The Seattle University men's basketball team opened the 2012-13 season with an 87-72 victory over Montana State in the ninth annual Elgin Baylor Classic Sunday evening at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) was named MVP of this year's classic after leading all players with 18 points, plus he pulled down a team-high nine rebounds. Redshirt freshman Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.), making his first appearance in a collegiate basketball game, finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Chad Rasmussen hit four three-pointers for 12 points and Prince Obasi (Reseda, Calif.) contributed 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists.
"It was a good opener for us, but there are still a lot of things that we need to get better on," Trent said. "We will go back to practice and work on those things in order to get better. Everybody, including me, needs to be smarter, be solid on defense, and work within the team."
Seattle U jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first four minutes of the game, with Sunderhaus hitting a three-pointer as part of a seven-point run. After Montana State closed the gap to one at 14-13, the Redhawks went on an 18-4 scoring run to open a 15-point advantage. Seattle U maintained its double-digit advantage the rest of the first half, going into the locker room ahead at halftime, 39-24.
Montana State (0-1) came within 10 points at 47-37 early in the second half, but Seattle U put the game away with a 15-5 scoring run, punctuated by back-to-back baskets by Jarell Flora (Bremerton, Wash.). Seattle U's biggest lead was 25 (80-55) before Montana State finished the game on a 17-7 scoring run to tie the Redhawks in the second half, with both teams scoring 48 points apiece after halftime.
For the game, Seattle U shot 44.3 percent (31-of-70) from the field, including 8-of-25 from behind the three-point line, and 54.8 percent (17-of-31) from the free throw line. The Redhawks won the rebounding battle, 51-42, and forced Montana State into 28 turnovers.
"It was exciting to get out and play the first game, especially here at KeyArena to get our feet under us. We were able to make some shots and get to the free throw line tonight. We probably turned the ball over a little too much and fouled them too much, but overall I am pleased with tonight's effort," Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said.
The Bobcats were led by Antonio Biglow, who scored 15 points, and Paul Egwuonwu, who notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. After shooting just 25.8 percent (8-of-31) from the field in the first half, including 2-of-13 from behind the three-point line, Montana State made 16-of-35 shots from the field in the second half.
Seattle University (1-0) heads to Charlottesville, Va., for a game against the Virginia Cavaliers next Saturday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. local time (1 p.m. Pacific time). The game will be broadcast on ESPN3.com as well as on 770 AM KTTH with Dave Grosby and Gary Hill Jr. on the call. Two years ago, the Redhawks defeated the Cavaliers on their home floor before Virginia traveled across the country and won a high-scoring affair last season at KeyArena.