.8 points. She scored a career-high 25 points with five 3-pointers at Dixie State.
While the GNAC, which includes Central Washington, has canceled conference play due to COVID-19 issues, three programs are moving ahead with independent schedules — Seattle Pacific, Northwest Nazarene and Saint Martin’s. Sutterlict’s team will play back-to-back games against Seattle Pacific on Friday and Saturday.
• Ashlee Maldonado (Sunnyside), a sophomore at Santa Clara, ranks fifth in the West Coast Conference with 3.6 assists per game. She collected 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in last Saturday’s 77-74 win over Pacific. The Broncos (3-2, 7-4) host — at Santa Cruz, that is — No. 20 Gonzaga (5-0, 10-2) on Thursday.
• Emilee Maldonado (Sunnyside), a senior at Providence in Great Falls, Mont., is averaging 17.5 points and 4.3 assists during the Argos’ 2-2 start in Frontier League play. She had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists in Providence’s 83-80 overtime win on Sunday over Carroll, which is ranked No. 6 in NAIA. Maldonado ranks second in school history for career assists.
• Scott Blakney (Prosser), a senior at Idaho, is averaging a team-high 11.2 points through his nine starts. The Vandals are still looking for their first win and host Northern Colorado and Thursday and Saturday.
• Here and there: Elijah Pepper (Selah), a sophomore at UC Davis, hasn’t played in over a month as the Aggies wait to restart their COVID-delayed season. ... The Cascade Conference (NAIA) has postponed basketball until at least March. However, Northwest University, a Cascade member, did play a women’s exhibition against Portland last month and Grace Meza, a junior from Grandview, contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals.
• Delayed from its normal fall season, some college volleyball is tentatively set to start later this month. Seventh-ranked Minnesota and sophomore Shea Rubright (West Valley) will open Big Ten play against Michigan State on Jan. 23, and Gonzaga and sophomore Tia Andaya (Ellensburg) open WCC play on Jan. 24 against San Diego. Portland State, with junior Parker Webb (WV), plan to start Big Sky play on Jan. 30.