SHOWCASE SHOWDOWN: Before finishing the regular season Saturday night at Idaho, Seattle University will face CSU Bakersfield in the second annual ShoWare College Showcase at the ShoWare Center in Kent, the home of the Seattle Thunderbirds of the WHL. Wednesday's game will be a preview of next year's conference competition, as CSUB joins the WAC. After Saturday's victory at UTSA, the Redhawks are looking to get on a roll heading into next week's WAC Tournament, where they will have to win four games in five days to earn the tournament title and the automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
WHERE TO FIND THE GAMES: 770 AM KTTH The Truth will broadcast both games live, with Dave Grosby and Gary Hill Jr. courtside starting with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. both nights. Links to live stats for both games and live video for the Idaho contest will be available on GoSeattleU.com.
LAST WEEKEND: Seattle University enjoyed a similar start in both games last weekend, shooting 58.7 percent from the field (27-of-46), including 66.7 percent from behind the three-point line (12-of-18), in the first half of the contests at Texas State and UTSA. The Redhawks did not shoot the ball as well in the second half in either contest, but it was more costly Thursday night, as Texas State rallied for a 67-65 victory over the Redhawks. Chad Rasmussen hit six three-pointers to lead Seattle U with 18 points, while Allen Tate scored a career-high 14 points and Prince Obasi contributed 11 points and 11 assists, the second time this season he dished out 11 assists against the Bobcats. While Seattle U shot the ball well in the first half Saturday night, UTSA went 4-for-27, including 1-for-12 from behind the three-point line, as the Redhawks built a 20-point lead on their way to a 53-37 victory over the Roadrunners. Rasmussen tied his season high with 19 points, and Clarence Trent contributed nine points and eight rebounds.
BEEP BEEP!: Seattle U is facing teams with the nickname Roadrunners in back-to-back games: UTSA followed by CSU Bakersfield.
SCOUTING CSU BAKERSFIELD: The Roadrunners enter Wednesday's game with a 12-16 overall record. CSUB has not played since Feb. 23, a 114-66 victory over Pacifica University. This is the final season as a Division I independent for CSUB before joining the Western Athletic Conference next year. The Roadrunners are scoring 67.6 points per game and giving up 69.2 points per contest. As a team, CSUB is shooting 41.3 percent from the field, including 32.8 percent from behind the three-point line, and 71.2 percent from the free throw line. Stephon Carter is the team's leading scorer both for this season and in CSUB history. This year, he is averaging 16.5 points per game, and he comes into the game with 1,611 career points. Brandon Barnes is contributing 11.9 points and 5.0 rebounds per game, and Javante Maynor has hit 73 three-pointers on his way to averaging 10.7 points per game.
SERIES HISTORY: This will be the eighth meeting all-time between Seattle U and CSU Bakersfield. These two teams first met during the 1981-82 season at a tournament hosted by Oregon Tech, with Cal State Bakersfield winning, 47-41. Cal State Bakersfield also won a home game during the 1994-95 season, 82-63, as well as a contest during the 2001-02 campaign at a tournament hosted by Western Oregon, 70-51. Seattle University has won the last four meetings, beginning with a 94-83 victory on Dec. 17, 2005, in Bakersfield. In that game five players scored in double figures for Seattle University, led by Bernard Seals with 28 points. On Feb. 16, 2009, Seattle U earned a 78-54 victory over the Roadrunners in Bakersfield. On Feb. 27, 2010, in the teams' first-ever meeting in Seattle, Alex Jones scored 21 points, including a crucial putback with 16.5 seconds left in regulation, to give Seattle U a 76-72 victory. On Feb. 26, 2011, in Bakersfield, Calif., behind eight three-pointers by Chad Rasmussen, Seattle U cruised to a 73-54 victory. Stephon Carter scored 19 points for the Roadrunners in the 2010 meeting, but was held to six points in 2011.
SEATTLE U IN WAC TOURNAMENT: Seattle University knows that it will play in one of the first round games of the Western Athletic Conference Tournament next week at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas, Nev. If the Redhawks finish as the seventh or tenth seed, they will play at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12. Otherwise, Seattle U will be involved in the 8-9 game at 8:30 p.m. that night. A win will advance the Redhawks into the quarterfinals Thursday, March 14.
SCOUTING IDAHO: The Vandals are off until Saturday when they bring an 11-17 overall record into the game, including a 6-11 record in the conference. Idaho is currently sixth in the league, with a victory or a loss by Texas State locking the Vandals into the sixth seed for the WAC Tournament. The Vandals are scoring 68.8 points per game and giving up 69.4 points per contest. As a team, Idaho is shooting 46.8 percent from the field, including 37.1 percent from the three-point line, and 74.7 percent from the free throw line. Idaho is currently 27th in the country in free throw shooting percentage. Kyle Barone, the current WAC Player of the Week, leads the Vandals with 16.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He is shooting 58.7 percent from the field (11th in the nation) and 78.5 percent from the free throw line. Stephen Madison is contributing 14.9 points and 4.8 rebounds per game, and Connor Hill has hit 79 three-pointers as he averages 11.9 points per game.
SERIES HISTORY: Seattle University and Idaho are meeting for the 28th time in the history of the two basketball programs, with Seattle U holding a 14-13 series edge. After Idaho won four of the first five meetings between 1949-50 and 1960-61, Seattle U held a 12-game winning streak in the series between 1961-62 and 1968-69. Idaho would win the next five meetings. starting in 1985-86, continuing in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and extended further with two Idaho victories during the 2009-10 campaign. Seattle U defeated Idaho in the 2010 Elgin Baylor Classic at KeyArena, but the Vandals have responded with four straight wins in the series. Earlier this season, Idaho rallied from a seven-point deficit with six minutes remaining in the second half to defeat Seattle U, 71-64, in the WAC opener for both squads. Kyle Barone notched a double-double in leading the Vandals with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Robert Harris scored 16 points and Mike McChristian stuffed the stat sheet with eight points, five rebounds, six assists, and three steals. D'Vonne Pickett Jr. led the Redhawks with 17 points and six rebounds, shooting 8-of-12 from the field. Idaho is one of only five teams to outrebound the Redhawks in a game so far this season, 35-32.
MOSCOW BLUES: Seattle U has not defeated Idaho in Moscow, Idaho, since Dec. 30, 1968, 82-76. Since then, Idaho has won six consecutive games over Seattle U on its home floor. Last season, a last-second shot by Aaron Broussard was not successful as the Vandals pulled out a 70-69 victory over the Redhawks. Broussard led all players with 20 points, while Barone notched a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.