SEATTLE - (Feb. 16) Seattle University men’s basketball suffered a 61-58 setback to Western Athletic Conference rival Grand Canyon Thursday night at the Connolly Complex in Seattle.
In a roller coaster of a game that had similar feel to the season’s first match-up between the two squads, the Redhawks (12-13, 4-6 WAC) took a big lead early. But the Lopes (18-9, 7-3 WAC) would chip away and once over the hump, never trailed, taking the season series.
The Lopes got 11 points each from DeWayne Russell and Kerwin Smith while Oscar Frayer pulled down a game-high 12 boards.
Rebounding haunted the Redhawks as GCU held a 48-28 advantage, including grabbing 17 offensive boards for 21 second-chance points. The Lopes did most of their damage in the paint outscoring SU 38-16 in the area.
Moore and Emmanuel Chibuogwu opened the game with back-to-back threes for a quick 6-0 SU lead. A Keonta Vernon dunk exactly four minutes into play gave GCU a 8-9 edge.
But Seattle U would roll off a 16-0 run over three minutes, including four threes from Westendorf and Moore, to take a commanding 24-9 lead.
Aside from two Matej Kavas threes, the Redhawks would then go cold from the field for the remainder of the half. A 10-0 GCU run to close the half would give the visitor an 38-30 advantage at the break.
A defensive battle in the second frame, the Lopes led by as many as 10, 56-49, with 13:39 to play. But Seattle U was not finished, manufacturing a 9-0 run over a 7:30 span. A pair of Powell free throws capped the stretch and brought the Redhawks to within one, 56-55.
Trailing by three, with a minute to play, the Redhawks would have three possessions with a chance to tie. But they committed one turnover and went 0-for-2 from the field.
Senior Night caps the 2016-17 home slate for Seattle U on Saturday, Feb. 18. Westendorf, Powell and Chibuogwu will be honored in a pregame ceremony prior to the 7 p.m. tip off against CSU Bakersfield in the Connolly Complex. The game will air live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM and mynorthwest.com.