In another tight Western Athletic Conference men's basketball contest, Seattle University held the lead until late, when Texas State came back for an 86-83 victory Saturday night at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Ahead by seven at halftime, Seattle U immediately extended the lead into double digits on a three-pointer by Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.). Texas State closed to within five points a couple of times, but a 12-5 Redhawk scoring run allowed Seattle U to earn its biggest lead of the night at 67-55 with 8:55 remaining in the second half.
Three-pointers by Joel Wright and Wesley Davis, along with a steal and dunk by Wright, in the next three minutes brought the Bobcats to within four at 71-67. Reid Koenen hit a three-pointer, and Phil Hawkins hit a jumper to give Texas State its first lead since the 13-minute mark of the first half, 72-71.
Louis Green (Westchester, Ill.) hit a layup, and Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.) earned a follow-up dunk to put Seattle U back on top, 75-74, but Corey Stern hit a jumper, and Wright followed with a blocked shot, rebound, and dunk to put the Bobcats ahead for good, 78-75, with 2:31 left in regulation.
Texas State (7-14, 3-6 WAC) went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to hold off the Redhawks. After missing six of their eight free throw attempts in the first half, the Bobcats went 14-of-15 from the charity stripe in the second half, plus shot 50 percent from the field to pull off the comeback victory.
"I have great kids who are working hard, but we just need to get over the hump and learn how to finish games and win," Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said. "We have to keep focusing on doing the fundamentals. Unfortunately, when the heat has started coming at us, we haven't responded firm enough to get the win."
Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) scored a career-high 22 points on 10-of-19 shooting from the field, plus he pulled down eight rebounds and earned three steals. Sunderhaus earned his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds, and Prince Obasi (Reseda, Calif.) finished with nine points, six rebounds, and 11 assists in the game.
Koenen came off the bench and led all players with 24 points and three blocked shots, while Wright contributed 19 points, nine rebounds, and three steals. Stern also notched a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Hawkins added 13 points, six assists, and three steals to the winning effort.
As a team, Seattle University shot 45.7 percent (37-of-81) from the field, including 8-of-23 from behind the three-point line. The Redhawks did not attempt a free throw at all in the first half and finished 1-for-5 from the charity stripe, offsetting a 47-39 rebounding advantage that included 21 offensive boards for the home team. The Bobcats took advantage of Seattle U's 16 turnovers, scoring 25 points off of those mistakes, while the Redhawks managed only six points off Texas State's 13 turnovers.
Seattle University (6-13, 1-8 WAC) begins the second half of the conference season next Thursday, Jan. 31, against San Jose State at KeyArena starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for all remaining Redhawk home basketball games are available online through Ticketmaster.com or the men's basketball ticket page on GoSeattleU.com.