SEATTLE – (Jan. 6) A nearly seven-minute span without a basket late in the second half sent Seattle University men's basketball to a 73-57 setback to Grand Canyon in both teams' Western Athletic Conference opener Saturday night at KeyArena.
The Redhawks fell for just the second time at home this season, dropping to 11-7 overall and 0-1 in WAC play. The Lopes move to 11-5 overall and 1-0 in the WAC.
"The better team won tonight," said Head Coach Jim Hayford. "GCU executed and played very well. Basketball is a fair game and tonight it rewarded the team that was the most solid all the way through."
Jordan Hill finished with a career-high 26 points to lead all scorers. The redshirt senior went 11-of-22 from the field, including four threes, to go along with five rebounds and a pair of assists. No other Redhawk would reach double figures for just the first time this season.
"I'm very proud of Jordan Hill," Hayford said. "He looked the moment right in the eye and played really hard."
Oscar Frayer led GCU with 18 points. Joshua Braun and Shaq Carr chipped in 10 apiece.
It was a defensive grind of a first half as it took early three minutes for either team to find the bottom of the net. Casey Benson got the Lopes going with a jumper at the 17:15 mark and Hill quickly answered with a jumper of his one on the ensuing possession.
Buckets continued to be hard to come by in the frame as the Redhawks went 10-for-30 from the field and just 3-of-9 from deep. GCU managed just 9-of-25 from the field, but was aided by an 11-of-15 performance from the free-throw line to take a 31-29 lead into the break.
Both teams began to heat up a bit in the second half and a 7-0 Seattle U run made it a one-point game, 36-35, with 17:23 remaining. The Redhawks would go on to get within four on three occasions, the last on a three by Hill with seven minutes to play. But a near seven-minute cold spell, broken only by Hills' layup with eight ticks on the clock, allowed the Lopes to pull away.
"We've had some games where we got to that eight-nine-minute mark and it's tough and you've got to dig into some grit," said Hayford. "We've looked for shortcuts instead of trusting our training, and good teams will make you pay when that happens. That's some cohesion that we need to teach."
The Redhawks will look to right the ship on Thursday, Jan. 11, hosting Chicago State as WAC play continues. Tip-off from the Connolly Complex is set for 7 p.m. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.