PULLMAN, Wash. – (Nov. 15) A first-half lead would not stand for Seattle University men’s basketball Wednesday night, as Washington State rallied behind a career-high 26 points from Carter Skaggs, sending the Redhawks to a 75-59 setback at the Beasley Coliseum.
Seattle U (1-2) closed out the first half on a 6-0 run, capped by a Josh Hearlihy three with seconds on the clock, and began the second half by pushing the spread to 10, 36-26, with 18:59 to play.
But the Cougs (2-0) would come roaring back. A 6-0 run capped by Skaggs’ first points of the night trimmed the Redhawk lead down to four. Richaud Gittens scored in the paint for Seattle U, but five more points from WSU made it a one-point game, 38-37.
A Hearlihy layup pushed the lead back to three before Skaggs hit another three, tying the score, 40-40 with 15:36 to play. Another Hearlihy layup game Seattle U the lead back once more before Skaggs would hit back-to-back threes and a jumper for eight straight points and a 48-42 advantage for the Cougs.
Back-to-back triples by Morgan Means would help Seattle U tie the game, 48-48. But Skaggs would hit consecutive threes of his own and the Cougs would never relinquish the lead again.
Gittens finished with 18 points to lead the Redhawks. Means and Hearlihy added 12 points apiece while Matej Kavas pulled down a game-high 12 boards.
Seattle U shot just 30 percent from the field and 24.4 from three (10-for-41). They went 7-for-10 from the free-throw line, but had just one attempt in the second half, while the Cougs made 14 trips to the line, making 11.
After going 0-for-1 in three minutes in the opening frame, Skaggs poured in a game-high 26 points, including seven threes, in the second half. Joining him in double figures were Viont’e Daniels (17) and Malachi Flynn (13). Washington State shot 45.6 percent from the field and 48 percent from three, including an 8-for-13 performance in the second half.
Both teams struggled to score early as the game’s first points was scored at the 17:06 mark on an Aaron Menzies layup. Seattle U forced the Cougs into 11 first-half turnovers and snagged 11 offensive boards, scoring a combined 19 points off those efforts.
Despite shooting just 27 percent from the field, the Redhawks led for the majority of the half and back-to-back threes from Kavas and Hearlihy sent them into the break leading 31-26.
Seattle U’s four-game road swing continues Saturday in Nashville as they face Detroit Mercy at the Curb Event Center on the campus of Belmont University. The game, part of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, tips off at 1 p.m. Central Time, 11 a.m. Pacific and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.