CONFERENCE OPENER: For the first time in 33 years, Seattle University is playing a game within a Division I conference, hosting the University of Idaho Saturday night at KeyArena. It's been five years since the Redhawks basketball team has been part of a conference of any kind, last competing in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference in NCAA Division II in 2007-08. The 18-game conference slate will position the teams within the Western Athletic Conference for the postseason tournament in Las Vegas March 12-16, where the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament will be up for grabs. The Redhawks and Vandals are very familiar with each other, having played one another twice per year over the past three seasons.
WHERE TO FIND THE GAME: 770 AM KTTH The Truth will broadcast the game live, with Dave Grosby and Gary Hill Jr. courtside starting with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. ROOT SPORTS will televise the game starting at 7 p.m., as Tom Glasgow and Joe Cravens describe the action from courtside. Live stats will also be available on GoSeattleU.com.
THE CAMPBELL GAME: 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 last Saturday night at KeyArena. Six Redhawk players scored at least nine points apiece in the game, led by D'Vonne Pickett Jr. with 16 points, plus he notched his first career double-double with 10 rebounds while also dishing out five assists. Deshaun Sunderhaus picked up his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 11 assists, while Clarence Trent also scored 12 points. Seattle U took the lead for good on a 21-4 scoring run over a nine-minute span in the second half, starting with a three-pointer from Chad 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.
SCOUTING IDAHO: The Vandals come into Saturday's game with a 4-6 overall record after suffering a 78-68 loss to Boise State Dec. 20. The Vandals are scoring 69.1 points per game and giving up 67.9 points per contest. As a team, Idaho is shooting 46.8 percent from the field, including 35.0 percent from behind the three-point line, and 70.1 percent from the free throw line. Stephen Madison leads the team in scoring with 15.9 points per game, plus he is shooting 80.7 percent from the free throw line and pulling down 5.3 rebounds per contest. Kyle Barone is right behind Madison in scoring with 15.5 points per game, plus Barone leads the team in rebounding with 7.8 rebounds per game. He is making 62.4 percent of his field goal attempts so far this season. Connor Hill has made 26 three-pointers so far this year as he is contributing 10.1 points per game.
SERIES HISTORY: This is the fourth straight season that Idaho has made the trip to KeyArena to face the Redhawks. Overall, Seattle University and Idaho are meeting for the 27th time in the history of the two basketball programs, with Seattle U holding a 14-12 series edge. After Idaho won four of the first five meetings between 1949-50 and 1960-61, Seattle U held a 12-game winning streak in the series between 1961-62 and 1968-69. Idaho would win the next five meetings. starting in 1985-86, continuing in 1992-93 and 1993-94, and extended further with two Idaho victories during the 2009-10 campaign. The two teams split their meetings in 2010-11. Last season, Idaho swept Seattle U, winning 73-62 at KeyArena and 70-69 in Moscow.
FAMILY FOUR-PACK: Seattle U is offering a special ticket deal for Saturday's game against Idaho. For just $48, a person can purchase four tickets, four hot dogs, four bags of chips, and four soft drinks. This deal will also be available for the Jan. 26 game against Texas State and the Feb. 16 contest against UT Arlington. To order the Family Four Pack, visit the men's basketball ticket page on GoSeattleU.com or call (206) 398-GOSU (4678). This special package must be purchased in advance of gameday.