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

Redhawks Men’s Basketball Reminisces After Senior Night Loss

Kevin Frazier
Texas-Arlington Maverick Aaron Cash (00) blocks an attempted layup by Seattle U Redhawk Cameron Tyson (5)
Seattle U Redhawk players watch the game from the bench, down 43-66. (Kevin Frazier)

When walking into the Redhawk Center last Thursday, one could feel a bit of sadness in the air. It would presumably be the last time to see the graduating seniors of Seattle University Men’s Basketball play in person, and there was a somber energy as fans streamed in 20 minutes early to watch the four players’ graduation tribute videos. 

They were filled with inspiring words from teammates and coaches about how much each of them means to the program. Then each player was given a portrait, flowers and had photos taken with family members on the court.

As the video ceremonies wrapped up, the visiting team, the University of Texas Arlington (15-13, 10-7 conference), looked hungry and full of energy even before the start. They trailed the Redhawks by a game in the conference standings and could clinch a spot in the conference tournament with a win.

The Mavericks jumped out to a 12-5 lead early in the first half, but there was a moment that changed the tide of the game.

Senior guard Alex Schumacher, who was honored just moments earlier, was ejected five minutes into the game for a flagrant two foul.

The Redhawk Center erupted in boos at the referees as Schumacher’s presumed last night at the arena was cut short. Schumacher, in the best collegiate season of his career, electrified audiences all season. Now, he would watch the last home game of his senior season from the bench.

The team was only able to score 21 points on 27% shooting in the first half, and without Schumacher, it felt and looked like a different team. Down 29 going into the second half, there was work to do and Redshirt Senior guard Cameron Tyson was the man to turn to. He scored 25 of his 32 points in the second half, leading the comeback. But that wasn’t enough as a 10-2 run only cut the lead to 13 with 3:54 to play. Seattle U ultimately lost 82-62, dropping to 18-11 on the season and 11-7 in conference play.

Head coach Chris Victor summed up the night. 

“It’s frustrating. I wanted to send these senior guys home on a good note and we know they have been playing well here in this building all season,” Victor said. “Really feel for those guys who finished their career in the Redhawk Center with that performance.”

Still, Victor restated his respect for his seniors and pondered the team’s next steps as they graduate.

“I’ll always be appreciative of what they’ve done here and really enjoyed coaching them, that doesn’t change because of one game. Replacing them is going to be tough. You don’t replace a guy like Cam Tyson with one guy,” Victor said.

Seattle U Redhawk Seyi Reiley dunks during warmups. (Kevin Frazier)

Sitting down with the four seniors, forward Seyi Reiley, guard Matthew Levis, Schumacher and Tyson, there was a sting in the air as they recounted Senior Night.

“Learning from this, it was humbling, we came into the game winning six of our last seven,” Tyson said. “Going on a winning streak of eight games was going to be hard anyway so we’re glad that this loss happened now instead of two weeks from now.”

Schumacher was thankful to the fans despite his early exit from the game.

“I played on my senior night in high school, and yesterday I was watching on ESPN+,  so yeah. It was cool that Redhawk nation had my back, that was probably the best thing that could have happened,” Schumacher said.

Levis, originally a walk-on player, cherished his time as a Redhawk, but had a particular moment in mind.

“I’ll never forget the Iona game, I went in and played like 29 minutes after not playing any minutes the entire season. I remember the next day my body felt horrible but I was just so excited to just be playing again, and I’ll never forget that game,” Levis said.

For Reiley, the environment at the Redhawk Center was a motivator. 

“It’s live here man… like we only get 1000 people in there but it gets cracking, last night it was roaring when we were making that come back to the point where it’s hurting your ears,” Reiley said. “People out here support our team and they show a lot of love. I think that’s why we have such a home-court advantage.

Tyson feels as though he’s forged strong connections with the team.

“I know that I’m going to be one phone call away from all these guys, and the relationships I built here are going to last a lifetime and all these dudes know that my phone is always open for them,” Tyson said.

The seniors play their last two regular season games as Redhawks on the road, March 7 at Abilene Christian and March 9 at Tarleton State before the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas, Nev., March 13-16. But what they’ve done for the program will likely be felt in the camaraderie and chemistry the next leaders will carry into the 2024-2025 season.

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