SEATTLE - (Feb. 4) As the Seattle city skyline was aglow in red as Seattle University celebrates its 125th anniversary, the Redhawk men’s basketball team put the icing on the cake to cap the 2017 Homecoming Week with a 63-50 win over Western Athletic Conference foe Utah Valley Saturday night at KeyArena.
The win moved the Redhawks to an even 11-11 overall and 3-4 through the first round of WAC play. The Wolverines dropped to 10-12 overall and 2-5 in WAC play.
“Kudos to our students and alumni for the energy they brought to the building,” said Head Coach Cameron Dollar. “We could not have played as well as we did without them.”
Matej Kavas led Seattle U with 18 points, hitting 7-of-9 from the field, including three triples. William Powell finished with 13 points and five rebounds while Brendan Westendorf added 11 points, five assists and five boards. Emmanuel Chibuogwu added a team-high six assists and 10 boards.
Kenneth Ogbe came off the bench to lead UVU with 12 points. Brandon Randolph was the only other Wolverine in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
The first half could not have gone much better for Seattle U as Powell and Kavas combined to shot 10-for-11 from the field, leading the Redhawks to shoot 50 percent as a team. While the pair combined for 23 of 32 first-half points, Utah Valley managed just five field goals, hitting 16.7 percent for just 18 points.
Powell scored the first four points of the game and Westendorf followed with a three for a quick 7-0 SU lead. A pair of Jordan Poydras free throws served as the Wolverines only points for nearly six minutes as the squad hit its first field goal at the 14:13 mark.
The Redhawk lead would hit double figures, 20-10, on a Powell layup at the 7:42 mark. Leading 22-12, Seattle U reeled off a 7-0 run and would lead by as many as 16 points, 32-16, following a Westendorf three. The Redhawks led 32-18 at the break.
UVU starting the second half on a 12-3 run, opening the frame by hitting 6-of-7 from the field. The burst of offense helped the visitor get within five, 35-30, just four minutes into the half.
But Seattle U responded with a run of its own. Kavas drained a three, Westendorf knocked down a jumper in the paint and Chibuogwu hit his lone triple of the night, extending the lead back to double digits.
“I’m proud of our guys ability to sustain over 40 minutes,” said Dollar. “(Utah Valley) is a tough team to play. They put a lot of stress on our defense but led by our seniors, we stuck with it. This time of the year, that’s what you want to see – consistency through the entire game.”
The Redhawks pushed the lead back up to as many as 15 midway through the period. UVU had one final run in them, pulling to within eight with five minutes to play. Trailing by 11 with three minutes to go, the Wolverines began sending SU to the line. Seattle U would make 7-of-10 from the charity stripe over the stretch, plenty to keep UVU at bay.
Seattle U begins the second round of WAC play on the road next week, traveling to face Chicago State on Thursday, Feb. 9. The game can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM and mynorthwest.com.