NASHVILLE – (Nov. 19) Playing host Belmont in the championship game of the Nashville Subregional of the 2K Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, Seattle University men’s basketball fell 90-77 at Curb Event Center Sunday afternoon.
The Redhawks (2-3) got 15 points each from Morgan Means, Jordan Hill and Matej Kavas, along with a career-high 12 from freshman Aaron Nettles. But the Bruins’ offense proved too potent as the home team hit nearly 60 percent from the field as they improved to 4-1 no the year.
“Belmont’s offense was just too strong for us at this point on a single day’s preparation,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford. “We did a much better job of taking care of the ball today, and having a diverse attack. We saw some really good things today that we will build on.”
The two teams battled back and forth throughout the opening 20 minutes of play. Belmont would lead through much of the early goings, but never by more than six as the Redhawks matched them bucket for bucket.
An Amanze Egekeze three had Belmont leading 28-22 at the 7:30 mark, but Nettles would answer with his first points of the game - a three off an assist from Means - to make it a three-point game.
Means would follow with a bucket of his own following a Egekeze turnover, and Hill scored five straight points to cap a 10-0 run that gave the Redhawks a 32-28 advantage with 4:28 to go.
Belmont would close out the half on a 13-4 run to take a 41-36 lead into the break. The Bruins opened up a nine-point advantage early in the second frame, but the Redhawks would not go away, trimming the spread down to a single possession on four occasions.
A Josh Hearlihy layup at the 13:42 mark made it 54-51 Belmont. But the Bruins would begin to take over. A 20-5 run over the ensuing six minutes would break the game open and see Belmont go ahead 74-56.
The Redhawks would get no closer than 12 down the stretch. Belmont’s Luke Austin finished with a game-high 26 points, including 18 in the second half on six threes. Egekeze had 19 points and Dylan Windler pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds.
Hill was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 16 points, four assists and five rebounds over the two games.
Seattle U’s four-game road swing concludes Friday, Nov. 24 at cross-town rival Washington. The game, part of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project, tips off at 12 p.m., will air live on the Pac-12 Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.