Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Westendorf Hits Another Buzzer Beater, Downs Utah Valley

    Kyle Kotani • The Spectator
    Kyle Kotani • The Spectator

    The Seattle U bench celebrates Westendorf’s buzzer beater and their win over Utah Valley

    Junior Guard Brandon Westendorf has made a habit of hitting clutch shots for the Seattle University (13-14, 7-6 WAC) men’s basketball team, and with just five seconds to go in Saturday’s contest against Utah Valley (12-16, 6-7 WAC). He did it one more time—this time on senior night—propelling the team to a 72-69 win.

    In a second half that saw the score tied six times, including in the final six seconds, the junior guard was as clutch as one can be. After a pair of free throws by senior Jack Crook, Utah Valley ran the length of the floor and hit a three from the baseline to tie the game at 69 all. Westendorf then had the ball in his hands, glanced up at the clock, and drained a three from the left wing as time expired, propelling Seattle U to victory.

    “It feels good, my seniors are happy,” Westendorf said. “That’s the only thing that matters to me, that those [seniors] got out of here with a win.”

    Head coach Cameron Dollar said he wasn’t panicking after Utah Valley tied the game late.
    “We work on [situations like that] all the time…you practice so you don’t have to call the timeout in that situation and let everybody set up,” Dollar said. “It was neat to see how our guys reacted when they scored with five seconds [remaining]. Guys didn’t panic, guys got space, [Westendorf] got the ball and made a play.”

    After trailing by as much as 14 in the first half, Seattle U was able to battle back, thanks in large part to Westendorf’s stellar play. After battling back, the Redhawks were able to get within seven just before the half. In true Westendorf fashion, he hit what would turn out to be his first buzzer-beating three point shot of the night, bringing Seattle U to within four at half, 38-34.

    Kyle Kotani • The Spectator
    Kyle Kotani • The Spectator

    #0 Brendan Westendorf shot 9 of 18 from the field, with 14 points in
    the paint.

    The Redhawks opened the second half with a 9-2 scoring run, giving them their first lead of the game, 43-40. The teams would trade baskets for much of the second half, one that saw 13 lead changes.

    With 2:06 remaining in the game, Utah Valley hit a three pointer to take a 65-63 lead.

    Westendorf followed up with jumper to tie the game at 65 all. The Redhawks buckled down and made a stop on defense and Powell made his shot to give Seattle U the lead.

    With just one minute remaining in the game, Utah Valley was fouled and went to the free throw line. As Utah Valley forward Konner Frey stepped up to the line, the crowd began to get loud—the loudest it had been all night—resulting in Frey missing one of his free throws.

    Dollar also credited the Redhawks bench with helping the team stay in the game.

    “I thought they came in and provided a great lift,” Dollar said. “They provided great energy and spark and got some stops…it started by getting some deflections and doing a good job defensively.”

    Westendorf finished the game shooting 9-of-18, finishing with 21 points. Teammate William Powell also had a good night finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds—his third double-double in his last six games. Senior Jack Crook—who was honored in a pregame ceremony for senior night—finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

    With the win, Seattle U solidified the No. 3 seed in the WAC tournament heading into their last regular season game. Despite having their seeding locked up, the team still plans on going all out.

    “We’re gonna go balls to the wall,” Dollar said. “We’re gonna go at them and put our best foot forward…It’s going to be key for us to have a total team effort.”

    AJ may be reached at [email protected]

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