LAS CRUCES, N.M. - (Feb. 24) Seattle U wraps up its Western Athletic Conference weekend road trip on Saturday, Feb. 25 at New Mexico State. The Redhawks (13-14, 5-7 WAC) snapped a three-game skid with an 86-77 win at UTRGV Thursday. The Aggies (23-5, 9-3 WAC), winners of 20 straight this season, have dropped three of their last four including an 84-72 loss at home to Utah Valley Thursday. Tip off from the Pan American Center is set for 7 p.m. MT, 6 p.m. PT. The game will be streamed live via NMSU’s Aggie Access and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM (mynorthwest.com).
WHERE THEY STAND
With two games remaining on the regular-season slate, Seattle U enters Saturday’s match-up at New Mexico State with a 5-7 WAC record, which is good for fifth in the league standings. CSUB has clinched at least a share of first place (11-1), New Mexico State (9-3) and Grand Canyon are tied for second (9-3) and UMKC is fourth (7-5). Seeding for the WAC Tournament in March, which will feature seven of the league’s eight teams (Grand Canyon is not eligible for postseason until 2017-18 due to their NCAA DI transition process) will be determined by the regular-season standings. The first day of tournament action pits No. 4 vs. No. 5, No. 2 vs. No. 7 and No. 3 vs. No. 6. Tournament play begins March 9 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.
An 86-77 win at UTRGV Thursday gave Seattle U a home-and-home sweep of the WAC rival. It marks the second sweep of a WAC team this season as the Redhawks took care of Chicago State twice as well. Seattle U dished 21 assists at UTRGV, marking the sixth time this season they’ve hit the 20-assist marker in a game. Five of those six occasions resulted in a win, with the lone outlier being an 80-76 double overtime setback to Eastern Washington on Nov. 22. The 86-point effort marked the 10th time Seattle U has scored 80 points or more. The Redhawks are 9-1 in those games, while they are 4-13 when scoring less than 80 points. They also improved to a perfect 4-0 when shooting over 55 percent from the field. Thursday in Edinburg, the Redhawks only got better as the game progressed, finishing with a 60.5 percentage from the field (26-43), 50 percent from three (11-22) and 88.5 percent from the free-throw line (23-26).
ABOUT THE SERIES VS NEW MEXICO STATE
This will be the 14th meeting all-time between Seattle U and New Mexico State and after the Aggies claimed a 71-56 win at KeyArena on Jan. 26 they improved to 11-2 over the Redhawks in the all-time series. The NMSU win last month was in the midst of a 20-game win streak for the Aggies. Neither team shot well in in the first meeting as Seattle U hit just 31.4 percent and the Aggies shot 38.7. Matej Kavas led the Redhawks with 14 points and Brendan Westendorf added 11.
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 Las Cruces on Feb. 20.
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.