Deshaun Sunderhaus (Conyers, Ga.) posted a season-high scoring total of 23 points, plus he pulled down 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season, but it was not enough as Utah State pulled away late for a 75-66 victory in Western Athletic Conference action Thursday night at the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum.
Seattle U scored seven of the game's first nine points as Sunderhaus scored four points and Clarence Trent (Tacoma, Wash.) hit a three-pointer to give the Redhawks a 7-2 lead. However, Kyisean Reed scored nine straight points and Preston Medlin added a three-pointer as the Aggies went on a 12-0 scoring run to pull ahead by seven points with 13:43 remaining in the first half.
The margin stayed consistent until Utah State went on an 8-2 run late in the first half, buoyed by a three-pointer from Marvin Jean and a traditional three-point play by Marcel Davis, to take its biggest lead of the half at 34-23. Seattle U responded with five unanswered points to end the first half to cut its deficit to six at 34-28 at halftime.
Seattle U maintained its momentum at the start of the second half, scoring nine straight points to take a 37-34 lead with 15:06 remaining in regulation. Utah State hit seven of its first eight free throw attempts in the second half before its offense started hitting field goal attempts, as Davis answered a Prince Obasi (Reseda, Calif.) three-pointer with one of his own to tie the game at 42-42 with 11:46 left in regulation.
A three-pointer by Trent and a jump hook from T.J. Diop (Queensland, Australia) put the Redhawks ahead, 47-46, but back-to-back baskets from Jarred Shaw and Medlin allowed the Aggies to regain the lead, 50-47. Sunderhaus scored six unanswered points to pull Seattle U ahead, 53-50, but a jumper by Medlin followed by back-to-back three-pointers from Spencer Butterfield and Medlin gave Utah State the lead for good.
Obasi hit a three-pointer to pull Seattle U to within two with four minutes left in the second half, but the Aggies pulled away with a 12-2 scoring run over the next three minutes. Utah State hit 7-of-8 free throw attempts in the final minute to hold off the Redhawks' comeback try, which featured two made three-pointers by Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.).
"We had a couple of miscommunications and they got some wide-open shots. Their players made plays down the stretch. You just can't turn it over 18 times. That's too many opportunities you don't give yourself when you're playing well in every other area of the game. We have to find a way to get to the line more than nine times," Seattle U head coach Cameron Dollar said. "Deshaun did what he can do. He can score on the block and did a good job of that, but that doesn't mean anything if you aren't winning. We have to get that done."
Sunderhaus shot 10-of-13 from the field as he collected the most points a Redhawk has scored in a single game this season. Rasmussen finished with 11 points, Trent earned eight points, six rebounds, and three assists, and Obasi contributed eight points, five rebounds, eight assists, and two steals.
Reed finished with a double-double, leading the Aggies with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Medlin earned 18 points, five assists, and three steals. Davis added 13 points, seven assists, and two steals, and Shaw contributed six points, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots.
Utah State (12-1, 3-0 WAC) shot 51.7 percent from the field in the first half, but was held to 34.5 percent in the second half for a total field goal shooting percentage of 43.1 percent (25-of-58). The Aggies went 19-of-23 from the free throw line and scored 26 points off 18 Seattle U turnovers while committing just eight turnovers of their own. Seattle U won the rebounding battle, 34-31.
Seattle University (5-7, 0-2 WAC) travels to San Jose, Calif., for Saturday's game against San Jose State at the Event Center starting at 7 p.m., with 770 AM KTTH The Truth carrying the live broadcast starting with the pregame show at 6:45 p.m. The Redhawks return to KeyArena at Seattle Center next weekend for conference games against New Mexico State Thursday, Jan. 10, at 7 p.m. and Denver Saturday, Jan. 12, at 3:30 p.m., both of which to be broadcast live by 770 AM KTTH and ROOT SPORTS.