Redhawks rally to beat CS Fullerton, 75-71

A three-point shooting clinic by Jarell Flora, Isiah Umipig and Luiz Bidart allowed Seattle U to erase a double-digit deficit in the second half and stun visiting Cal State Fullerton 75-71 on Wednesday in the Redhawks' home opener.

With just under 13 minutes remaining, SU trailed by 18 points in its annual Elgin Baylor Classic at KeyArena.

Flora then started the comeback with a trio of triples, helping the Redhawks (1-1) cut the margin to 10 points with six and a half minutes left. The Titans (1-1) extended their lead back to 14 before the Redhawks went on a 14-0 run ignited by Umipig and Bidart, and capped by Flora's back-to-back threes that tied the game at 65 with three minutes to go.

A few possessions later, sophomore reserve guard Bidart hit a corner three to put Seattle U ahead 72-69 with one minute remaining, a lead they wouldn't lose.

"The guys trusted each other and were resilient tonight," Redhawks coach Cameron Dollar said. "Even when we weren't scoring points, we were taking good shots and making good plays, and I give our guys credit for sticking with the plan, and eventually the hard work paid off for us."

Luiz Bidart (Photo: Eric Badeau)

Flora finished with a career-high 25 points (8-17 FG) and five threes. Umipig had 24 points, eight assists and four threes, and Bidart had nine points with three triples. As a team, SU shot 12-for-25 beyond the arc.

[ALSO ON REDHAWK NATION -- Blueprint: Jarell Flora's jump shot]

The Seattle U team that came back and won in the game's final 13 minutes looked completely different than the team that fell behind in the first 27 minutes. The Redhawks' defense was soft and their offense sloppy from the start, as they missed layups and turned the ball over while the Titans built a 16-4 lead early in the first half.

Umipig infused some life into the offense with some strong drives to the basket and a couple of threes, but otherwise SU didn't have much going for them as Cal State Fullerton built a 10-point halftime lead.

The Redhawks' defense tightened up in the second half before the offensive explosion -- holding the Titans to 38 percent shooting from the field in the second half, neutralizing standout guards Michael Williams (17 pts) and Alex Harris (14 pts), and creating turnovers with a full-court press in the final minutes.

Seattle U's shooters did the rest.

NOTES

* Seattle U played without junior guard Emerson Murray, who was limited in Sunday's season-opening loss to Washington with a right foot injury. Murray was wearing a walking boot on Wednesday. No time frame has been given on how long Murray, a transfer from Cal-Berkeley who was expected to start this season, will be sidelined.

* Seattle U legend and Basketball Hall of Fame member Elgin Baylor was honored prior to the game on the court that is named after him.

Elgin Baylor (Photo: Eric Badeau)

* The Redhawks play the Titans again on Dec. 7 at Cal State Fullerton. Umipig transferred to SU from CSF in 2012 and sat out last season under NCAA transfer rules.

* Washington forward Jernard Jarreau will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL he suffered in Sunday's win over the Redhawks.

Jarreau was injured early in the first half when he went up for a breakaway layup and came down awkwardly. Umipig appeared to clip Jarreau on the play and was called for a flagrant foul, leading to criticism (particularly from UW fans) that Umipig made a dirty play and that Dollar's teams have been unnecessarily physical in SU's series against UW.

"We could only see it from our vantage point, but Jarreau has said (Umipig) didn't even touch him," Dollar said on Wednesday.

"I coach my team to be physical, but not extra physical against Washington," added Dollar, a former UW assistant. "I consider (Washington) to be family, so when one of their guys goes down, it's like one of my guys getting hurt. There was no malicious intent before, during or after -- and there never will be."

* Wednesday was the first day of the NCAA's early signing period, and Seattle U secured a commitment from Jadon Cohee, a 6-4 point guard from Walnut Grove Secondary School in British Columbia.

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