Seattle University just couldn’t come up big when it really counted most.
Down the stretch, they failed to execute offensively. The biggest pain was going 2 of 5 from the free-throw line to end the game and not giving themselves a chance to win it.
Defensively it wasn’t good either. Three times in the last couple minutes, the Redhawks were slow on defense and left Idaho’s Robert Harris wide open from behind the arc. Three times, he made them pay, the last to break a tie with a minute left and give Idaho a lead they would never relinquish again.
It was a painful introduction to conference life for the Redhawks, who had the lead late in the second half, but coughed it up and fell 71-64 to Idaho at home.
On the bright side D’vonne Pickett had his second straight outstanding game, pouring in 17 points on 8-12 shooting (mostly on drives). He added 6 boards and 3 assists. The Redhawks as a team handled the ball well, something that has been an issue for them over the years. For them, 11 turnovers is fantastic.
On the down side, they had nobody at all to match up against center Kyle Barone. Idaho’s best player was too big for Deshaun Sunderhaus to contain inside, and reserve center Louis Green didn’t get much of a chance (nor should he have, he’s too slow to stay with Barone inside). Barone ended up with 25 points and 11 boards and was by far the game’s most valuable player.
Make no mistake, this was a winnable game. If Harris missed one or two of his threes, it could have gone the other way. If Seattle made one or two more threes – they were an ugly 4 for 17 from behind the arc – it could have gone the other way.
But they didn’t. And it didn’t. Conference play is tough.
The road doesn’t get easier either, because the Redhawks will go on the road for maybe the toughest two-game swing in the conference. San Jose State and Utah State are next up. Getting one win out of the two games would be a huge positive.