Game #9-418: Seattle Redhawks at New Mexico State AggiesFebruary 9, 2013 9:00 pm
Pan American Center
The Seattle University basketball program was once one of the nation's premier teams. Led by Elgin Baylor, the Chieftains reached the 1958 Final Four, defeating 1 Kansas State before losing to Kentucky in the national final. Seattle gave up its independent status in 1971, joining the West Coast Athletic Conference. In 1980, athletics were de-emphasized and Seattle joined the NAIA. In 2000, Seattle athletics rejoined the NCAA, competing in Division II from 2002-2009; also ithat year, the team nickname was changed to the Redhawks. In the past three seasons, the Redhawks competed as a Division I independent while seeking to return to the (now renamed) West Coast Conference. When that was seemingly blocked permanently by Gonzaga, Seattle joined the Western Athletic Conference.
As part of their move to Division I in 2009, two high-profile basketball coaches were hired: for the women, Joan Bonvicini, who had previously headed the Long Beach State and Arizona programs, and for the men, former UCLA player and University of Washington assistant coach Cameron Dollar. Dollar was previously part of the staffs at UC-Irvine, Georgia, and Saint Louis. As a player, Dollar is probably best remembered for his 1995 NCAA Tournament pass to fellow Bruin Tyus Edney, who drove the length of the court to bank in the winning shot against Missouri, and his replacing the injured Edney at point guard for that year's national championship game; under Dollar's floor leadership, the Bruins defeated Arkansas 89-78.
Tonight's game between the Redhawks and the New Mexico State Aggies is only the fourth meeting ever between the schools' men's basketball teams. During their time as independents, the Chieftains visited the Pan American Center in 1970, and the game was returned the following year; each home team prevailed. Earlier this season, the teams played a thriller in Seattle, with the Aggies emerging victorious after two overtime periods, 83-82. In that game, Aggie wing Bandja Sy hit a three-pointer with seven seconds to play in regulation to tie the score at 67, before Redhawk wing Chad Rasmussen's superhoop with twenty seconds remaining in the first overtime created a tie at 73. After the Aggies established a five-point lead in the second overtime, Seattle cut the Aggie lead to two on another Rasmussen superhoop with seven seconds to play. Sy missed a free throw that Redhawk Allen Tate rebounded, but the Redhawks' last try failed to send the game to another period.
Seattle (7-15, 2-10 WAC) lost their prior two games (to Utah State, and at Denver on Thursday) before arriving in Las Cruces. New Mexico State (16-8, 10-2 WAC) won their prior ten games, last defeating Idaho on Thursday night. Tonight's game was designated the Lou Henson Classic by NMSU; it has become an annual tradition for the all-time great Aggie (and Illini) coach to join the team on the bench adjacent to the floor that bears his name for one game each season.
It was a bit of a surprise that Dollar did not start Rasmussen in either half of the game, but he played a significant role in each period. The Redhawk starters included freshman forward Deshaun Sunderhaus, freshman guard Luiz Bidart, sophomore guard Jarell Flora, senior guard Prince Obasi, and senior guard Allen Tate; Tate came to Seattle from Hobbs, New Mexico. Aggie starters were freshman center Sim Bhullar, sophomore guards Daniel Mullings and Terrel de Rouen, junior forward Renaldo Dixon, and Sy, a senior.
The Aggies took the early 7-2 lead on a Mullings superhoop, which he followed with a steal and dunk. Seattle, despite being somewhat smaller than NMSU, led in rebounding early in the contest; Sunderhaus had six points inside, and both Obasi and senior center Louis Green got early put-back baskets. Defending inside was somewhat costly for the Redhawks, who had ten first-half fouls; Obasi, Sunderhaus and Rasmussen had two each. De Rouen had two of the six Aggie fouls. Seattle tried varying their defenses and using a full-court press intermittently, but the Aggie lead remained around five for most of the half. The sometimes acrobatic Bandja Sy contributed an outstanding first half dunk. After Bhullar made a bucket and three free throws to stretch the NMSU lead to nine with about four minutes to play, the Redhawks ended the half on an 8-3 run (two baskets and four free throws) to trail 34-30.
The Redhawks substituted freely to keep fresh defensive troops on the floor throughout the period; nine different players participated in the first half. Seattle's balanced scoring saw eight players contribute; Sunderhaus was the leader with eight. All the Aggie points came from five players: Canadians Mullings, fourteen, Bhullar, eleven, and Dixon, one, while the Frenchmen (Sy, six, and Barry, two) scored the remainder.
