Seattle U. crushes Oregon State by 51 points
The Seattle University Redhawks netted their most impressive win since returning to Division I basketball after a 29-year absence.
Seattle Times staff reporter
CORVALLIS, Ore. — Before the season began, Seattle U. men's basketball coach Cameron Dollar said he told his team that if it simply plays hard and together, "we will all be surprised at the types of things that can happen."
But even Dollar had to admit he was a little taken aback by what took place at Gill Coliseum on Wednesday night as the Redhawks — in their first full season playing Division I basketball since 1980 — manhandled the host Oregon State Beavers 99-48.
The shocking margin of victory tied the largest defeat in OSU history and was the Beavers' worst home loss ever.
"Bet you ain't seen nothing quite like that, huh?" Dollar said as he emerged from a happy locker room. "I haven't."
The win was surprising on many levels. For one, an Oregon State team that had struggled early in the season appeared to be turning something of a corner when it lost close games at both Washington and Washington State over the weekend. For another, Seattle U.'s leading scorer, Charles Garcia — ninth in the nation at 22.6 points per game — barely contributed until the matter had been long decided, scoring just one point in the first 35 minutes while saddled with foul trouble.
"Even more crazy," Dollar acknowledged of the long absence of Garcia.
Still, the first-year coach, who had suffered a few tough defeats in this same building while an assistant at UW the last seven seasons, said he felt all along that his players "had it in them."
"All I want my guys to do is play with great enthusiasm and play hard," he said. "If you do that, great things happen for you. Sometimes you don't even know what is going to happen."
There wasn't much indication early of what was to unfold, however, as OSU led 21-18 with 8:05 to go in the first half. But then the Beavers — who seemed either worn down or simply uncaring — fell apart and couldn't hit anything, while the Redhawks caught fire, going on a 23-6 run to end the first half.
With Garcia scoring just one point in six first-half minutes due to three fouls, forward Mike Boxley led the way with 10 points while guards Chris Gweth and Cervante Burrell had seven each as the Redhawks hit 6 of 11 three-pointers, working the ball well on offense against OSU's 1-3-1 zone defense.
There was a minor moment of worry early in the second half when Garcia went to the bench with his fourth foul with 17:24 to play. But after OSU scored the first two points of the second half, Seattle U. scored the next 19 to turn the game into an unfathomable rout.
OSU coach Craig Robinson said the two close losses over the weekend might have sapped his team and also noted that he'd become a father for the third time earlier this week, possibly causing a distraction to his players.
"It could have been any of that," he said after his team fell to 6-8. "... We always compete tough and remain fighting, and I didn't see that today."
That helped Seattle U. waltz to its first win over a Pac-10 team since Dec. 9, 1978, an 81-67 victory over Cal. The Redhawks' point total was a season high as was their shooting percentage of 58.3. They snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 7-9.
Seattle U. finished with five scorers in double figures, led by Boxley with 19, Gweth 18 and Burrell 17.
"It was surprising," Burrell admitted. "You always think you are going to win, you always know you are going to win. But you never know you are going to win by 50."
Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or email@example.com
Percentages: FG .583, FT .739. Three-point goals: 12-21, .571 (Boxley 4-7, Broussard 3-5, Gweth 2-2, Garcia 1-1, Jones 1-1, P.Harris 1-2, Lever 0-1, Olson 0-2). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 1 (Jones). Turnovers: 17 (Broussard 4, Burrell 4, Garcia 2, Jones 2, Boxley 2, Gilmore, P.Harris, Lever). Steals: 10 (Boxley 3, Gilmore 3, Burrell, Lever, Broussard, Gweth). Technical fouls: None.
|OREGON ST. (6-8)|
Attendance: 4,622. Officials: Ruben Ramos, Don McAllister, Gregory Nixon.
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