EDINBURG, Texas – (Jan. 20) Seattle University men's basketball earned its first true road win of the season in thrilling form Saturday night at the UTRGV Fieldhouse in Edinburg, Texas. Aaron Menzies forced overtime with a game-tying layup near the end of regulation and the Redhawks' defense held UTRGV to just 1-of-9 in overtime, claiming a 79-76 Western Athletic Conference win.
The Redhawks move to 14-8 on the year and 3-2 in WAC play, while UTRGV drops to 10-11 overall and 2-3 in the WAC.
"This was a great team win," said Head Coach Jim Hayford. "If you want to win on the road, you've got to make a lot of stops. We played a lot of defense tonight and played through a lot of foul trouble. We weren't all that pretty, but what a great night for Seattle U."
Seattle U led for the nearly 27 minutes until the Vaqueros tied the game 46-46 at the 13:27 mark of the second half. A three by UTRGV's Greg Bowie put the home team on top with 12:13 to play and a free throw made it a four-point lead just inside 12 minutes.
With the Vaqueros holding a 52-48 advantage Jordan Hill would score seven points as part of a 9-4 run to put Seattle U back on top, 57-56, with 8:25 to play.
A 7-0 Redhawk run inside six minutes to play had the Redhawks leading 67-62. But UTRGV was not finished. A pair of Nick Dixon free throws whittled the lead down to one, 69-68 and a Lew Stallworth three put the Vaqueros back on top, 71-69 with 46 seconds remaining in regulation.
But Seattle U got a huge outback layup from Menzies and a brilliant defensive stand sent the game into extra time, 71-71.
Dixon would score the first basket in the extra frame, but Hill responded with a three of his own, then hit two free throws for a 76-74 advantage. Terry Winn sank a pair from the charity stripe for the game's sixth tie, 76-76. But the Redhawk defense held UTRGV scoreless over the final two minutes while a Matej Kavas jumper gave them the final lead and a Morgan Means free throw produced the final spread.
Menzies finished the night with a game-high 21 points and 15 boards for his eighth double-double of the year. The big man also added five blocks and three assists in 41 minutes of action. Kavas added 19 points, including a perfect 3-of-3 from deep, all early in the first half as the Redhawks jumped out to a 12-4 advantage.
Hill battled foul trouble most of the night, but answered the call late, 12 of his 16 points in the second half and overtime. Josh Hearlihy and Richaud Gittens added eight points apiece while Means chipped in six.
"The big guy had a great night, and what a tip in to get us to OT," said Hayford. "Matej helped us a lot early and Richaud did a great job on Dixon. Jordan shook off sitting on the bench with four fouls and a frustrating night and played a great last 11 minutes."
Bowie led UTRGV with 18 points while Dixon had 17 and Moe McDonald added 10.
The Redhawks return home for their next two, wrapping up the first round of WAC play. The homestand begins Friday, Jan. 26 against CSU Bakersfield. Tip off from KeyArena is set for 7 p.m. The game will stream live on the WAC Digital Network and can be heard live on KTTH 770 AM.