SEATTLE – (Dec. 23) Seattle University men's basketball went into the holiday break on a high note, earning a 95-89 win over visiting Nicholls State Saturday afternoon in the Connolly Complex.
The Redhawks are now 9-6 through their first 15 games, including 8-1 at home. The Colonels dropped to 6-7 on the year.
"We're very happy to get the win today, especially going into the Christmas break," said Head Coach Jim Hayford. "We did a great job of taking care of the basketball against a team that was picking up full court and provided a lot of pressure. And then we also had good balanced distribution and five players in double figures."
A big first-half surge propelled the Redhawks and set the tone for the game. Behind four quick points from Aaron Menzies, a steal and dunk by Richaud Gittens and a three from Jordan Hill, the Redhawks jumped out to a 9-2 advantage and forced a Nicholls' time out just 2:30 into the game.
The Redhawks would continue to pour it on offensively, stretching the lead to 29-8 as Matej Kavas got hot. The redshirt sophomore would finish the half with 18 points on six three-pointers.
Seattle U led by as many as 19 in the half, 32-13, before the Colonels began to find their mark. The lead would trim to as few as six, 41-35, before the Redhawks would use a pair of threes from Kavas and Hill to take a 47-38 advantage into the break.
Nicholls State would open the second half with an 8-1 run, capped by a Jahvaughn Powell layup, making in a one possession game, 49-46, at the 17:38 mark. Behind strong inside play from Menzies, a spark off the bench in Josh Hearlihy and Hill's all-around performance, the Redhawks would continue to hold off the Colonels down the stretch.
Hill finished the night with a career-high 23 points to go along with eight assists, three blocks and zero turnovers. Menzies had 20 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks, while Kavas finished with 20 points and seven boards. Gittens added 18 points and Hearlihy chipped in 11 as the Redhawks finished with five players in double-figures for the fourth time this year.
"To be 9-6 and know a whole lot more about each other and have really grown a lot has been a great takeaway," Hayford said of the first half of the season. "I think we're in a pretty good place."
Roddy Peters led all scorers with 26 points, while Powell finished with 21 for the Colonels.
Seattle U will return to action on Thursday, Dec. 28, hosting Grambling State in the fifth game of a nine-game homestand. Tip-off from the Connolly Complex is set for 7 p.m. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.