In their final game of the 2010-11 season, the Seattle University men's basketball team battled to the wire, but came up just short versus a gritty Portland State team Thursday evening at KeyArena at Seattle Center. Despite their best efforts, the Redhawks dropped an 81-71 decision to the Vikings.
Alex Jones (Phoenix, Ariz.) would open up action with back-to-back layins for the Redhawks, in an attempt to set up a fast paced tempo in favor of SU.
The senior, who played in his final game of his collegiate career, was the offensive catalyst for Seattle U throughout the game. In the game, he was 9-for-16 from the field, scoring a team-leading 21 points. Jones' also grabbed five boards, dished an assist and had a steal in 29 minutes of work.
"I see a great kid that is way more confident and way more self-assured about himself, and he has become a good leader," head coach Cameron Dollar said about Jones. "From a mental and physical standpoint, he has really developed. Alex, along with Garrett, are guys I wish I had for more than two years, as they are good kids with good parents. They worked hard on their game every day."
Despite their early offensive efforts, Seattle U struggled to be on target. They were 1-for-6 from the field over the ensuing two minutes of action. Their shooting miscues would allow Portland State to take a 7-6 advantage at 16:10.
The Vikings would go on a 7-3 run, before Chad Rassmussen (University Place, Wash.) slammed in a three from the corner to set up an 8-5 Redhawk run and give SU a 14-12 lead at 13:21.
At 9:58, Rassumssen would sink his second trey to extend SU's point cushion to three, 19-16, but Portland State was there to respond immediately with a three-pointer of their own to even the score. PSU would go on to put up consecutive treys and take a 22-19 lead.
With 7:11 to play in the first half, Jones would be there to even the score 22-22. As the shot clock wound down, he drove the ball down the lane. Jones' shot rolled around the rim before falling in and during the play he would be fouled sending him to the line.
The senior would make good on his three-point opportunity, but his strong play would not be enough to swing the game momentum completely to the Redhawks, as PSU once again was there to respond with a 7-0 run.
In the final four minutes of the first half, Seattle U would go on a 7-0 run to close in on the Vikings' lead 29-28.
The Redhawks were unable to overcome the momentum cusp, as Portland State would close out the half with a 5-3 run to go into the break with a 34-30 advantage.
In the second half, the Redhawks kicked things off with an 8-0 run to take the lead for fifth time in the game, 38-34.
After coming out hot, Portland State remained knocking at Seattle U's door. They managed to respond with a 12-5 run to take a 46-43 lead with under 13 to play.
At 11:18, freshman Fred Wilson (Seattle, Wash.) made it a one-point contest, 46-45, with his three-foot one handed jumper with milliseconds left on the shot clock.
Aaron Broussard (Federal Way, Wash.) evened the game 48-48 at 9:17, but as they had been doing all game, PSU was there retake the lead with a 12-0 scoring run.
After being held scoreless for over five minutes of play, Sterling Carter (Seattle, Wash.) sent in three consecutive treys to make it a 65-57 game.
Carter would close out the game with 18 points, going 6-for-9 from beyond the arc. The freshman guard scored five of his three's in the final minutes of regulation.
Broussard would make it seven three-pointers for the Redhawks in the final five minutes of action, but the long range baskets were not enough for Seattle U to overcome Portland State's point cushion.
The junior forward Broussard finished the night with 18 points, going 6-for-13 from the field and he was a perfect 4-for-4 from the stripe.
Senior Garrett Lever (Phoenix, Ariz.) led the Redhawks with eight defensive rebounds in his final collegiate game. In addition, the guard tallied four points, three assists and three steals in 29 minutes of action.
In the game, PSU was 51.9 percent (27-for-52) from the field, while SU shot 47.4 percent (27-for-57). The Redhawks outrebounded the Vikings 33-25, but Seattle U's 17 turnovers resulted in 22 Portland State points.
"It was pretty simple: we could not stop them, and we turned the ball over. When you do that, you can't win," Dollar said. "The kids still played hard, scrapped, and competed, and that kept us in the game, but they (Portland State) hit some shots to earn the win."
The Redhawks conclude the season 11-20.