SEATTLE - (Nov. 11) The senior due of Brendan Westendorf and William Powell led Seattle University men’s basketball in its 2016-17 season opener Friday night in the Connolly Complex. The two combined for 40 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists as the Redhawks earned a 76-65 win over visiting Pacific Lutheran.
Westendorf finished the night with 22 points on 7-of-16 shooting and 5-of-5 from the free-throw line. Powell flirted with a triple doubles, matching his career-high with 18 points to go along with a career-high eight assists and seven boards.
“We had a great first turn out and good atmosphere for our first game,” said Head Coach Cameron Dollar. “It was good for the guys to get out there, good to see alumni, students, friends and family. (Playing in Connolly) is a great chance for us to brand ourselves and get in front of the community.”
Seattle U (1-0) also got a solid output off the bench from sophomore Zack Moore who hit 5-of-7 from three for 15 points.
Pacific Lutheran (0-1) was paced by Brandon Lester’s game-high 23 points while Garth West chipped in 10.
The Redhawks started off hot, scoring the game’s first eight points, capped by a Westendorf old-fashion three-point play. The Lutes would find their way back into the game midway through the half and held a three-point, 24-21 lead with 5:02 to go.
Matej Kavas answered with four straight points for Seattle U and, following a Lester jumper, Moore and Westendorf hit back-to-back threes to open up a six point SU lead. PLU trimmed the spread back down to two, 34-32, but the Redhawks went on to score the final six points of the half to take a 39-32 lead into the break.
While the pesky Lutes would never go away, cutting the Redhawk lead back down to two early in the second half, Westendorf, Powell and Moore continued to counter every run.
A Kyle Sawtell three made it 64-60, SU with 3:19 remaining. But Pacific Lutheran would get no closer as the Redhawks closed the game on a 12-5 run.
“Even though we have guys coming back, when you bring new guys in and older guys have developed and changed their game, everything is new,” said Dollar. “It takes time to meld and grow as a team. We made good strides today, we took care of the ball. Overall I’m pleased with our performance.”
Seattle U hits the road for its next five games, beginning Monday, Nov. 14 at Colorado. Tip off from Boulder, Colo., is set for 7 p.m. Mountain, 6 p.m. Pacific. The game will air live on the Pac-12 Network.