Seto, Gutierrez rally W&J past La Roche, 61-57

WASHINGTON, Pa. -- Junior forward Alie Seto (Allison, Pa./Brownsville) poured in 22 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds as the W&J women's basketball team erased a 13-point third quarter deficit in a 61-57 season-opening victory over La Roche College Tuesday evening. 
The 20-rebound performance by Seto's was the most by a President since Danielle Parker pulled down 22 rebounds against Marietta on Dec. 20, 2016. 
Both teams battled through some struggles offensively early in the game as La Roche built a 14-8 edge after the first quarter. A three-point basket by Danajah Sanders extended the La Roche lead to 23-12 with 6:12 remaining in the second. 
W&J worked itself back into the game with an 11-2 run, which was capped with back-to-back baskets by sophomore Aleena McDaniel (Morgantown, W.Va./Morgantown) and junior Maria Lawhorne (Pittsburgh, Pa./Plum). The Lawhorne layup cut the deficit to 25-23 with 1:33 left before halftime. 
The visiting Redhawks would score six of the final eight points to take a 31-25 advantage into the halftime break. 
La Roche would use a 13-6 run over the first five-plus minutes of the third quarter to build a decisive 44-31 lead over W&J. 
However, the Presidents started to slowly chip away at that deficit. A pair of three-point baskets by sophomore Piper Morningstar (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) then a layup by junior Hannah Johnston (East Freedom, Pa./Central) trimmed the La Roche lead to 44-39 at the 1:53 mark of the third. 
Maddie Gutierrez (Bridgeville, Pa./South Fayette) provided a spark in the second half in her debut game with the Presidents. A three-point play by the sophomore in the closing seconds of the third brought W&J within two points (44-42) entering the fourth. 

After the Redhawks scored the first four points of the game's final frame, the Presidents got back to work. Another three-point play by Gutierrez brought W&J within one point at 50-49 with 6:26 showing on the fourth quarter clock. 
Gutierrez gave W&J its first lead of the game with 4:00 minutes left, converting a layup and a free throw to give the Red and Black a 54-52 edge. The Presidents never relinquished the lead from that point, using a pair of layups by Seto to stretch the advantage to six points (58-52). 
A free throw by Gutierrez sealed the deal with 1.1 seconds left, as W&J claimed the 61-57 victory. 
Seto paced the Presidents with 22 points, 20 rebounds, three steals and two assists. Gutierrez scored 14 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting performance from the field. Gutierrez also pulled down five rebounds and dished out a pair of assists. McDaniel filled the stat sheet with seven points, seven assists, three rebounds and three steals. 
Shaundrea Butler led La Roche with a team-best 17 points.
W&J hosts Case Western Reserve University to open the two-day Springhill Suites Tip-Off Tournament on Friday, Nov. 15. Start time is scheduled for 8 p.m. inside the Salvitti Family Gymnasium. 
Carnegie Mellon University will face Otterbein University in the first game of the evening at 6 p.m.