BACK IN THE SADDLE: After a 12-day layoff from outside competition, Seattle University heads back to Texas for the next-to-last weekend of conference play. The Redhawks first head to San Marcos to face the Texas State Bobcats Thursday night, followed by a short drive to San Antonio to prepare for Saturday's game against the UTSA Roadrunners. Seattle U would like to split the season series with both opponents, plus pick up some positive momentum heading into the final week of the regular season as well as the WAC 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 4:45 p.m. Pacific Time on Thursday and 3:45 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday. Links to live stats and live video will be available on GoSeattleU.com.
LAST TIME OUT: Once again, Seattle University had its chances, holding the lead in the second half in each game of the weekend, but the Redhawks could not close out the deal in either situation. On Valentine's Day, the Redhawks welcomed WAC leader Louisiana Tech to KeyArena. A traditional three-point play from Louis Green put Seattle U ahead, 43-41, with 11:12 remaining in the second half, but the Bulldogs took the lead for good on a 10-0 scoring run over the next four minutes. Louisiana tech would go on to win the game, 64-58, despite shooting just 37.8 percent from the field and 53.8 percent from the free throw line. The Redhawks committed 23 turnovers, leading to 16 Louisiana Tech points, plus the Bulldogs scored another 16 points off 16 offensive rebounds. D'Vonne Pickett Jr. finished with 12 points, five rebounds, and seven assists, while Clarence Trent notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. On Senior Night two days later, Seattle U was ahead by five halfway through the second half, but UT Arlington scored six unanswered points to pull ahead, and the Mavericks would win the seesaw battle, 65-63. Jarell Flora shot 7-of-9 from the field to accumulate a career-high 18 points, and Deshaun Sunderhaus contributed 13 points and seven rebounds.
SCOUTING TEXAS STATE: The Bobcats enter Thursday's game with an 8-19 overall record, including a 3-11 WAC record that places them in a tie for seventh place in the league standings. Texas State is coming off a 74-61 victory at Lamar last Saturday, but the Bobcats have yet to win a WAC game at home. As a team, Texas State is scoring 70.1 points per game and giving up 76.3 points per contest. Collectively, the Bobcats are shooting 41.0 percent from the field, including 32.3 percent from behind the three-point line, and 69.0 percent from the free throw line. Joel Wright leads the team with 17.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, plus he is averaging 7.4 attempts from the charity stripe per game. Matt Staff is contributing 10.9 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
FIRST MEETING: Seattle University held the lead until late, when Texas State came back for an 86-83 victory Jan. 26 at KeyArena at Seattle Center. Ahead by seven at halftime, Seattle U immediately extended the lead into double digits on a three-pointer by Chad Rasmussen. Texas State closed to within five points a couple of times, but a 12-5 Redhawk scoring run allowed Seattle U to earn its biggest lead of the night at 67-55 with 8:55 remaining in the second half. Three-pointers by Joel Wright and Wesley Davis, along with a steal and dunk by Wright, in the next three minutes brought the Bobcats to within four at 71-67. Reid Koenen hit a three-pointer, and Phil Hawkins hit a jumper to give Texas State its first lead since the 13-minute mark of the first half, 72-71. Louis Green hit a layup, and Deshaun Sunderhaus earned a follow-up dunk to put Seattle U back on top, 75-74, but Corey Stern hit a jumper, and Wright followed with a blocked shot, rebound, and dunk to put the Bobcats ahead for good, 78-75, with 2:31 left in regulation. Texas State went 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final two minutes to hold off the Redhawks. The Bobcats went 14-of-15 from the charity stripe in the second half, plus shot 50 percent from the field to pull off the comeback victory. Clarence Trent scored a career-high 22 points, plus he pulled down eight rebounds and earned three steals. Sunderhaus earned his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
SCOUTING UTSA: The Roadrunners come into the weekend with a 7-19 overall record, including a 2-12 record within the WAC to currently sit in ninth place in the conference standings. UTSA is also winless within the league on its home floor, but the team is on a two-game winning streak, including a 76-58 win over Nicholls State last Saturday. The Roadrunners are scoring 65.1 points per game and giving up 71.5 points per contest. As a team, UTSA is shooting 40.0 percent from the field, including 34.4 percent from behind the three-point line, and 68.6 percent from the free throw line. Kannon Burrage is averaging 17.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game, while Michael Hale III is contributing 16.0 points, 3.8 assists, and 1.5 steals per game. Jeromie Hill has added 12.7 points and 6.4 rebounds per game.
FIRST MEETING: Seattle University attempted to come from behind, but the play of local product Michael Hale III pushed UTSA to a 78-75 victory over the Redhawks Feb. 24 at KeyArena at Seattle Center. Down by 14 with seven-and-a-half minutes left in the first half, Seattle U went on a 14-4 scoring, punctuated by back-to-back three-pointers by Jarell Flora, to close to within four at 33-29 late in the opening half. Hale scored the final nine UTSA points of the first half as the Roadrunners held a 38-31 lead at halftime. UTSA increased its lead to 12 at 58-46 with 11:50 left in the second half before the Redhawks increased the defensive pressure and scored nine unanswered points in the next two minutes to pull to within three at 58-55. After a three-pointer by Jordan Sims extended the Roadrunners' lead to 63-57, Seattle U went on an 8-2 scoring run, with D'Vonne Pickett Jr. hitting a layup to tie the game at 65-65 with six minutes remaining in regulation. Kannon Burrage and Hale hit two free throws apiece, but a free throw by Pickett followed by two from Allen Tate pulled the Redhawks to within one at 69-68 with 3:10 left in the second half. Hale went 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the next two-and-a-half minutes to give UTSA breathing room, while Seattle U was hurt by turnovers, missed free throws, and missed field goal opportunities. Seattle U was led by Deshaun Sunderhaus with 16 points and three blocked shots, while Pickett finished with 14 points, seven rebounds, six assists, and five steals. Flora hit a career-high four three-pointers to contribute 12 points off the bench, Clarence Trent led the team with eight rebounds to go along with nine points, and Prince Obasi added eight points, six rebounds, and four assists. Hale, a native of nearby Federal Way, Wash., finished with a career-high 35 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field and 16-of-17 shooting from the free throw line.