The beginning of the second half was sloppy; Seattle was called for six of eight fouls in the first eight minutes of the half. Sunderhaus got two buckets and Rasmussen one to continue the Seattle run, which reached 14-3 after five minutes were played, giving the Redhawks a 36-34 lead. Dixon made four free throws to break the NMSU scoring drought, and after Rasmussen's superhoop, Dixon tied the game at 39 with another throw. The Aggies used two timeouts within five seconds after de Rouen gained loose balls and stopped the clock to retain possession. He followed the second timeout with the first Aggie field goal of the second half, a superhoop after eight minutes had been played. For the remainder of the half, the Aggies continued to work the ball inside and most of the Aggies visited the free throw line on one of Seattle's fourteen second-half fouls. Since the 7'5" Bhullar missed six of the nine throws he attempted, including the front end of a one-and-one, the Redhawks continued to put him at the line rather than allow him to drop the ball into the hoop. The Aggies only made five field goals in the second half, but fourteen points from the free throw line kept them in the game.
Bandja Sy's superhoop from the left wing broke a 50-50 tie before the final media timeout, which came on a D'Vonne Pickett foul of Bhullar. After the time out he missed both throws. Rasmussen's superhoop attempt was in-and-out. Bhullar made both throws after Sunderhaus' fourth foul. (Seattle forward Clarence Trent had already fouled out with six and a half minutes to play.) Flora was fouled by Mullings as he made a layup, but missed the free throw. Green fouled Mullings, whose free throws stretched the Aggie lead to five. Dixon fouled Tate, who missed the first and made the second; lead four. The Seattle press forced a de Rouen turnover, and Pickett capitalized with a layup on the break; lead two. Pickett fouled de Rouen, who made both; Green got an easy layup on a give-and-go with Rasmussen. NMSU took a timeout with forty seconds left, and eleven on the shot clock. Sunderhaus fouled Bhullar trying to get the rebound. Sunderhaus went to the bench with the Redhawks' second disqualification, and Bhullar made only the first of the two free throws, increasing the lead back to three, 60-57. Seattle got the rebound, brought the ball to the front court, and used its final timeout with seven seconds to play after excellent defense by de Rouen kept Rasmussen from getting the ball. The inbounds pass came to Flora, whose superhoop attempt from the left corner missed as time expired. Another escape by the Aggies.
Seattle's scoring leaders were Sunderhaus with fourteen and Rasmussen with twelve. Flora added eight, and five other Redhawks scored four or five. Mullings led the Aggie scoring with eighteen, with Bhullar adding fourteen, Sy nine and Dixon eight. Again, only seven Aggies played in the contest. AggieVision's broadcast crew recapped the video highlights.
Seattle returns home for a pair of games with Louisiana Tech and Texas-Arlington to complete their home schedule. After those are trips to Texas State and UTSA, a near-home game in Kent, Washington, against Cal State-Bakersfield, and a final visit to Idaho before the WAC Tournament. Neither Seattle nor New Mexico State is participating in the BracketBusters this year. The Aggies head to the road for contests against San Jose State and Utah State before returning home to face UTEP.
at NEW MEXICO STATE 60, SEATTLE 57
SEATTLE 7-16 (2-11) -- D. Sunderhaus 6-11 2-2 14; J. Flora 4-9 0-1 8; D. Pickett 2-6 1-2 5; A. Tate 1-4 2-4 4; L. Green 2-4 0-0 4; C. Rasmussen 4-8 2-2 12; P. Obasi 2-12 1-2 5; L. Bidart 0-0 0-0 0; C. Trent 2-5 0-0 5; T. Diop 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-59 8-13 57.
NEW MEXICO STATE 17-8 (11-2) -- B. Sy 3-9 2-4 9; D. Mullings 5-12 6-8 18; S. Bhullar 4-9 6-11 14; T. de Rouen 1-4 3-4 6; R. Dixon 1-6 6-8 8; R. Barry 2-3 1-1 5; K. Aronis 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 16-47 24-36 60.
Three-point goals: SEA 3-8 (C. Trent 1-3; J. Flora 0-1; C. Rasmussen 2-3; P. Obasi 0-1), NMSU 4-14 (B. Sy 1-3; R. Barry 0-1; T. de Rouen 1-3; D. Mullings 2-3; K. Aronis 0-4); Rebounds: SEA 42 (L. Green 8), NMSU 30 (S. Bhullar 9); Assists: SEA 10 (C. Trent 2), NMSU 6 (T. de Rouen 3); Total Fouls -- SEA 24, NMSU 13; Fouled Out: SEA-D. Sunderhaus; NMSU-None.
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