SAINT LOUIS – (Nov. 10) Jordan Hill led all scorers with 20 points in his Seattle U debut, but the Redhawks fell 62-46 to Saint Louis Friday night at Chaifetz Arena in a match-up played as part of the 2K Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project.
“We’ll look back at this as a learning experience,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford. “Transition defense hurt us in the first half and offensive rebounding hurt us in the second half. But now we’ve all been in the battle together and we’ll grow from this. We’ll regroup, we’ll study film and we’ll get back at it Sunday at home.”
Hill scored the first bucket of the game, draining a triple in the Redhawks’ first possession. The Billikens answered with a 9-0 run, capped by five straight points from Davell Roby.
The teams battled back and forth through the ensuing five minutes of play, and a pair of Hill free throws made it 19-16 SLU with 9:14 to go. But the Billikens (1-0) reeled off an 8-0 run for the game’s first double-digit lead, 27-16.
Hill answered with a personal 7-0 run for Seattle U (0-1), cutting the Billiken lead back down to four, with just under four minutes to play in the half and the home squad would eventually take a 34-27 lead into the half.
The Redhawks would open the second half hitting just 1-of-9 as the Billikens opened up a 44-29 advantage with 13:37 to go.
Seven points by Matej Kavas and a Hill layup cut the deficit down to single digits, 47-38, with 9:15 to play, but that would be as close as the Redhawks would get as SLU would pull away down the stretch.
Joining Hill in double figures was Kavas, who finished with 15 points. No other Redhawk had more than six as the team shot 35.4 percent from the field and 28 percent from three.
Aaron Hines come off the bench to lead SLU with 18 points. Javon Bess added 17 points and Jordan Goodwin pulled down 10 boards, including five on the offensive end.
The Billikens earned a 43-28 edge on the boards, including 14 on the offensive end.
The Redhawks return to Seattle for the season’s home opener against Puget Sound on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Connolly Complex.