SEATTLE – Once again the mentor beats the pupil.
Matej Kavas scored 26 points, Josh Hearlihy added 20 and Seattle defeated Eastern Washington 84-65 on Sunday.
Jordan Hill contributed 13 points and eight assists and Richaud Gittens had 11 points for the Redhawks (5-4), coached by Jim Hayford, who was at Eastern Washington the previous six seasons.
Richard Polanco and Ty Gibson had 10 each for the Eagles (3-5), now coached by longtime Hayford assistant Shantay Legans.
“We’re going to learn from this game and take our bumps and bruises home,” said Legans, whose team returns to action on Thursday at San Francisco. “Tough times make tough teams, and I think we’re going to be OK. We’ll be ready our next game, I can promise you that.”
Hill had three 3s and 11 points as the Redhawks went 6 of 8 behind the arc and shot 57 percent to take a 43-30 lead at the half. Eastern Washington was 4 of 17 from distance and shot 39 percent.
Things didn’t change much in the second half as Seattle put together an early 20-2 run, capped by a Kavas 3-point play for a 63-34 lead with 11:40 to play. Hearlihy had seven points in the deciding run.
The Redhawks used a 20-6 run to lead by 13 at halftime, then scored 23 of the first 29 points to start the second half to build a 32-point lead. Eastern ended the game with a 26-13 run to cut the lead to the final margin of 19, but the damage was done much earlier as the Redhawks led the entire game and by no less than 19 in the final 14 minutes.
Sophomore Ty Gibson and freshman Richard Polanco led the Eagles with 10 points each.
“We’ll adjust and get better,” Legans said. “We’ll get our guys prepared and they’ll know exactly what it will take to win these kind of games.”