Delante Jones and Matej Kavas each scored 26 points to help the Redhawks improve to 9-2 by winning their sixth consecutive game. They face crosstown rival Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena on Sunday.
Seattle U men’s basketball coach Jim Hayford was worried his Redhawks might be tempted to look past Thursday night’s game against Omaha with a crosstown matchup against Washington looming Sunday.
He shouldn’t have worried.
Delante Jones and Matej Kavas each scored 26 as Seattle U beat Omaha 90-71 at the Redhawk Center as part of the Western Athletic Conference and Summit Conference Challenge.
The Redhawks will go into the matchup on a roll, improving to 9-2 after pulling away late against a gritty Omaha (3-6) team for their sixth straight victory.
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Seattle U led 39-35 at halftime, with Jones hitting a pair of three-pointers in the final 39 seconds, including one at the halftime buzzer, for the Redhawks,who led the entire second half.
“I was really pleased with the way we played,” Hayford said. “I thought on tape that Omaha was a very good team, and the score was not indicative of how close the teams played. But we ran away from them, and even extended it, so really proud of our guys.”
Now, Seattle U can put all its focus on UW. Last season, the Redhawks lost 89-84 to Washington. Seattle U trailed by a point with less than a minute left before the Huskies survived.
“Well, UW just took the No. 1 team in the country (Gonzaga) on the road, in their gym, in in one of the hardest atmospheres in the country to play in, to the buzzer, and it shows what a great job coach (Mike) Hopkins is doing,” Hayford said. “It has our full respect. We like playing zone (defense) teams and it’s kind of nice knowing what you are going up against going into the game. … It’s a great opportunity.”
SU women fall to 0-9
Kamira Sanders scored 20 points but the Seattle U women lost 75-61 at Pacific (5-1).
Sarah Rahon scored 12 points for the Redhawks (0-9), and Joana Alves had eight points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Redhawks are at UC Davis on Sunday at 2 p.m.
Dashawn McDowell, a 6-5 sophomore guard, has left the men’s team. McDowell, a transfer from SMU, had battled injuries and had played in three games, averaging 2.7 points and 2.0 rebounds. McDowell sat out last season because of NCAA transfer rules.