CHICAGO - (Feb. 9) A dominating second-half effort allowed Seattle University men’s basketball to turn a three-point halftime advantage into a 90-65 win Thursday afternoon against Western Athletic Conference foe Chicago State.
The game, originally scheduled for a 7 p.m. Central Time start at the Cougars’ Jones Convention Center was moved up to 2 p.m. Central and contested at the nearby Quest Multisport due to weather-inflicted campus closures at CSU.
William Powell led the charge for the Redhawks (12-11, 4-4 WAC), finishing with a 24-point, 10-rebound double-double. The senior forward chipped in six assists as well. Matej Kavas came off the bench to score 18 points and Zack Moore added 17, including five three pointers.
Brendan Westendorf finished just shy of a double-double with nine points and nine assists. All told, eight of the nine Redhawks who saw action, scored at least four points. Seattle U finished the game having shot nearly 58 percent from the field, including a 64.5 effort in the second half.
“I knew that we would handle the adversity and the environment well, but it’s good to see us handle it in such an overwhelming fashion,” said Head Coach Cameron Dollar.
“We took advantage of what they were doing, we didn’t waiver from missed shots early and we didn’t waiver when they went up,” Dollar continued. “We did everything that mature teams do in handling those situations and then we got great contributions from our bench. It was a total team effort.”
The Redhawks were efficient on offense in the first frame, hitting 50 percent from the field, but could not pull away from the Cougars (6-20, 1-8 WAC) who, led by 13 points from Fred Sims Jr., kept it a one-possession ball game at the break, 34-31.
Chicago State briefly took the lead twice early in the second half, the latter time on a layup and free throw from Trayvon Palmer with 18:15 to go.
Seattle U slowly started to pull away midway through the frame. A Kavas three with 9:31 to play made it a nine-point, 55-64 lead. Less than two minutes later, SU took its first double-digit lead, 70-59, on a Powell layup. The bucket was in the midst of a 14-0 run that would make it 77-59 with 5:16 remaining.
A Mattia Da Campo three with 1:20 to play gave Seattle U its largest lead of the game, 90-63, before settling in for the final 25-point victory.
Sims Jr. led all scorers with 26 points. The Cougars also got 23 points from Palmer, but no other Chicago State player would score more than six.
The midwest swing concludes Saturday in Kansas City as the Redhawks head to UMKC. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. Central, 5 p.m. Pacific from the Roos’ Municipal Auditorium. A live web stream will be available via the umkckangaroos.com website and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM and mynorthwest.com.