The rap on Seattle University is simply that they have not been able to shoot efficiently.
So no matter what you think of OSU's decision to play zone generally, you can't blame them for throwing it at the Redhawks tonight in their 83-80 loss in KeyArena.
And when their patented 1-3-1 didn't work in the first half, it made perfect sense to switch to the 2-3 in the second half after it worked so well for Cal Poly on Sunday in KeyArena.
So as exciting as it was to be in KeyArena to watch the Redhawks' frenzied rally from down double digits in the second half to beat Oregon State, the even more exciting development was that they figured out a way to beat the zone defense. Right now, it doesn't really matter if it's sustainable - they found a way to win their first game.
And they managed to do something that seemed unthinkable just a few days ago - they managed to find shooting from multiple places on the roster.
Budding freshman star Sterling Carter continued his outstanding play with 30 points including 5-for-8 shooting from the 3-point line, forward Chad Rasmussen came off the bench to get a four point play to tie the game at 66 late in the second half, and junior guard Cervante Burrell hit big long jumpers throughout to help stretch the zone and keep the Redhawks in the game throughout the second half and had a team-high 22 points.
But it wasn't all rosy - when OSU switched to the 2-3 zone in the second half with their athletic and long defenders, Seattle University found themselves in a position similar to that which they found themselves against Cal Poly - unable to continue driving to the rim, they settled for long jumpers and their shooting percentages plummeted. But Seattle's defense held strong and OSU went cold while the Redhawks took advantage of second-chance opportunities, fast breaks, and free throws to pull the game close enough for Rasmussen to tie it with about 5:30 left in the second half.
From there the crowd got going, shots started falling for Seattle U and OSU struggled to establish the consistent defense that they had established in the first half.
For Oregon State, Jared Cunningham was able to get high percentage opportunities throughout on drives to the basket to finish with a team-high 19 points. Calvin Haynes finished with 18 points for OSU. With the loss, OSU falls to 1-1 while Seattle U is at 1-3.