SEATTLE – Seattle University men’s basketball pulled off a 63-57 overtime thriller over visiting CSU Bakersfield Thursday night at the Redhawk Center. Four Redhawks finished in double-figures with Terrell Brown recording a double-double, including the game-tying free-throws that sent the game to overtime.
A back and forth second half turned to a defensive battle for both sides with SU keeping CSUB to 35 percent shooting from the field. Clutch shots from Mattia Da Campo, Riley Grigsby, Delante Jones, and a pair of free-throws from Morgan Means saw the Redhawks take the lead to 52-46 at the 4:03 mark, however CSUB’s Markel Joiner and Rickey Holden took the `Runners on a 8-0 run down the stretch, making two tough shots in traffic, to give the visitors the lead 54-52 with just 13 seconds on the clock.
“Joiner was a tough matchup,” said Means post-game. “Coming in, I knew he’s been playing like an all-conference player. I really just had to focus in and make his job as hard as I could."
Brown, who finished with 11 points and 12 boards, drained two free-throws on the ensuing play to tie the game at 54, sending the Redhawks to their first overtime game of the season.
Seattle U showcased their defensive prowess in overtime to allow only one CSUB field goal, forcing the visitors into 1-8 shooting. Means opened the extra period with a quick layup off a dish from Jones, while Da Campo would finish off a pair of free-throws on the following possession. Means iced the game late at the free-throw line. Means and Da Campo shot 100 percent from the line in the game.
“We played great defense in overtime holding them to only three points,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford, “I thought it was a really well-rounded win tonight.”
Means ended with 14 points while Jones and Da Campo chipped in 15 and 13 points, respectively. Da Campo and Grigsby paired for 11 rebounds.
The Redhawks opened the game up shooting 80 percent from beyond the arc with Jones, Brown, Means, and Da Campo all hitting on four consecutive possessions in the first five minutes. SU scored its first 12 points from three, establishing an early 12-3 advantage.
CSUB would go on a 8-0 run in the middle of the first frame to go with tough transitional defense that allowed the visitors to claw their way back to tie the game up 12-12 with 11:41 on the clock.
Grigsby regained the lead, 18-15, for Seattle U off a corner three from a kick-out from Brown, and later hit another corner three with 5:57 remaining to answer a `Runner three of their own. The San Jose native went 2-4 from three-point land in the first.
Powered by a 14-4 stretch, the Redhawks came into halftime on top 36-32 behind excellent play execution from Means and Da Campo. The pair combined for 15 points and four boards in the first.
Myles Carter spurred the Redhawk defense early in the second half, using his 6-9 frame to produce Roadrunner turnovers that resulted in numerous SU scoring opportunities. Seattle U held the visitors scoreless in the opening three minutes of the second frame and conceded only four points in the paint in the first seven minutes.
CSUB used a 10-3 stretch to tie the score up 39-39 with 9:53 to play in the game. The `Runners took advantage of a Redhawk rotation without Carter who fouled out midway through the second to get to the charity stripe, going 4-5 in this span.
“The league is tough,” said Hayford. “The credit is to the whole WAC conference. If you get in a win in this league it really means something.”
Seattle U looks to continue the momentum going in to the WAC Tournament in the regular-season finale Saturday in a tough matchup against Grand Canyon. Tip-off is set at 1:00 p.m. at the Redhawk Center.