SEATTLE – (Dec. 28) In front of a sold-out crowd at the Connolly Complex Thursday night, Seattle University men's basketball rolled to its 10th win of the season, using a huge first half to propel a 93-63 win over Grambling State.
The Redhawks move to 9-1 at home and 10-6 overall. The Tigers fall to 4-9 on the season.
Seattle U shot nearly 49 percent from the field in the opening frame, but it was the defensive effort that ultimately put the game away early. Grambling State managed just seven first-half field goals, shooting 26 percent from the field and 1-of-7 from three.
The Redhawks scored 12 points off turnovers and allowed just three offensive boards as they built a 46-19 halftime advantage. They would also hold the Tigers scoreless for the final 6:30 of the half.
Grambling State would show some life to start the second half, opening with a 12-2 run to pull within 17, 48-31. But Seattle U would answer with a 17-7 run and the lead would barely fall below 20 points for the balance of the game.
"We came ready to play tonight," said Head Coach Jim Hayford. "The first half was maybe our best 20 minutes of basketball this season. Credit Grambling, they showed a lot of character to come back and be so competitive in the second half. And the way that we had to respond made us better."
Josh Hearlihy led all scorers with 21 points, including 8-of-9 from the charity stripe. The senior guard/forward combo added four rebounds, three assists and two steals to go along with zero turnovers.
Morgan Means added 14 points off the bench and Aaron Menzies collected his sixth double-double of the year, finishing with 13 points and 14 rebounds. Matej Kavas scored 12 points off four three-pointers to round out four players in double figures.
Ivy Smith, Jr., led Grambling State with 19 points while DeVante Jackson chipped in 11 off the bench.
"There was a lot of great energy in Connolly tonight," Hayford said of the sold-out crowd. "We're looking forward to that again on Saturday as we look to finish non-conference play with a win."
Seattle U will close out non-conference play on Saturday, Dec. 30, hosting UC Riverside in the sixth game of a nine-game homestand. Tip-off from the Connolly Complex is set for 1 p.m. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.