SEATTLE - (Jan. 27) It’s all about health awareness Saturday night in KeyArena as Seattle University men’s basketball continues a three-game homestand by hosting UT Rio Grande Valley in the Coaches vs. Cancer Suites and Sneakers and Family Health Night, presented by Swedish Hospital, Smile Generation, OPA Ortho, Flow Fitness and Seattle Goodwill Industries. Coaching staffs and support staffs will be donning sneakers on the sideline in support of the Coaches vs. Cancer program, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). On the KeyArena concourse Smile Generation will be raffling off a free Sonicare and will have a spinning wheel with a variety of prizes. Doors open at 6 p.m. and tip off is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game can be heard on KTTH 770 AM (mynorthwest.com) or watched live on the WAC Digital Network.
A poor-shooting first half put the Redhawks in a hole they could not climb out of Thursday, falling 71-56 to WAC leader New Mexico State. Matej Kavas led SU in scoring for the third straight game, coming off the bench to score 14 point. Brendan Westendorf added 11 points, while Zack Moore added nine points and a career-high nine rebounds. Kavas has stepped up his game during WAC play, leading the team with 17.3 ppg. The redshirt freshman is shooting better than 55 percent from the field and better than 42 percent from beyond the arc in the five games. Redshirt sophomore center Aaron Menzies has missed the last six games due to a foot injury. Zack Moore has replaced Menzies in the starting lineup.
ABOUT THE SERIES VS UTRGV
Formerly known as Texas Pan American, UTRGV is facing Seattle U for the eighth time, with the Redhawks holding a 5-1 series edge. The teams split the home-and-home series in 2015-16, as Seattle U won 70-59 on Jan. 23 in KeyArena, while the Vaqueros defended their home court with a 67-57 win in Edinburg, Tex., on Feb. 18. The teams went on to meet in the first round of the WAC Championship Tournament where the Redhawks got 23 points form Brendan Westendorf in a 75-52 final. Seattle U swept UTPA during the 2013-14 season, 64-46 on Jan. 11, 2014 in Edinburg, Texas, and 83-62 on Feb. 6, 2014, at KeyArena. In 2014-15, Seattle U won the first meeting at KeyArena, 70-47. In the rematch in Edinburg, UTPA broke through with a 68-57 victory.
KAVAS COMING ALIVE
Redshirt freshman Matej Kavas has come alive offensively in the Redhawks last five games and has led the team in scoring for the last three. 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 and led the Redhawks with 14 points in a setback to New Mexico State on Jan. 26. Over the five-game span he is shooting 55.1 percent from the field, 42.9 percent from three and 73.9 percent from the charity stripe. For the season, he leads the Redhawks in three-point field goal percentage (.410) while also hitting better than 44 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.
PREGAME AT BUCKLEY’S
Join your fellow Redhawks at Buckley’s on Queen Anne before every men’s basketball game at KeyArena. Pregame festivities begins at 4:30 p.m. with Buckley’s happy hour running until 6 p.m. on weekdays.