Men’s Basketball, Back on Top


Sean Campbell

Senior Riley Grigsby moves past a defender.

The Seattle University Men’s basketball team had two crucial victories the week of Jan. 8. The defending Western Athletic Conference (WAC) regular season champions found themselves at the top of the standings after handing defeats to WAC heavyweights New Mexico State (NMSU) and Utah Valley University Wolverines (UVU).

Seattle U played NMSU at Climate Pledge Arena Thursday, Jan. 12. Heading into the game, Seattle U had beaten the Aggies only once in their previous eight matchups. A slow start had Seattle’s first basket come nine minutes and ten seconds into the game. With less than a minute on the clock, Junior Forward Riley Grigsby scored a two-point layup to tie the game at halftime. 

“We started off slow,” Grigsby said. “It was probably our worst offensive half of the year. It was an ugly game, but we grinded it out.”

With 12 seconds left in the game, the score was 66-67 in favor of Seattle. A foul on Junior Guard Alex Schumacher allowed him to score two free throws and create a three-point lead. With NMSU’s possession of the ball in the last few seconds, they attempted a three-pointer to tie up the game, but came up short, giving the victory to Seattle U, 69-66. 

For Seattle U Junior Guard Cameron Tyson, the game started off uncharacteristically slow with no points on the board in the first half. However, he was able to turn it around in the second half by scoring 14 points, finishing the game with a team high of 20 points. 

“I just needed to find where I meshed in that game,” Tyson said. “[I] focused the second half on defense and rebounds, and I think that really helped my offense.”

Junior Alex Schumacher shoots a free throw. (Sean Campbell)

Last year, when Seattle U played NMSU, they lost in the Conference tournament, handing NMSU a berth in the NCAA tournament. The loss Thursday night put NMSU in last place for the conference. Head Coach Chris Victor wants his players to look at it as a learning opportunity noting the high-intensity of the game. 

“We are going to have a lot more close games throughout the year,” Victor said. “If we can learn from this one and tighten some things up [and] improve on how we close up games, that’ll help us out for the rest of the year.”

This wasn’t the only big game this week for the team. The Redhawks flew to Utah to take on the Wolverines, Jan. 15. At that point, UVU was ranked first in the conference. 

The game ended with another close victory for Seattle U, finishing at 85-80. With one minute left in the game, the score was tied 76-76. The teams traded baskets until Grigsby and Tyson both connected on three-pointers in the last 30 seconds of play time, securing the victory. Not only did this end an 11-game win streak for UVU, it also put Seattle U at the top of the WAC standings.

Tyson scored a total of 20 points against the Wolverines, making him the highest scoring player for Seattle U that game. The second highest scoring player was Grigsby, who scored 18 points, which allowed him to pass the milestone of 500 points in his Seattle U basketball career. 

“The win is the most important thing,” Victor said. “No matter how you play or what the numbers say, the wins, that’s the most important stat of the night.”

After both of their games were concluded, Victor was named NCAA Division 1 Coach of the Week by They presented him this title because of how he led the Seattle U’s men’s basketball to a 14 win four loss record. Seattle U has remained undefeated in the conference with five wins so far. They have also won all seven home games and are currently on a six-game winning streak.

The men’s basketball team will host Tarleton State Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Redhawk Center followed by another home game Saturday, Jan. 21 against Southern Utah University at 3 p.m..