SEATTLE – (Nov. 27) A gusty second-half performance, including a 19-of-22 showing from the free-throw line lifted Seattle University men’s basketball to a 73-67 win over visiting Idaho State Monday night at KeyArena.
The Redhawks (3-4) rallied from a 37-28 first-half deficit to outscore the Bengals (0-5) 45-30 in the second frame. Matej Kavas led all scorers with 24 points. The sophomore was one rebound shy of a double-double, finishing with a game-high nine boards.
Jordan Hill scored 12 of his 19 points in the second frame and Aaron Menzies finished with 11 points, including a 7-of-8 performance from the charity stripe in the second half. Seattle U finished the game 21-for-26 from the free-throw line (80.8 percent).
“Our guys really looked inside of themselves and fought for character tonight,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford. “We knuckled down on defense in the second half, and we won because of toughness.”
Cold shooting in the first half saw the Redhawks trail early. They managed just 13-of-34 from the field, including 0-for-11 from three as the Bengals built an 11-point lead with 6:18 remaining in the frame. The Redhawks would go into the break down nine, 37-28.
Kavas was the first to find his mark in the second, hitting the Redhawks’ first triple of the night at the 16:37 mark.
A Balint Mocsan lay-up and free throw at the 14:30 mark gave Idaho State a 48-38 advantage. But the Redhawks would begin to chip away. Richaud Gittens sank a jumper in the lane and Kavas made one of two free throws and then a jumper on the next possession to trim the spread to five, 48-43.
The Bengals made one of two free throws, but Kavas answered again with a jumper in the paint. Seattle U would then score six straight points from the charity stripe, including four from Hill and two from Menzies, to take the lead, 51-49, with 9:29 to go.
The teams would stay within three points of each other and a Mocsan three with four minutes to play gave ISU a 64-63 lead. But that would be the visitor’s last lead of the night as Morgan Means sank a jumper in the paint and the Redhawks would go a perfect 8-for-8 from the line in the final two minutes.
Mocsan finished with 18 points for the Bengals who had four players in double figures. After shooting 42.3 percent in the first half, the Redhawks held ISU to just 27.6 percent shooting in the second frame.
Seattle U’s home stretch continues Thursday, Nov. 30 against Kennesaw State. Tip-off from the Connolly Complex is set for 7:30 p.m. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.