BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – (Feb. 24) Shooting woes struck Seattle U men's basketball for a second straight night and CSU Bakersfield hit a hot streak at the right moment Saturday in the Icardo Center in Bakersfield, sending the Redhawks to a 64-57 final.
The Redhawks dropped to 19-11 overall and 8-5 in Western Athletic Conference play while the 'Runners improved to 12-16 overall and 5-8 in league action.
"We battled and had a gutsy performance on a night when we could not get our shots to fall, said Head Coach Jim Hayford. "But credit Bakersfield. They had a really gutsy last few minutes and made some clutch shots."
Managing just 32 percent from the field in the first half, the Redhawks found themselves in a 36-27 hole at halftime as the 'Runners shot better than 51 percent from the field and 5-of-9 from three.
Defense helped turn the tide in the second half as Seattle U held the 'Runners to just three points through nearly seven minutes of action. The Redhawks began to chip away as Aaron Menzies scored five points, Matej Kavas hit a free throw and Morgan Means drained a three making it a two-point ballgame, 38-36.
Back-to-back triples by Richaud Gittens and Jordan Hill gave the Redhawks their first lead of the half, 44-41 with 8:45 to play. And an 8-2 run capped by a Means jumper had Seattle U in command, 52-47 with five minutes remaining.
With the Redhawks clinging to a 53-51 lead, CSUB hit three straight threes, including a circus shot from Justin Davis to beat the shot clock, to quickly swing momentum in the home team's favor.
Seattle U would not find an answer in the final minute and CSUB hit 4-of-4 from the free-throw line to close out the game.
Menzies finished the night with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season. Means and Kavas added 13 points each and Hill chipped in 12.
The Redhawks would shoot 32.3 percent for the balance of the game, including just 31 percent from beyond the arc. They also managed just 50 percent (8-for-16) from the free throw line.
Seattle U's defense held the 'Runners to just six second-half field goals, but CSUB also hit 12-of-16 from the charity stripe.
The Redhawks conclude regular-season play on Saturday, March 3 at Utah Valley. Tip off from the UCCU Center is scheduled for 6 p.m. MT, 5 p.m. PT. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.