On Wednesday, Nov. 14 the undefeated Southern Utah University Men’s Basketball Team traveled north to face off against the cougars of BYU. The Thunderbirds took it down to the wire but ultimately came up short in the final moments, and BYU won 68-63.
To start the game in dramatic fashion the very first points came from the Thunderbirds’ Dwayne Morgan who drove down the court and dunked the ball over BYU defenders. That was one of the lone bright spots of the first half as the Thunderbirds would not regain the lead for the remainder of the period. The half closed out with the cougars on top 36-31.
Coming into the second half, SUU looked much more promising. The T-Birds came out with much more assertiveness and used their athleticism to take control of the game. SUU rallied back and tied the game at 43 before taking the lead for the first time since the start of the game 45-43 with 14 minutes left in the half.
John Knight III had a dominant game, amassing 22 points in 23 minutes. BYU star TJ Haws racked up 10 points in the first half alone against the defense of Knight.
Knight stated, “[Haws] was much faster in person than he was on film, It was a good challenge for me.”
Haws finished the game out with just 10 points so the second half proved much better in favor of Knight.
The biggest factor deciding the game was the Thunderbirds going 0 for 12 on three point attempts. Down by three with 17 seconds Dre Marin had a great look to hit a three and tie the game but could not get the shot to fall.
Despite this loss, the Thunderbirds can still hold their head high as they committed 18 turnovers and went 0 percent from three and still only lost by five against an in state powerhouse. The T-Birds showed they have the tools to improve and make a long run this year.
SUU hits the road again this Monday, November 18 as they face off against the Bruins of UCLA.
Story by Hoku Curnan
Photos Courtesy of Hoku Curnan