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Small town throwdown
Cam Tyson leads Seattle U on a tough road trip looking to stay unbeaten in WAC play. Courtesy Andrew Khauv/Seattle U Athletics.

Redhawks, Bearkats in Small Town Throwdown

The Seattle U Redhawks. And the Sam Houston Bearkats. Small Town Throwdown.

It all takes place Thursday night at Johnson Coliseum.

The Redhawks are unbeaten in WAC play. The Bearkats are looking to win their fourth straight WAC game.

Seattle U is receiving votes in the USA Today Coaches Poll. Sam Houston sits in the top-50 in the NET.

The Redhawks are led by quality guards. The Bearkats counter with quality guards of their own.

So, something has to give in this Small Town Throwdown on Thursday night.

“Being 7-0 is great. Obviously, we’re happy to be 7-0,” Seattle U head coach Chris Victor said. “But, we also know that things can change very quickly. There’s 11 games left in this conference and things can change very, very quickly, so we need to keep getting better, keep improving if we expect to keep winning.”

Winning has been the name of the game over the past month for the Redhawks. Since back-to-back losses to Utah State and Iona to open the Diamond Head Classic, Seattle U has reeled off eight straight wins. Sure, Seattle U has played the 13th-toughest strength of conference schedule according to KenPom. But, of those seven conference wins, one of them was a Quad 1 road win at Utah Valley.

And on Thursday night, the Redhawks have another chance at a Quad 1 road win.

One thing to point out…the Redhawks were in a similar position in 2021-22. Seattle U got off to an 8-0 start in WAC play before heading to GCU and New Mexico State. And that was road trip was not friendly to the Redhawks in a pair of double digit losses.

“The similarities, we’re about a week away,” Victor said in reference to the comparison in road trips. “Overall record is similar. Conference record is similar. Going to play those two games, at Grand Canyon and at New Mexico State, you know how tough that road trip is. Now, we’re going to Sam Houston and SFA, which is, again, just a tough, tough road trip.”

It may be a different year and different team as Chris Victor says. But, the similarities are there. Last year, coming into the GCU game, the Lopes were 15-5. This year, coming into the Sam Houston game, the Bearkats are 15-5 overall. Last year, GCU was 5-3 in WAC play when they hosted Seattle U. This year, Sam Houston is 5-3 in WAC play as they get set to host Seattle U.

So, the similarities are there.

What’s different is there is no Darrion Trammell or Savion Flagg.

Now it is more about the veterans. The savvy basketball I.Q. and a guard matchup that is going to be fun to watch.

For Seattle U, it’s Cam Tyson, Riley Grigsby and Alex Schumacher leading the way. On the other side, Jason Hooten will counter with Qua Grant, Donte Powers, and Cam Huefner. Tyson, Grigsby and Schumacher combine to score 45 points per game. Grant, Powers and Huefner combine to score 35.1 points per game.

Donte Powers and the Bearkats are looking to knock Seattle U from the unbeaten ranks on Thursday night. Courtesy Sam Houston Athletics.

“They’ve got lots of weapons and can score in bunches,” Sam Houston head coach Jason Hooten said. “They’re good. They’re 7-0 for a reason. They know their identity, their rotations and they look at this as a big trip.”

The Bearkats have won three straight since losing at Southern Utah on Jan. 12. And this is the lone game of the week for the Bearkats.

“Our guys are good,” Hooten said. “We had a great week of practice and we don’t play on Saturday so we are locked in and ready to play.”

The Bearkats are coming off an 83-64 win over UTRGV their last time out. Qua Grant, Donte Powers and Cam Huefner accounted for 47 of the 83 points. And Lamar Wilkerson had 15 points off the bench for the Bearkats in the win.

Thursday could come down to the role players. Seattle U has Brandton Chatfield and Kobe Williamson who can knock down perimeter shots but also defend the paint. Sam Houston counters with Lamar Wilkerson, Damon Nicholas Jr. and Kian Scroggins who provide a spark off the bench.

The small town throwdown is set for 7:30 p.m. CT as part of a doubleheader on ESPN+.


About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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