CEDAR CITY, Utah — With 1.5 seconds left to play, Dre Marin drove into the key and nailed a step-back jumper to give the Thunderbirds an 84-82 before NAU’s full court heave was no-good at the buzzer.
“I’m just always believing in the work I put in, and that’s a credit to my teammates too,” Marin said. “They all believed in me and they all knew I could hit that shot.”
With the win, SUU improved to 7-7 overall and 2-3 in the Big Sky.
“I thought that was a pretty well played college basketball game on both ends,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “Clean, not a lot of turnovers for either team, not a lot of fouling, both teams blocking out, it was a good basketball game. Both teams were moving the ball. … So it was a well played game and those are the ones that are a little more gratifying to win, because you have to play well to win it.”
In the first half, the teams traded punches from behind the arch as SUU went 6 for 10 and NAU shot 9 for 18. SUU entered the half with a 42-40 lead.
SUU pulled ahead 71-61 with 8:52 to play before the Lumberjacks went on a 17-5 run to take a 78-76 lead with 47 left in the game. Then Marin hit a three from the top of the key to retake the lead, 79-78. NAU would go on to tie the score 82-82 with eleven seconds left, then Marin put away the game winner.
Cameron Oluyitan led SUU with 18 points while Harrison Butler and Jacob Calloway followed with 17 each. Butler also slammed home a highlight-reel dunk, worthy of a Sports Center top-10 play.
Andre Berne notched a double-double for NAU with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Carlos Hines also got a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
SUU finished the game at 50 percent from the field and NAU shot 49 percent.
The T-Birds return to the American First Event Center to host the Portland State University Vikings on January 17. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. and the game can be watched online at Pluto TV channel 236 or listened to on KSUB 590 AM.
Story by: Aaron Peterson for SUU News
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication