KENT, Wash. – Seattle University men’s basketball came out on top, 78-69, in front of a raucous crowd at the accesso ShoWare Center against Washington State Wednesday night.
The win marked the Redhawks' third straight, moving them to 3-1 on the season - the program's best start in its modern day DI era. It was also the first victory over a Pac-12 opponent since March 23, 2015 against Colorado. Washington State dropped to 1-1 through two games.
“You want to keep moving up the pecking order in the state,” Head Coach Jim Hayford said in response to the growth of his team. “I’m grateful we won this game and we want to keep making the best out of each opportunity. Tonight we made the most out of this opportunity and puts us in a better position than if we had lost.”
Seattle U was able to combat the Cougar’s “in your face” defense on top of double and triple teams on Myles Carter behind huge defensive plays from freshman Riley Grigsby. Grigsby had a couple blocks three minutes into the game that resulted in quick buckets from Jones.
Grigsby consistently pushed the ball in transition and connected well with Jones in the early goings of the game. His aggressiveness in the paint allowed the floor to be spread, letting Jones and Matej Kavas to have open shots from the perimeter. Grigsby and Jones combined for the first ten Redhawk points.
The Redhawks also found a spark off the bench in the form of Terrell Brown. Coming off a good game Sunday, Brown’s explosiveness off the dribble drew defensive pressure all throughout the first-half, getting the Redhawks to the free-throw line where they’d go 12-16 from the stripe.
“I just want to do whatever I can do to win then game,” said Brown, “Coach believed in me and kept me in the game. I knew I was going to make a big play sooner or later and that’s what happened."
The ball was moved around with ease due to the connection between Brown and Aaron Nettles. The duo facilitated a speedy Redhawk offense that knocked down multiple, wide-open shots.
Seattle U took the 41-35 lead into halftime.
After stopping a 12-0 run from the Cougars eight minutes into the second, Morgan Means hit two threes in back-to-back possessions to keep the Redhawks in the game, giving them a four point cushion.
With 6:55 left, Means found an open Kavas in the corner who drained the open three, lighting up the packed house at the acccesso ShoWare Center as the Redhawks extended their lead, 62-58.
In the final minute of the game, Brown took over, opening up the score with two late drives and finishing all but one free throw after being fouled in the last 30 seconds, going 4-5 from the line in the second half.
“What Terrell does is play hard," said Hayford. "With him, it’s not about the dog in the fight it’s about the fight in the dog. He’s ready to fight and he’s ready to play hard.”
The final buzzer went off, with the Redhawks on top 78-69 and sending Seattle U fans home happy.
Seattle U look to continue their hot start to the season this Sunday against Southern Utah at the Redhawk Center. Tip-off is set at 1:00 pm.