Paced by a career-high 26 points from junior Cervante Burrell (Sacramento, Calif.), Seattle University remained competitive with the University of Washington, but the Huskies' depth and height were too much for the Redhawks in a 95-74 men's basketball victory in front of 11,386 at KeyArena at Seattle Center.
Burrell shot 7-of-17 from the field and 12-of-15 from the free throw line, plus he dished out four assists and picked up two steals. Sterling Carter (Seattle, Wash.) hit four three-pointers on his way to a 20-point performance, while Aaron Broussard (Federal Way, Wash.) continued his steady play with 14 points, seven rebounds, and a season-high six steals.
Washington (19-8) scored the first four points of the game before back-to-back baskets by Burrell tied the game at 4-4. The Huskies went on a 13-2 run over the next five minutes to open a 17-6 advantage with 12:12 remaining in the first half, but six unanswered points by the Redhawks cut their deficit to five at 21-16 with 8:25 left before halftime.
A dunk by Justin Holiday and two free throws each for Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Darnell Gant increased Washington's lead back to 11 at 34-23, but once again Seattle U fought back, as a three-pointer by Carter with 1:17 left in the half brought the Redhawks within six before a layup by Aziz N'Diaye gave the Huskies an eight-point lead at 37-29 heading into halftime.
"Obviously we want to continue to compete and get better, so in the first half we probably had some chances to be even closer going into halftime that we didn't capitalize on," head coach Cameron Dollar said.
The Huskies took control of the game early in the second half, going on a 12-1 scoring run over a four-minute span to increase their lead to 51-32. Back-to-back baskets by Broussard and Alex Jones (Phoenix, Ariz.) cut the Redhawk deficit to 15, but seven straight points by Washington, punctuated by a three-pointer from Terrence Ross, gave the Huskies at least a 20-point advantage for most of the final 12 minutes.
Six players scored in double figures for Washington, led by Bryan-Amaning with 24 points and 13 rebounds. Isaiah Thomas earned 20 points, four rebounds, and four assists, and N'Diaye also notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds along with three blocked shots. Ross scored 13 points, while Justin Holiday and Gant each contributed 10 points to the winning effort.
Seattle U shot 41.4 percent (24-of-58) from the field, including 5-of-14 from behind the three-point line, and 58.3 percent (21-of-36) from the free throw line. Meanwhile, Washington shot 51.7 percent (31-of-60) from the field and 69.0 percent (29-of-42) from the free throw line, plus won the rebounding battle, 49-28, including 20 offensive rebounds.
The crowd of 11,386, a mix of Redhawk and Husky fans, was the largest home crowd for a Seattle U men's basketball game since the school started the reclassification process, and it was the second-largest crowd of the season for all Seattle U games, with only Maryland announcing a higher attendance (13,427).
Seattle University (10-17) begins a three-game road swing Saturday, Feb. 26, against Cal State Bakersfield in California beginning at 7 p.m. After road games at Stanford (March 1) and Idaho (March 5), the Redhawks will return to KeyArena for Fan Appreciation Night Thursday, March 10, against Portland State beginning at 7:10 p.m.