SEATTLE – Seattle University men’s basketball put on a show on the third day of the Elgin Baylor Classic, defeating Longwood University, 70-50, at the Redhawk Center Sunday afternoon.
The victory was powered in large part by the front-court duo of Matej Kavas and Myles Carter who each finished with a double-double. Kavas, who yesterday scored 20, finished with 22 to combine with 13 rebounds. Carter finished 14 points and 12 boards. Morgan Means also chipped in a solid 19 points.
After playing two games in the past two days, the Redhawks lacked energy in the early-goings of the game. However, what they lacked in running the floor, they made up for in spot-up shooting. Delante Jones and Kavas set the tone early by going 5-7 from the field in the first five minutes with Kavas hitting a perfect 3-3.
“One of the biggest things we’ve pushed during summer workouts has been mental toughness,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford. “I think that’s a big part of what we’re trying to push in every practice and helped the guys be mentally better on the third day.”
Seattle U prevented Longwood from any kind of offensive threat due to their presence under the basket. The Redhawks racked up seven offensive rebounds in the first half, and held a 26-14 overall advantage on the boards.
Following a Damarion Geter three with 9:47 to play in the first, the Redhawks' held Longwood scoreless for the remainder of the frame.
Means, meanwhile, would continue to heat up, scoring eight points in the last three minutes off of two triples and converting two free throws. Means finished with 16 points in the first half off of 5-8 shooting. Seattle U would close out the half on an 18-0 run, taking a 38-15 lead into break.
Going into the second half, the Redhawks initially continued right where they left off, hitting two threes in two possessions from the hot hands of Means and Kavas. Kavas would also finish a layup off the outlet from Carter to open up an 8-0 SU run with just two minutes played in the half.
Despite Seattle U creating a game-high 31-point lead over the Lancers, the visitors closed the gap to just 10 behind a 19-0 run started from the effort of Lorenzo Phillips. The Longwood guard went 3-4 from beyond the arch off of a Longwood offensive rebounding showcase in that stretch.
After Phillips cut the SU lead to nine following a pair of Carter free throws, Carter responded with an authoritative dunk to combine with an Aaron Nettles trey on the ensuing possession with 6:13 left to play, opening up a 13-point SU advantage, 55-42.
With five minutes remaining, the pairing of Carter and Kavas combined to make 12 of the Redhawks’ last 15 points to close out the game with Carter finding success in the post and Kavas hitting threes from the wing.
“When we looked at the game, we thought that (Myles and Matej) were our biggest strength against Longwood’s question marks and we challenged them to exert themselves,” said Hayford. “When we have a 6-8 and 6-9 guy right there and they both get double-doubles, they make us look really good.”
The Redhawks host the final game of the Elgin Baylor Classic Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. against Northwest University in the Redhawk Center.