Aytes Scores 27 As Thunderbirds Close Out Road Trip In Boise

The Thunderbird men’s basketball team wrapped up their first road trip of the season on Sunday, falling to the Boise State Broncos 90-69 at Taco Bell Arena in Boise, Idaho.

“It was a tale of two games for us,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “For the first 13 minutes we played well and held a lead, but Boise’s a team of runs that can put up a lot of points in a hurry, and they did that.”

The Thunderbirds got off to a hot start, as Jadon Cohee knocked down back-to-back triples to start the contest for Southern Utah. After being tied at the first media timeout, the T-Birds took control as Jamal Aytes hit two shots in a row down in the painted area to take a 12-8 advantage.

SUU held the lead until after the second to last media timeout, which is when the Broncos started getting hot. Over the last eight and a half minutes of the opening frame, the Broncos went on a 26-15 run to take control and enter halftime with a 42-29 advantage.

In the second half the Broncos were able to stay consistent, and held the lead the remainder of the contest. Boise State eventually took a 90-69 victory.

Aytes led all scorers in the contest, finishing the game with 27 points and seven rebounds. Aytes had 17 of his 27 in the second half.

“He was a point of emphasis for us, wanting to keep him out of foul trouble and keeping him on the floor,” Simon said. “He’s such an offensive weapon and it’s always going to be good for us to get those minutes.”

Cohee also had a solid game for the T-Birds, scoring 19 points over the course of 36 minutes of play. He also had three rebounds and three assists. James McGee finished with double-digits, scoring 10 points on Sunday.

Justinian Jessup led the Broncos with 22 points on Sunday, with Alex Hobbs also dropping in 19 points.

“We feel like we’ve got a lot of work to do on the defensive end, and we’ve got some guys that are still learning to guard on the D1 level,” Simon said. “And we need to get some more consistency, so we’ll get back in the lab and get working on those things.”

The Thunderbirds will host their regular season home opener on Thursday, as they’ll host San Jose State. Tip off is set for 6:30 p.m. MT.

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Read all about the Thunderbirds on www.suutbirds.com.

Season tickets for the 2017-18 SUU men’s basketball campaign can be purchased at tbirdtickets.com or at the America First Event Center Ticket Office.

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SUU Athletics Strategic Communications