Seattle University pulled out to a 10-point lead in the first half and then, after Washington made a run at the end of the half to go ahead, rallied to tie the game early in the second half before the Huskies used a significant free throw advantage to defeat the Redhawks, 88-78, Sunday night in men’s basketball action at Alaska Airlines Arena.
Andrew Andrews hit a three-pointer to open the game for the Huskies, but Isiah Umipig (Federal Way, Wash.), in his first collegiate action since the 2011-12 season at Cal State Fullerton, answered with his own three-pointer.
The two teams basically traded points until halfway through the first half, when the Redhawks went on a 15-2 run over a four-minute span, featuring back-to-back three-pointers by Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) and Jarell Flora (Bremerton, Wash.) and punctuated by five straight points from Umipig, to take their biggest lead of the night at 28-18 with 6:15 remaining in the first half.
Washington (1-0) scored the next 13 points, with Andrews scoring five points and C.J. Wilcox converting on a traditional three-point play, to retake the lead before another three-pointer from Umipig tied the game at 31-31. After Shawn Kemp Jr. and Trent traded baskets, the Huskies closed out the half with nine unanswered points over the final minute, bookended by three-pointers from Wilcox, to go into the locker room ahead at halftime, 42-33.
Trent opened the second half with a three-pointer, starting an 11-2 Redhawk run that tied the game at 44-44 three minutes into the second half. Andrews hit consecutive jumpers to start the Huskies on a 15-3 scoring run over the next six minutes, giving Washington a 59-47 lead with 11:23 left in the second half.
The Redhawks could not get any closer than seven points down the rest of the way as Washington took advantage of its free throw opportunities, scoring 10 of its next 12 points from the charity stripe to reestablish a double-digit advantage. For the game, the Huskies made 33-of-41 shots from the free throw line (80.5 percent), offsetting a night in which they shot just 41 percent (25-of-61) from the field, including 5-of-20 from behind the three-point line.
“During the stretch when our offense wasn’t clicking as well, they were missing shots too, but the difference was they were getting to the free throw line,” Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said. “I thought we did a pretty good job defensively, but they made 33 points from the free throw line. It is hard to beat a team at their place when they make as many free throws as the Huskies did tonight.”
Umipig led the Redhawks with 22 points, while Trent notched a double-double with 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, plus he blocked two shots. Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.) contributed 11 points and D’Vonne Pickett Jr. (Seattle, Wash.) added nine points and four assists as Seattle U shot 44.8 percent (30-of-67) from the field, including 7-of-21 from behind the three-point line, and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from the free throw line.
Wilcox was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line as he led the Huskies with 22 points, followed by Andrews with 21 points and Darin Johnson with 16 points and seven rebounds. Mike Anderson contributed 12 points, eight rebounds, and three assists off the bench, and freshman Nigel Williams-Goss added six points, six assists, and three steals.
Seattle University (0-1) opens the home schedule Wednesday, Nov. 13, with the Elgin Baylor Classic, welcoming Cal State Fullerton to KeyArena at Seattle Center for a 7 p.m. start. The game will be broadcast on ROOT Sports as well as on 770 AM KTTH The Truth with Dave Grosby and Gary Hill Jr. courtside.