The Seattle University men's basketball team bounced back in a big way Wednesday night, as several Redhawks made significant contributions in the 75-48 victory over Northern Illinois at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.) hit four three-pointers as he led the Redhawks with 14 points, while Prince Obasi (Reseda, Calif.) collected 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists, two steals, and three blocked shots. Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.) finished with 10 points, and D'Vonne Pickett Jr. (Seattle, Wash.) added nine points, five rebounds, and six assists to the winning effort.
"This was a total team effort against a team that was playing really well coming into tonight," Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said. "We did a good job on them defensively, and then we got our offensive legs under us. I am really pleased with the overall energy and commitment to rebound and defend."
Northern Illinois (2-8) took an early 5-4 lead on a traditional three-point play by Abdel Nader, but the Redhawks responded with a 17-2 scoring run over an eight-minute span to pull ahead, 21-7. Obasi led the way with two three-pointers, while several of his teammates contributed to the run.
Antone Christian hit back-to-back three-pointers to pull the Huskies to within 14 at 37-23, but Seattle U ended the first half on a 10-4 scoring run, punctuated by a three-pointer from Rasmussen as time ran out, to give the Redhawks a 47-27 halftime advantage. The Redhawks shot 59.3 percent from the field in the first half (16-of-27), including 6-of-11 from behind the three-point line, and 9-of-11 from the free throw line.
Rasmussen started the second half the same way he ended the first half, with a three-pointer, followed by baskets by Pickett and Obasi, as Seattle U scored the first seven points of the second half. Northern Illinois scored 10 unanswered points, half of them by Daveon Balls, to close its deficit to 17 at 54-37, but the Redhawks went on an 11-2 run to extend their lead back to 26 at 65-39.
The Huskies made one final push, going on a 9-1 run over the next three-and-a-half minutes, capped by a three-pointer from Aksel Bolin, to cut the Redhawk lead to 18 at 66-48. Seattle U held Northern Illinois scoreless for the final 4:17 of the contest, scoring the last nine points of the night.
Christian scored all of his team-high 11 points in the first half as the Huskies were held to 29.1 percent (16-of-55) shooting from the field, including 5-of-21 from behind the three-point line. Northern Illinois also lost the rebounding battle, 44-30, and was able to force only 13 Redhawk turnovers, the second-lowest total for Seattle U this season.
Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) collected eight points and five rebounds, while Louis Green (Westchester, Ill.) contributed seven points and seven rebounds off the bench. The Redhawks finished the game 26-of-54 from the field (48.1%), including 10-of-25 from behind the three-point line, and a season-best 76.5 percent (13-of-17) from the charity stripe.
Seattle University (4-5) plays its final home non-conference game Saturday, Dec. 22, against Campbell University at KeyArena starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for all remaining home games are on sale online through Ticketmaster.com or the men's basketball ticket page on GoSeattleU.com.