Junior guard Cervante Burrell (Sacramento, Calif.) made several plays in the last five minutes to help Seattle University hold off Utah Valley for a 63-57 victory Wednesday night at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
After Utah Valley pulled ahead, 53-51, on a traditional three-point play from Ben Aird, Burrell found Alex Jones (Phoenix, Ariz.) under the basket for a layup that tied the game. Justin Baker hit a jumper to give the Wolverines another lead, but Burrell responded with a game-tying layup, and then hit two free throws with 2:10 remaining in regulation to put Seattle U ahead, 57-55.
Burrell picked the pocket of Isiah Williams and drove in for a layup with 40 seconds remaining to extend the Redhawk lead to 59-55. Holton Hunsaker made two free throws to bring Utah Valley to within two, but Seattle U was able to ice the game thanks to two successful free throws each for Garrett Lever (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Chad Rasmussen (University Place, Wash.).
Burrell led the Redhawks with 15 points and five assists, plus he pulled down seven rebounds. Sterling Carter (Seattle, Wash.) helped Seattle U take the early lead with 14 first-half points, while Aaron Broussard (Federal Way, Wash.) notched his seventh double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Lever once again played all over the floor, finishing with six points, nine rebounds, a steal, and one blocked shot.
"The story of the game for us was just hanging in there through the highs and lows. We got up early, but they did a good job of switching defenses and we did not adjust quick enough to keep the run going. We never let down in the stretch run and we were able to get the victory," head coach Cameron Dollar said.
Seattle U went on a 15-4 scoring run over a six-and-a-half minute span in the first half to take its biggest lead of the game at 31-16. Utah Valley responded, closing out the first half by outscoring the Redhawks, 16-4, to go into the locker room at halftime down only three, 35-32.
After a layup by Gavin Gilmore (Pasco, Wash.) extended Seattle U's lead to five at 42-37, Utah Valley scored eight unanswered points, the last five by Williams, to take a 45-42 lead with 13:34 remaining in the second half. The Redhawks responded by scoring nine unanswered points, punctuated by a Broussard layup set up by Burrell, to retake the lead, 51-45, with 9:39 left in regulation.
Williams started another Wolverine run with a three-pointer, followed by a layup by Baker and Aird's three-point play that gave Utah Valley its 53-51 advantage. However, the Wolverines missed five of their final six shots from the field as they saw their four-game winning streak snapped.
Utah Valley (14-10) was led by Williams with 16 points, with Hunsaker collecting 13 points, three rebounds, six assists, and four steals. As a team, the Wolverines shot 38.5 percent (20-of-52) from the field, including 3-of-21 from behind the three-point line, and 77.8 percent (14-of-18) from the free throw line.
Seattle University shot 34.8 percent (23-of-66) from the field, including 5-of-17 from behind the three-point line, and 70.6 percent (12-of-17) from the free throw line. The Redhawks won the rebounding battle, 46-33, including 17 offensive boards while allowing only five offensive rebounds to the Wolverines.
Seattle University (9-15) wraps up the three-game homestand next Tuesday, Feb. 15, against UC Davis beginning at 7:10 p.m. at KeyArena. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster, at local Fred Meyer locations, and at the KeyArena Box Office.