CEDAR CITY, Utah– The Thunderbirds won their fourth straight game with a 76-71 victory over Sacramento State in the America First Event Center on Saturday.
With the win SUU improved to 9-7 overall and 4-3 in the Big Sky. The Hornets dropped to 7-8 overall and 1-5 in conference play.
The T-Birds raced out to a 41-18 halftime lead after holding the Hornets to 21 percent shooting. SUU couldn’t miss in the first half, shooting 63 percent from the field.
SUU continued to dominate throughout most of the second half as they built a 28-point lead with 13:55 left. Then a barrage of SUU turnovers aided a Sacramento State rally.
By the 50 second mark, SUU’s lead was cut to 74-71. Ultimately, the T-Birds made enough free throws down the stretch to hold on for a 76-71.
“Obviously we played 30 great minutes, and 10 very bad minutes,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said following the contest. “We kind of stopped being aggressive. I thought there was chances we could of attacked and we didn’t, and the turnovers against the press were not great, but we did a lot of good stuff in the first 30 minutes in terms of defensively really holding them down, and when you’re plus 19 on the glass and shoot 96 from the free throw line you’re going to give yourself a chance to win.”
Cameron Oluyitan led SUU, scoring 21 points. Andre Adams and Jacob Calloway followed with 17 and 15 points respectively. Brandon Better rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points.
SUU hits the road to take on the Northern Colorado Bears at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24.
Aaron Peterson for SUU News
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication