SEATTLE - (Jan. 11) After opening Western Athletic Conference action on the road with a single game at CSU Bakersfield last week, Seattle University men’s basketball returns home to KeyArena to host a pair of conference rivals. The brief homestand begins on Thursday, Jan. 12 as the Redhawks host UMKC. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at KeyArena and can be heard on KTTH 770 AM (mynorthwest.com) or watched on the WAC Digital Network.
The Redhawks opened WAC play with a well-fought 78-71 setback at CSU Bakersfield, the league’s reigning tournament champion and NCAA qualifier. Emmanuel Chibuogwu had a career-high 18 points in the losing effort. Zack Moore and Matej Kavas added 13 apiece. Redshirt sophomore center Aaron Menzies has missed the last two games due to a foot injury. Moore has earned the first two starts of his career in replace of Menzies. The sophomore guard has not missed a step going from sixth-man to starter with eight combined three pointers and a 14.5 ppg average.
MORE FROM MOORE
Sophomore guard Zack Moore continues to light it up from deep. The Bellevue, Wash., native has drained five three-pointers in three total games this season and has had at least one three-pointer in all but one game. Moore leads the team with 43 threes on the year and in games played through Jan. 11, Moore ranks fifth in the WAC with 2.7 three’s per game. He also ranks tied for fifth in total three pointers. His 17-point output vs. UC Davis (Dec. 28) tied a career high while he earned his first career start at UC Santa Barbara on Dec. 30.
ABOUT THE SERIES VS UMKC
Seattle U and Missouri-Kansas City are meeting for the eighth time in history, with the Kangaroos holding a slim 4-3 series edge. In 2013-14, when the series began, UMKC swept the home-and-home meetings, winning 95-84 at KeyArena Jan. 4, 2014, and 82-73 in Kansas City March 6, 2014. In 2014-15, the ‘Roos won the first meeting in Kansas City, 75-55, on Jan. 24. Seattle U finally broke through with a 74-56 win at KeyArena on Feb. 18 behind 17 points and six rebounds from William Powell. The Redhawks would go on to make it two straight that season, winning 69-63 in the first round of the WAC Tournament. Last season, each team was victorious on its home court. The ‘Roos took an 84-69 victory in Kansas City in the WAC opener. Seattle U responded with a 65-55 win at KeyArena as Powell led the way with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
RANKING THE REDHAWKS
• In games played through Jan. 11, Seattle U is 90th in the nation and first in the WAC in free-throw percentage (72.4).
• The team also ranks 45th nationally in three-point field goal attempts (415), 47th in total assists (264), 45th in assists per game (16.5), 77th in total steals (117), 74th in steals per game (7.3) and 77th in three pointers (140).
• Individually, Brendan Westendorf ranks sixth in the nation in free-throw percentage (93.0). The senior is 40-43 from the line this year.
• Among WAC players, Westendorf is first in free-throw percentage (93.0), fifth in minutes played (31.6 per game), tied for ninth in assists per game (3.44) and tied for ninth in scoring (15.0 ppg), while Aaron Menzies is third in blocks per game (1.07), sixth in rebounds (6.1 per game) and fifth in field goal percentage (52.7) and Zack Moore is fifth in three-pointers per game (2.7).
WAC PRESEASON POLLS
After going 15-17 overall and 7-7 in WAC play (good for fourth place) last season, the Redhawks were selected fourth in the Preseason Media Poll and tied for fifth in the Coaches Poll. New Mexico State was selected as the League favorite in both polls, followed by Grand Canyon and CSU Bakersfield.