The Seattle University men's basketball team was its own worst enemy, committing 26 turnovers as the University of Denver Pioneers pulled away early in the second half for a 72-55 victory over the Redhawks Thursday night in Western Athletic Conference action at Magness Arena.
After Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.) scored the first basket of the game, the combination of Chase Hallam (eight points) and Chris Udofia (nine points) led Denver on a 17-4 scoring run to pull ahead by 11 points seven-and-a-half minutes into the game. The Redhawks were hurt by 14 first half turnovers that led to 21 Pioneer points.
Down 22-6, the Redhawks brought themselves back into the game with a 13-2 scoring run, holding Denver to one field goal over the span of seven-and-a-half minutes. Six consecutive points by Udofia allowed the Pioneers to extend their lead to 11 at halftime, 34-23.
Luiz Bidart (Sao Paulo, Brazil) hit a three-pointer three minutes into the second half to cut the Denver lead to eight, but the Pioneers pulled away thanks to a 13-2 scoring run over the next four minutes. Later in the half, Jalen Love hit back-to-back baskets and Cam Griffin made two free throws to give the Pioneers their biggest lead of the game at 62-40, and the home team cruised through the final six minutes of the contest.
Bidart led the Redhawks in scoring, shooting 4-of-5 from the field, including 3-for-3 from behind the three-point line, and 3-of-3 from the free throw line to accumulate 14 points. Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) went 3-of-5 from the field and 4-of-4 from the free throw line to finish with 10 points, while Jack Crook (Manchester, U.K.) came off the bench to contribute eight points and a team-high five rebounds for Seattle U.
Denver (14-8, 10-2 WAC) was led by Udofia, who shot 10-of-14 from the field on his way to a 23-point effort. Love collected 11 points, Hallam contributed 10 points along with a team-record eight steals, and Griffin added nine points, five assists, and four steals.
The Redhawks shot 55.6 percent (20-of-36) from the field and 85.7 percent (12-of-14) from the free throw line, while the Pioneers hit 50 percent (27-of-54) of their field goal attempts and 76.5 percent (13-of-17) of their attempts from the charity stripe. Seattle U won the battle on the boards, 29-20, but earned a season-low three steals as Denver committed just 10 turnovers.
Seattle University (7-15, 2-10 WAC) heads south to Las Cruces, N.M., for Saturday night's game against New Mexico State starting at 7 p.m. local time (6 p.m. Pacific Time). The game will be broadcast on 770 AM KTTH The Truth with Dave Grosby and Gary Hill Jr., and it will be shown on ESPN3.com through Aggievision.