Another valiant effort came up just short for Seattle University, as conference leader Louisiana Tech put together a 10-0 run midway through the second half and held on for a 64-58 victory over the Redhawks Thursday night in Western Athletic Conference men's basketball action at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Down by 10 with two minutes remaining in the first half, Seattle U scored the last four points before halftime, including a basket by D'Vonne Pickett Jr. (Seattle, Wash.) as time ran out in the half. Jarell Flora (Bremerton, Wash.) started the second half with a made three-pointer, but easy baskets by Kenneth Smith and Chris Anderson extended the Bulldogs' lead back to seven at 36-29.
The Redhawks would go on a 10-3 scoring run, punctuated by a traditional three-point play from Louis Green (Westchester, Ill.), to go ahead, 43-41, with 11:12 remaining in the second half. Anderson scored six points in Louisiana Tech's 10-0 scoring run over the next three minutes to put the visiting team ahead for good.
Baskets by Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) and Green cut the Louisiana Tech lead in half with 5:13 remaining in regulation, but the Bulldogs responded with back-to-back layups from J.L. Lewis, who scored eight points within the last five minutes to help hold off the Redhawks. Louisiana Tech was able to pull out the victory despite hitting only 3-of-8 free throw attempts in the final minute.
Pickett finished with 12 points, five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals, while Trent notched his second double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds, plus he blocked three shots and earned two steals. With Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.) in foul trouble, Green made a nice contribution off the bench, going 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line to earn 11 points along with six rebounds.
"Down the stretch, we couldn't get some stops," Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said. "The (shooting) percentages weren't that bad, but we can't keep committing turnovers, and we can't have empty possessions where we seem to lose our mind for a second."
Louisiana Tech (22-3, 13-0) extended its winning streak to 14 games thanks in part to 15 points and four steals from Anderson, including 12 points after halftime. Brandon Gibson finished with 10 points as the Bulldogs won despite shooting just 37.9 percent (22-of-58) from the field and 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the free throw line.
The Bulldogs scored the first five points of the game, but Seattle U rallied back with the next eight points to take a three-point lead five minutes into the contest. Gibson hit a three-pointer and Raheem Appleby converted a traditional three-point play to give LA Tech a 13-11 advantage eight minutes into the game.
Seattle U scored the next four points to retake the lead, but the seesaw battle went back towards Louisiana Tech thanks to nine unanswered points, including three-pointers by Cordarius Johnson and Jaron Johnson. A layup by Pickett and a three-pointer from Flora cut the Redhawk deficit to two, but Smith nailed back-to-back three-pointers to start a 10-2 Bulldog run that established the 10-point lead at 32-22 with 2:01 left before halftime.
For the game, Seattle U shot 46 percent (23-of-50) from the field and 66.7 percent (8-of-12) from the free throw line. However, the Redhawks committed 23 turnovers that led to 21 Louisiana Tech points, offsetting a 36-34 rebounding edge for Seattle U.
Seattle University (7-17, 2-12 WAC) will play its final home conference game of the season Saturday, Feb. 16, against the UT Arlington Mavericks starting at 7 p.m. at KeyArena. Before the game, seniors T.J. Diop (Queensland, Australia), Green, Prince Obasi (Reseda, Calif.), Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.), and Allen Tate (Hobbs, N.M.) will be honored in Senior Night ceremonies.