SEATTLE - (Dec. 1) Seattle University men’s basketball shook off a road-weary start to their KeyArena opener Thursday night, using a 25-4 run over the final 7:24 to claim a convincing 82-65 win over visiting Northwest University.
Freshman Morgan Means and redshirt sophomore Aaron Menzies keyed the victory for Seattle U (3-4) combining for 45 points and 22 rebounds. Menzies finished with his second double-double of the year, pouring in a game-high 23 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Means added a career-high 22 points to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals.
The rookie was a true spark plug for the Redhawks in the second half as he hit a three with 16:43 to play that gave SU its first lead of the night, 46-45. He would go on to hit another key triple and one of two free throws to knot the game at 61-61 with 7:24 to play.
On the next trip down the court Means fed Menzies for a dunk and the Redhawks were rolling.
Northwest (10-0), which considered the game an exhibition on its schedule, started hot from the field, hitting better than 53 percent in the opening frame, including 6-of-13 from three.
Settling for too many shots from deep (2-for-15) early, Seattle U managed just a 32 percent clip in the first half and trailed 36-32 at the break.
Defense, working the ball into the paint and free throws helped the Redhawks to a 50-29 second-half advantage. They shot 58 percent from the field and 8-of-11 from the charity stripe. SU finished the night with a 40-22 points-in-the-paint advantage.
Joining Menzies and Means in double figures was William Powell, who finished with 17, including 9-of-12 from the free-throw line.
The Redhawks also saw the return of Malik Montoya to the court. The sophomore played 14 minutes in his first appearance since suffering a season-ending knee injury 13 games into the 2015-16 season.
Seattle U continues its eight-game home stand Sunday, hosting Eastern Washington in a rematch of a thrilling double-overtime game in Cheney on Nov. 22. Tip off from KeyArena is set for 1 p.m.