SEATTLE – Seattle University men’s basketball put together an 88-68 win over Eastern Washington Saturday night in the Redhawk Center behind an overall offensive showcase, extending SU’s win streak to five.
Myles Carter, Matej Kavas, Morgan Means, and Delante Jones each scored in double figures with Carter leading the pack with 23 points off of 10-15 shooting as well as adding eight rebounds. Terrell Brown joined in with nine assists and only two turnovers.
After setting up in a zone formation, Eastern (1-5) proved to be a tough defensive side in opening minutes of the first half. The Redhawks went 1-8 in the opening four minutes off of tough rim protection from Eastern’s Jesse Hunt, neutralizing Carter’s usually dominant post-play.
The Eagles opened up the first five minutes of the half with 9-6 lead, orchestrated by the fluid mid-range shooting of sophomore Luka Vulikic.
“Eastern is really hard to guard,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford, “So you have to choose what to take away – the rim or the three-point line. We decided if we took away the three-point line, they wouldn’t score enough points to beat us.”
Good court-spacing and quick ball movement came to the aid of the Redhawks (8-2) with 14:57 on the clock. A 10-2 run powered by two Kavas threes, a Jones jumper, and a Means layup brought the home team out in front 18-11.
Sharp shooting helped allow Seattle U to maintain its lead. A layup and a three from Jones combined with a triple from Aaron Nettles pushed the momentum in favor of the Redhawks to open up a 25-17 advantage with nine minutes to go.
Although Hunt would cut the Eastern deficit to three, the Redhawks would end the half on a 9-0 run, capped off by a buzzer-beating three by Means, giving Seattle U a 14-point cushion with a 39-25 halftime lead.
From there, Seattle U never looked back. Carter and Jones took over the early-goings of the second half by going a combined 5-6 from the field in the first five minutes. Seattle U went a total 4-6 in that time awarding themselves a 50-36 advantage.
Kavas put his mark on the game by going 57 percent from beyond the arch in the second half, chipping eight of his total 18 points.
Though a quiet scoring night for a usually explosive Terrell Brown, the Seattle native dished out nine assists, two of which producing authoritative dunks by Carter on back-to-back SU possessions, lighting up the Redhawk Center and granting the Redhawks with a 68-51 lead.
The game was closed out in style by the home team as Seattle U shot 61 percent from the field in the final seven minutes, handing the Redhawks an 88-68 victory in front of an electric crowd in Seattle.
“I like our offensive identity, although we could still get better,” said Hayford, “Overall, it was a solid win.”
The Redhawks finished the night with a season-low five turnovers, including none in the first half. They also collected a season-high 10 steals on 11 Eastern turnovers, including five by Means.
Seattle U looks to advance their five game winning streak on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Redhawk Center against Omaha. Tip-off is set at 7:00 pm.