SEATTLE - (Jan. 28) The Seattle University men’s basketball team simply could not miss Saturday night. Two nights after struggling offensively in a setback to New Mexico State, the Redhawks had three players score more than 20 points apiece as the team shot better than 62 percent in a 96-84 win Western Athletic Conference foe UT Rio Grande Valley.
Sophomore Zack Moore led the charge with a career-high 33 points while senior Brendan Westendorf also achieved a career-high with 29 points. William Powell added 22 points to round out the Redhawks (10-11, 2-5 WAC).
Both teams started hot from deep, trading three-pointers early for a 6-6 tie at the 18-minute mark. The three-point garage would continue for the Redhawks as Moore hit a pair, sandwiched by one from Westendorf, to give Seattle U an 18-13 advantage with 14:25 to go in the first.
The Vaqueros (10-14, 2-5 WAC), the league-leader in scoring at 80.3 ppg entering the night, hung around, continuing to find an answer for each SU bucket.
Three free throws by Zavier McDaniel Jr., made it a five-point game in favor of Seattle U at the 6:45 mark. But Emmanuel Chibuogwu answered with a triple and Westendorf hit his fifth three of the night to open up a double-digit lead for the first time, 37-26.
Moore hit his seventh three of the half with 3:35 to go, pushing Seattle U’s lead to 14, 45-31. Westendorf added three-ball No. 5 just inside 2:30 to give SU its largest advantage, 50-33.
Hitting nearly 70 percent from the field and 13-of-20 from deep (65 percent) in the frame, the Redhawks took a 53-40 lead into the break.
While the second half saw the Redhawks shoot just 1-of-4 from deep, the offense continued to flow. Powell, Westendorf and Moore each had 12 points in the second frame as the team shot a combined 54.5 percent.
The high-scoring Vaqueros would manage to tie the game on a pair of Moe McDonald free throws at the 9:23 mark. But Moore would hit three-pointer No. 8 - one shy of the school’s single-game record - and the Redhawks would put together an 8-0 run to cushion the lead once again. UTRGV would get no closer than seven after than.
Nick Dixon had 26 points to lead the Vaqueros. Antonio Green added 22 points and McDaniel chipped in 10.
As part of 2017 Homecoming Week at Seattle U, the Redhawks conclude their three-game homestand next Saturday, Feb. 4, hosting Utah Valley at KeyArena. The game will cap a week of events on campus and will include a pregame rally, Halftime announcement of the 2017 SU Royals and postgame dance for SU students. The 2017 Hall of Fame Luncheon will also take place on Saturday at noon. Tickets for that event can be purchased here. The game will be carried on the American Sports Network and can be heard on KTTH 770 AM and mynorthwest.com.