KENT, Wash. (AP) — Terrell Brown scored a game-high 20 points, with eight coming in the final 86 seconds, and Seattle University held off Washington State 78-69 on Wednesday night.
It was the first time Seattle U. has beaten the Cougars since the 1978-79 season.
“You just want to try and move up the pecking order in the state,” Redhawks second-year coach Jim Hayford said. “Tonight, we made the most of this opportunity.”
WSU (1-1) struggled to find any consistent scoring without top player Robert Franks, who sat out with a left foot injury. He had 31 points and 11 rebounds in the team’s season-opening victory against Nicholls on Sunday.
Without Franks, the Cougars shot 30 percent from the floor (21 of 70), including a 6-of-24 effort from the 3-point line.
“The one-on-one basketball really hurt us,” WSU coach Ernie Kent said. “We fought back . but we took some forced, tough shots at key times. Usually that is because you are not in rhythm.”
WSU did erase a halftime deficit on a 12-0 run to grab a 51-48 lead with 12:46 remaining.
The Redhawks (3-1) scored nine consecutive points after that, and never trailed the rest of the way.
WSU cut it to 68-65 on Carter Skaggs’ spinning basket in the lane with 3:05 to go, but Brown took over after that. He scored on layups on back-to-back Seattle U. possessions with 50.6 seconds remaining, and made 4 of 5 free throws.
“I just wanted to do whatever I could do to win the game,” Brown said.
The Redhawks led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Delante Jones added 15 points for Seattle U., 13 coming in the first half. Martej Kavas chipped in with 14 points.
Isaiah Wade led the Cougars with 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting.
WSU: It’s not easy adjusting to life without your top scoring threat, but the Cougars did so with Franks on the sideline. One bright spot was transfer Wade’s inside work. The bulky 6-foot-7 forward, from Iowa Western Community College, could be a consistent double-double threat in his first season.
Seattle U: Brown’s presence off the bench really gives the Redhawks three solid guards, and can allow them to play small. They also have rangy shot-blocker Myles Carter, a transfer from Seton Hall, who gives them an interior defensive presence.
WSU: Kent said Franks’ injury flared up hours after the Nicholls game Sunday, and that the 6-foot-9 senior from Vancouver, Washington has some muscle irritation in the bottom of the foot. He is considered “day to day.”
Seattle U: With 8½ minutes remaining Wednesday, Carter crashed to the floor in the lane clutching his left knee. He needed assistance from staff members to get to the bench. But minutes later, he bounced up, tapped Hayford on the shoulder and said he was ready to go back into the game. Carter had dunks on back-to-back Seattle U. possessions with 5:32 to go.
WSU finishes out the month with three consecutive home games, starting with a non-conference matchup Monday against Cal Poly. This will be the first game between the two schools.
Seattle U. also has a spate of home games to close out November, and returns to the Redhawk Center Sunday for a non-conference game against Southern Utah. The Redhawks won 89-75 in Seattle two seasons ago.
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