Charles Garcia (Los Angeles, Calif.) notched his 11th double-double of the season, leading SeattleU with 20 points and 10 rebounds on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 6-of-6 shooting from the free throw line. Cervante Burrell (Sacramento, Calif.) finished with 18 points and seven rebounds.
On Senior Night in front of 4,876 fans, fourth-year players Mike Boxley (Mountlake Terrace, Wash.), Chris Gweth (Beaverton, Ore.), and Taylor Olson (Seattle, Wash.) made major contributions to the victory. Gweth finished with 13 points, four rebounds, two assists, and two steals, while Olson hit two early three-pointers on his way to a 10-point effort and Boxley contributed two points, four rebounds, and four assists.
Down 9-5 early, SeattleU went on an 18-4 run over a six-minute span to take a ten-point lead at 23-13. Portland State responded with eight unanswered points, including three-pointers by Melvin Jones and Chris Harriel, to cut the margin to two. Later in the first half, the Redhawks would go on a 16-0 run to open a 48-30 advantage three minutes before halftime.
Portland State (12-18) scored nine unanswered points early in the second half to close its deficit to eight at 60-52 five minutes after halftime, but SeattleU scored the next five points, and its lead stayed in double digits for the remainder of the game. Garcia scored six straight points midway through the second half to give the Redhawks their biggest lead at 20 points (82-62), and SeattleU was able to cruise to the season sweep over the Vikings.
Despite playing only 11 minutes due to foul trouble, Alex Jones (Phoenix, Ariz.) was able to contribute 10 points, while Gavin Gilmore (Pasco, Wash.) had a solid night with nine points and six rebounds. Aaron Broussard (Federal Way, Wash.) added seven points, six rebounds, and three assists to the winning effort.
Melvin Jones led Portland State with 22 points, two assists, and three steals, and Chris Harriel came off the bench and finished with 13 points and three rebounds. Jamie Jones collected 12 points, five rebounds, and three blocked shots, while Philip Thomas was 8-for-8 from the free throw line as part of a 12-point effort.
Seattle University cooled off from shooting 60.6 percent from the field in the first half, but still finished at 55 percent (33-of-60) field goal shooting, including 6-of-15 from behind the three-point line, and 65.6 percent (21-of-32) free throw shooting. The Redhawks enjoyed a significant 50-23 rebounding advantage, offsetting 17 SeattleU turnovers.
The Vikings, playing without top player Dominic Waters after he suffered an ankle injury in the first half, shot just 41 percent (25-of-61) from the field, including 8-of-24 from behind the three-point line, and 78.6 percent (22-of-28) from the free throw line. Portland State committed only 10 turnovers, but will now need to regroup in time for its Big Sky Tournament game at Montana State Saturday.
With the victory, Seattle University has now posted a winning record every year from the 2005-06 season to the current campaign. The last time SeattleU finished above .500 with a Division I schedule was in 1978-79, when the team defeated Washington and California on its way to a 15-11 record.
Seattle University (16-14) will look to close out the regular season with positive momentum against Utah Valley in Orem, Utah, Saturday, March 6, beginning at 2 p.m. local time (1 p.m. Pacific Time). Dave Grosby and Gary Hill, Jr., will broadcast all the action on 710 ESPN Seattle beginning with the pregame show at 12:45 p.m. Seattle time.