SEATTLE - (Jan. 19) Coming off their first Western Athletic Conference win of the season, Seattle University men’s basketball heads back on the road this weekend, traveling to Phoenix for a Saturday, Jan. 21 meeting with Grand Canyon University. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. local, 6 p.m. Pacific Time, at GCU Arena. The game can be heard on KTTH 770 AM (mynorthwest.com), watched locally in the Phoenix area on 3TV or streamed on the web at GCULopes.com.
The Redhawks earned their first WAC win of the season with a 65-50 victory over Chicago State Jan. 14 at KeyArena. Matej Kavas led the charge with a career-high 24 points. The Redshirt freshman is averaging a team-high 17.7 ppg during the Redhawks’ three WAC games. Brendan Westendorf had 18 points in the win over the Cougars. The senior guard leads the team with 15.4 ppg on the season and has 16.0 ppg during WAC play. Redshirt sophomore center Aaron Menzies has missed the last four games due to a foot injury. Moore has earned the first four starts of his career in replace of Menzies. The sophomore guard has not missed a step going from sixth-man to starter with 10 combined three pointers and a 9.5 ppg average.
ABOUT THE SERIES VS GRAND CANYON
This is the eighth all-time meeting between Seattle U and Grand Canyon, with the Lopes holding a 6-1 advantage in the series. The first-ever meeting came during the 2002-03 season as GCU held on for a 78-77 win in Phoenix. The teams would not meet again until the 2013-14 season as rivals in the WAC. GCU stretched its win streak to five straight before the Redhawks snapped the streak with a thrilling 59-57 victory in Phoenix last year. SU rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit, capped by Emmannuel Chbuogwu’s go-ahead tip-in with seconds remaining. Brendan Westendorf led the Redhawks with 14 points while William Powell and Jack Crook chipped in 10 apiece. The Lopes did avenge the loss later in the season, winning 71-60 at KeyArena.
KAVAS COMING ALIVE
Redshirt freshman Matej Kavas has come alive offensively in the Redhawks last three games. The Ljubljana, Slovenia native went 4-of-6 from the field, including 2-of-3 from three, on his way to tying his then career-high of 13 points at CSU Bakersfield on Jan. 7. He followed that by scoring 16 points in 5-of-6 from the field, including 3-of-4 from three, and 3-of-4 from the free-throw line in SU’s game versus UMKC on Jan. 12. Then, on Jan. 14 vs. Chicago State, Kavas poured in a career-high 24 points on 8-of-13 from the field (61.5 %), 4-of-7 from three (57.1%) and 4-of-4 from the charity stripe. Over the three-game span he is shooting 68 percent from the field, 64.3 percent from three and 71.4 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, he leads the Redhawks in three-point field goal percentage (.468) while also hitting better than 45 percent overall from the field.
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 two games. Moore leads the team with 45 threes on the year and in games played through Jan. 17, Moore ranks sixth in the WAC with 2.5 three’s per game. He also ranks sixth 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.
RANKING THE REDHAWKS
• In games played through Jan. 17, Seattle U leads the WAC in assists at 16.39 per game. The team also ranks first in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.14), first in free-throw percentage (71.9) and second in field goal percentage defense (40.7).
• The Redhawks rank 35th nationally in three-point field goal attempts (466), 44th in total assists (295), 42nd in assists per game (16.4), 60th in field-goal percentage defense (40.7) and 72nd in three pointers (156).
• Among WAC players, Brendan Westendorf is first in free-throw percentage (88.2), fourth in minutes played (32.11 per game), tied for seventh in assists per game (3.39) and sixth in scoring (15.4 ppg). Matej Kavas is second in three-point percentage (46.8), Zack Moore is sixth in three-pointers per game (2.50) and William Powell is tied for seventh in assists per game (3.39).
WAC TOURNEY TICKETS ON SALE
Tickets for the 2017 WAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournament are on sale now. The tournament begins Wednesday, March 8 with the women's first round of play, followed by a full day of men's action on Thursday, March 9. The championship games will be contested on Saturday, March 11. Currently available for purchase are $125 all-session passes, which consist of entry into 12 games over six sessions. Single-session tickets will not be available for purchase until March 8 and can only be purchased through the Orleans Arena Box Office. To purchase your all-session pass today, contact the Seattle U Athletics Ticket office at 206-398-GOSU (4678) or purchase online at GoSeattleU.com/SUtickets.