Redhawks outduel Mavericks in 98-74 shootout

In this opening chapter of the college basketball season, there's no such thing as a "must-win" game. But if Seattle University was at all interested in preventing its fan base from checking out on the season before Thanksgiving, the team kind of needed to be impressive on Wednesday night against Nebraska-Omaha.

The Redhawks were impressive, alright -- routing the Mavericks 98-74 on the strength of a first-half scoring outburst led by the senior backcourt of Isiah Umipig and Jarell Flora that washed out the bad taste of SU's season-opening loss to Texas State.

Four minutes into the game, Seattle U trailed 12-10 before going on a 12-0 run in the span of three minutes. Flora made two shots and assisted on a third during that spurt.

An 11-0 run later in the first half, started by a Flora three-pointer and capped by two Shore Adenekan dunks, pushed SU's lead to 23 with five minutes to go before halftime.

The Redhawks took a 53-29 lead into the break, which was particularly notable because SU scored 53 points total in its loss to Texas State last Friday.

The Mavericks played SU even-up in the second half, but couldn't get the defensive stops necessary to mount a rally, allowing the Redhawks to win by a 24-point margin in their second of five straight KeyArena home games to open the schedule.

"That is probably one of the best shooting performances over the course of a game here at the Key that I have seen," SU coach Cameron Dollar said afterward. "There was a lot of ball movement and man movement, we were really hard to guard. It's good to see the guys play well and have fun playing with each other."

Umipig finished with a team-high 24 points (7-15 FG), hitting six threes and handing out six assists. Flora scored 22 points (8-14 FG), hitting two threes and grabbing eight rebounds.

Junior center Jack Crook had 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Redhawks, while sophomore forward William Powell just missed a double-double with nine points and 11 boards.

Adenekan, a senior forward, led the reserves with 12 points and two blocks off the bench. Senior guard Emerson Murray added four points, four assists and three steals off the bench, while junior forward Lewis Cramer and junior guard Manroop Clair each scored the first buckets of their Seattle U careers during mop-up duty.

The Redhawks made 64.7 percent of their field goals in the first half and 53.7 percent for the game, including 57.9 percent (11 of 19) from three-point territory. Seattle U had 24 assists on its 36 field goals and outrebounded Omaha 49-37.

SU's next game is its biggest nonconference game of the season -- the annual crosstown rivalry matchup with the University of Washington on Friday, Nov. 21.

The Redhawks have lost each of the five games they've played against UW since re-joining NCAA Division-1 in 2009, but each contest has been progressively more competitive as Dollar builds the SU program from the ground up. Last season Washington beat Seattle U 88-78 in their gym; this season the Redhawks have home-court advantage. The game will be at KeyArena and televised live locally on JoeTV at 7 p.m.

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