As far as exclamation points go, Clarence Trent's steal and rim-rattling breakaway dunk with two minutes remaining appeared to be the dagger, giving the Redhawks a 69-64 lead. But two Riverside buckets and one Seattle U turnover later, the Highlanders were down by only one point and had the ball with 13 seconds left.
Riverside senior forward Chris Patton ended up with the ball in the post, isolated against Trent. But despite giving up about four inches and 20 pounds to the 6-10 Patton, Trent (with a little help from 6-9 teammate Deshaun Sunderhaus) hounded Patton into missing an off-balance jumper at the buzzer.
"I'm definitely pleased with how we were able to get a bunch of stops down the stretch," coach Cameron Dollar said after the game. "We strung several possessions in a row defensively where we got some stops, which was good."
Before his defensive effort saved the game, Trent had been the offensive player of the night for Seattle U (3-2). He scored the game's first five points, on a three-pointer and two free throws, sparking a 10-0 run for the Redhawks. Trent scored above the rim and from long range and everywhere in between, finishing with a season-high 19 points on 8 of 17 shooting from the field. The senior forward added three steals and four rebounds.
UC Riverside (2-3) was able to withstand SU's opening onslaught and rallied to take their first lead with 11:05 left in the first half, and from there it was back and forth as neither team could put the other away. The Redhawks were up 40-36 at halftime, but the Highlanders would regain the lead in the second half.
With six minutes to play, Trent finished an alley-oop from D'Vonne Pickett Jr. that tied the score, then Trent hit a jumper to give SU the lead for good a few possessions later. Pickett scored two straight buckets -- including one where his legs were tangled with a defender and he had to throw it up as he was falling down to beat the shot clock -- to give the Redhawks a six-point lead with just under three minutes to go. Riverside's Steven Thornton responded with a three to cut the deficit in half, and Trent's steal and dunk set up the final sequence.
Isiah Umipig had 17 points and six assists for Seattle U, going 10 for 10 at the free-throw line. Pickett added 10 points off the bench, while Shore Adenekan grabbed a season-high nine rebounds. Thornton led UC Riverside with 18 points and four threes, while Patton had 15 points and eight boards.
* SU junior guard Emerson Murray missed his fourth straight game with a right foot injury.
* Other WAC scores from Monday: New Mexico State beat Bethune-Cookman (79-56), and UMKC lost to Iowa State (110-51).
* The Redhawks' next game is Friday, Nov. 29, at Eastern Washington. SU beat the Eagles 75-69 on the road last season.
* A couple days after signing his National Letter of Intent to attend Seattle U, Class of 2014 point guard Jadon Cohee (Langley, British Columbia) took his first official campus visit. Cohee was also in attendance for the Redhawks' win over Evergreen State at KeyArena.
Cohee verbally committed to SU in August, and said he never second-guessed his decision leading up to signing day.
"I knew where I wanted to go," said Cohee, who averaged 23 points and seven assists while leading Walnut Grove Secondary School to a provincial championship last season. "I didn't even talk to any other schools. I ignored any other texts or calls I got. ... I talked to Coach Dollar after I signed. He congratulated me and my family, then he said the real work starts now."