SEATTLE - (Jan. 26) A big second-half run brought Seattle University men’s basketball within four points of Western Athletic Conference leader New Mexico State Thursday night in KeyArena. But the Redhawks, who once trailed by as many as 14 and battled first-half shooting woes, would get no closer in a 71-56 setback.
The Redhawks fall to 9-11 overall and 1-4 in WAC play while the Aggies remain perfect in league play at 6-0 and extend the nation’s second-longest win streak to 17 as the move to 19-2 on the year.
The Aggies had four players in double figures, led by Ian Baker with 19 points and 11 boards. Jemerrio Jones had 16 points off the bench while Eli Chula had 14 and Jermaine Haley added 10.
Both teams started cold from the field as they combined to go 0-for-15 from three to start the game. The first triple would not come until the 6:34 mark of the half when Haley knocked down a long ball to give NMSU a 21-12 advantage.
Seattle U never got it going in the frame, going 0-for-12 from three and managing just six first-half field goals to trail 31-20 at the break.
The second half started on an upswing. After Haley hit a three to make it a 14-point game, Morgan Means drained a three of his one and would add a free throw on the next possession. Emmanuel Chibuogwu knocked down a three to make it a seven-point game, 34-27.
New Mexico State would push the lead back into double-figures, but the Redhawks would continue to fight. A Westendorf three and Moore jumper cut it to five, 46-41, with 11:11 to play and later, five straight points by Kavas made it a one-possession game, 50-47, wiht 7:38 on the clock.
That would be as close as the Redhawks would get as the cold spell returned offensively and the Aggies hit free throws down the stretch.
The Redhawks continue the three-game homestand agaisnt UTRGV on Saturday, Jan. 28. The game will be carried on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard on KTTH 770 AM and mynorthwest.com.