SEATTLE – An off-shooting afternoon from Seattle University men’s basketball resulted in a 73-70 defeat to Southern Utah University Sunday afternoon at the Redhawk Center. The Thunderbirds shot 41 percent from the field while SU's Delante Jones led all scorers with 16 points.
The Redhawks (3-2) found success early in the physical play from Myles Carter inside and Jones on the perimeter. With back-to-back buckets just inside the under-8 media timeout, Jones tallied 10 points just eight minutes into the game to give Seattle U a 16-11 lead.
After Carter picked up his second foul at the 13:41 mark, the Redhawks began to struggle with the Southern Utah (3-0) zone defense and the Thunderbirds began to close the gap. A 7-0 spurt put SUU on top, 18-16, at the 10-minute mark. The visitors also capitalized on getting Seattle U into foul trouble. From the stripe, the Thunderbirds went 12-14 in the first half of play, compared to the Redhawks' 1-1 performance.
“Myles got in foul trouble early and we got a little away from attacking the zone and going inside-out,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford.
Through quick ball movement and better offensive spacing, Seattle U went on a 8-2 run behind a Terrell Brown bucket, an Aaron Nettles triple and an and-one from Morgan Means, turning a two-point deficit into a 24-20 lead with 7:54 to go.
Southern Utah would respond with a 9-0 run of their own, opening up a 29-24 advantage just inside four minutes. The Thunderbirds would go on to lead 35-31 at the half.
The Redhawks regrouped in the second half and were able to move around the strong Southern Utah zone defense by using their inside-outside game and hitting threes. Carter had 12 of his 14 points in the frame while Means went 3-5 and Nettles was 2-4 from beyond the arch.
On back-to-back possessions Nettles sunk two threes that kept Seattle U in a two-possession game, 60-55, with 6:38 to play. Trailing 46-41, Carter led the Redhawk on a 6-0 run that put them on top by one with 12:27 to go.
The Thunderbirds would respond yet again, pushing their lead back to eight, 57-49, with eight minutes to play. Seattle U would continue to press, getting within two multiple times, but could not get over the hump. SUU would go 6-8 from the line in the final 1:22 to seal the win.
“I think Southern Utah’s a really good team,” said Hayford, “The reason we lost is because Southern Utah played well. I give them credit, they came in and played a great game.”
Joining Jones and Carter in double figures were Means with 14 points and Matej Kavas with 12. The Redhawks finished the night shooting 40.6 percent from the field and 42.3 percent from three. They would also go just 3-8 from the line.
Southern Utah was paced by Andre Adams and Cameron Oluyitan who had 15 points apiece. The Thunderbirds finished the game 21-27 from the free-throw line.
Seattle U looks to bounce back Friday against Denver to ring in the Elgin Baylor Classic at the Redhawk Center. Tip-off is set at 12:00 pm.