OREM, Utah - (Mar. 4) Seattle University men’s basketball dropped its Western Athletic Conference regular-season finale Saturday night at the UCCU Center in Orem, Utah, falling 61-54 to Utah Valley.
The result put the Redhawks at 13-16 overall and 5-9 in the WAC. The Wolverines finish the regular season at 14-15 overall and 6-8 in league action. The two teams will now face each other in a second straight game, opening WAC Tournament play on Thursday, Mar. 9 in the No. 4/No. 5 seed quarterfinal game.
UVU opened the game hitting four of its first five shots, opening up a quick 10-6 advantage. But the home team would cool and Seattle U would score six straight to take a 12-10 lead with 12:27 to go. The Redhawks would lead by as many as four, 19-15, but managed just three points over the final 7:19 of the half as UVU took a 29-22 lead into the break.
A layup by Zach Nelson opened the second half and gave the Wolverines their largest lead of the night, 31-22. But Seattle U began to find its stride on both the offensive and defensive ends of the court.
An 11-0 run over the next three minutes, capped by a Matej Kavas three, turned the nine-point deficit into a two-point lead, 33-31. Morgan Means was the catalyst for SU early in the second half. The rookie hit a three as part of the run and would score 10 total points in the first 10 minutes of the half.
UVU clawed their way back in and a Connor Toolson layup with 6:45 to play gave the Wolverines a 45-44 lead. Brendan Westendorf would hit a runner in the lane to snag the lead right back with six minutes to go. But that would be the last time the Redhawks would lead.
After earning zero free-throw attempts in the first half, the Wolverines went 14-for-17 from the line in the second as Seattle U was whistled for 14 of their 17 total fouls after the break.
Means finished with a team-high 16 points while William Powell added nine points and Kavas finished with eight. UVU was led by Jordan Poydras’ 17 points.
Thursday’s WAC Tournament game is set for a 2 p.m. tip off from the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM and mynorthwest.com.