SEATTLE – (Jan. 11) Seattle University men's basketball utilized a 6-2 run over the final 3:32 Thursday night to close out its first Western Athletic Conference win of the season, 67-64, over visiting Chicago State.
The Redhawks move to 12-7 on the season, 1-1 in WAC play and 11-2 at home. Chicago State drops to 2-17 overall and 0-2 in league games.
The lead would whittle away, however, as the Cougars rallied to tie the game at 19-all. Neither team would lead by more than a possession for the remainder of the half and Chicago State carried a 33-31 advantage into the break.
"You need to give a lot of credit to Chicago State because they left it all out there," said Head Coach Jim Hayford. "We jumped out to a 17-4 lead and we went to the bench, but we had guys who just weren't ready to play."
The Redhawks found themselves down by seven, 52-45, with 9:45 to play, but slowly clawed their way back. Matej Kavas hit a jumper and Hill followed with a three to trim the deficit down to two, 52-50. Chicago State's Fred Sims, Jr., drained a three of his own to push the lead back to five.
With seven minutes to play, Gittens drained his third three of the night and Kavas powered his way to a jumper, plus the and-one free throw to give Seattle U its first lead of the half.
Chicago State would lead briefly once more, 62-60, with 3:39 to play. But Means answered, hitting one of two free throws, then draining a jumper on the next possession. Scott Ulaneo added a pair of free throws of his own to make it a three-point Redhawk lead with 2:20 to go.
A Cameron Bowles jumper cut the Seattle U lead to one, 65-64, with 1:33 to play, but Kavas would come up huge with a shot-clock beating jumper, and Sims, Jr. had a three at the buzzer that would fall short.
"I thought our defense was a lot better in the second half, and we just kept pushing and pushing. Richaud and Morgan were consistent both halves and Matej made a really clutch shot to that they had to go for three to force overtime."
Gittens and Means finished with 17 points apiece for the Redhawks. After going scoreless in the first half, Kavas added 14 second-half points. Menzies finished with nine points and a career-high 19 rebounds.
Sims, Jr. and Bowles paced Chicago State with 12 points apiece, while Anthony Harris chipped in 11.
The Redhawks were without senior guard/forward Josh Hearlihy due to illness.
Seattle U concludes a nine-game homestand on Saturday, hosting Kansas City in a 1 p.m. tip-off from KeyArena. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.