After a close first half, Seattle University's offense came alive after halftime, and its defense maintained the pressure on Campbell University as the Redhawks pulled away for a 72-49 victory Saturday night at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Six Redhawk players scored at least nine points apiece in the game, led by D'Vonne Pickett Jr. (Seattle, Wash.) with 16 points, plus he notched his first career double-double with 10 rebounds while also dishing out five assists. Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.) picked up his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 assists, while Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) also scored 12 points.
Down by two at the start of the second half, the Redhawks pulled back into the lead thanks to a layup by Trent and a three-pointer from Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.). Campbell responded with a 7-1 scoring run, capped by a traditional three-point play from Darren White, to retake the lead at 41-39 with 15:41 left in the second half.
Seattle U took the lead for good on a 21-4 scoring run over a nine-minute span, starting with another three-pointer from Rasmussen and punctuated by an alley-oop dunk from Sunderhaus and a layup by Trent. Pickett scored seven of Seattle U's points during a 9-0 run that increased the Redhawk lead to 22 as Seattle U hit 55.6 percent (15-of-27) of its second half field goal attempts, including 5-of-9 from behind the three-point line.
"We're improving, we're getting better, and guys are flowing with each other," Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said. "We played solid defense, rebounded, got the ball out, and shared it with each other. We're meshing, which is what we want to do at this point in the season. I am really pleased with the team effort tonight."
Four straight points by Sunderhaus and a three-pointer from Rasmussen gave Seattle U an early 9-5 lead, but Campbell pulled even on baskets by White and Leek Leek. The Redhawks extended their lead to four points three more times early in the first half, but the Camels kept the game close by responding each time.
Later in the first half, consecutive three-pointers by Pickett and Prince Obasi (Reseda, Calif.) gave the Redhawks their biggest lead of the half at 29-22 with 4:29 remaining before halftime. Campbell (3-9) closed the opening half on a 10-1 scoring run, led by five points from Andrew Ryan. Ryan hit his third three-pointer of the half with 11 seconds left to give Campbell a 32-30 lead at halftime.
Obasi earned 10 points, three rebounds, and four assists. Rasmussen finished with nine points, as did Jarell Flora (Bremerton, Wash.), who was perfect from the field in four attempts, including one three-pointer. Seattle U won the rebounding battle, 40-22, forced 16 Campbell turnovers that led to 19 Redhawk points, and shot 82.4 percent (14-of-17) from the free throw line.
Seattle University (5-5) opens Western Athletic Conference play next Saturday, Dec. 29, against the Idaho Vandals at KeyArena starting at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ROOT SPORTS and 770 AM KTTH The Truth, and tickets are still available online at Ticketmaster.com or the men's basketball ticket page on GoSeattleU.com.