SEATTLE - (Jan. 24) Seattle University men’s basketball returns home to KeyArena, beginning a three-game homestand on Thursday, Jan. 26 against Western Athletic Conference leader New Mexico State. Tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game can be heard on KTTH 770 AM (mynorthwest.com) or watched on the WAC Digital Network.
SNAP A SELFIE WITH THE CUP
The 2016 MLS Cup, recently captured by the Seattle Sounders, will be on display and available for photo ops at KeyArena Thursday night during the Redhawks’ men’s basketball game. The Cup will be displayed in the Northeast corner of the concourse beginning at 6 p.m. and remain throughout the game. A ticket to the men’s basketball game will be required to gain entry into KeyArena.
The Redhawks dropped a 61-59 decision at Grand Canyon on Saturday, Jan. 21, falling to 9-10 overall and 1-3 in WAC play. They led for nearly 33 minutes in the contest, but mistakes down the stretch allowed the Lopes to come from behind. Matej Kavas led SU in scoring with 16 points - his fourth straight double-digit point effort. Brendan Westendorf added 15 points, Emmanuel Chibuogwu had 10 and William Powell added six points, nine rebounds and six assists. Kavas has stepped up his game during WAC play, leading the team with 17.3 ppg. The redshirt freshman is shooting better than 63 percent from the field and better than 52 percent from beyond the arc in the four games. Redshirt sophomore center Aaron Menzies has missed the last five games due to a foot injury. Zack Moore has replaced Menzies in the starting lineup.
ABOUT THE SERIES VS NEW MEXICO STATE
This will be the 13th meeting all-time between Seattle U and New Mexico State, with the Aggies holding a 10-2 series advantage. The teams split the first two contests that took place during the 1970-71 season. It would be 42 years before the two teams met up again, this time as conference rivals. On Jan. 10, 2013, New Mexico State pulled out an 83-82 victory over Seattle U in double overtime at KeyArena. In the rematch Feb. 9, 2013, in Las Cruces, N.M., the Aggies held on for a 60-57 win over the Redhawks. New Mexico State won all three meetings during the 2013-14 season (96-87 at NMSU Jan. 9, 92-77 at SU Feb. 8, 70-68 in Las Vegas March 13). In 2014-15, Seattle U finally broke through, defeating the Aggies Jan. 17 at KeyArena, 58-52. On Feb. 12 in Las Cruces, New Mexico State defeated Seattle U, 73-47. The two teams met at the Orleans Arena March 14 in the finals of the WAC Tournament, with the Aggies winning, 80-61. New Mexico State won both games last year, clinching a 68-60 victory at KeyArena on Jan. 21 and following with a 70-57 win in Lac Cruces on Feb. 20.
Through the first four games of WAC play, SU is shooting 46.6 percent from the field and 35.7 percent from three, both numbers up from the overall season totals of 43.1 percent from the field and 33.5 percent from three. One number than has dropped, however, is the Redhawks’ free-throw percentage. Once the WAC leader in the category, SU has hit just 60 percent from the line during league play. They do still rank second on the season with a 71 percent overall average.
KAVAS COMING ALIVE
Redshirt freshman Matej Kavas has come alive offensively in the Redhawks last four 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 on 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. He turned in a 16-point effort at Grand Canyon on Jan. 21, hitting 7-of-13 from the field. Over the four-game span he is shooting 63.2 percent from the field, 52.4 percent from three and 71.4 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, he leads the Redhawks in three-point field goal percentage (.444) while also hitting better than 46 percent overall from the field.
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.