Thunderbirds Bounce Back Against Sacramento State, Knock Off Hornets 74-49

SUU Men's Basketball

CEDAR CITY, Utah — The Southern Utah men’s basketball team picked up a bounce back victory on Saturday afternoon inside the America First Event Center, knocking off the Sacramento State Hornets 74-49.

“It was a good bounce back,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “We didn’t love our defensive effort, play on the glass and how we took care of the ball the other night, and today we controlled that much better. That’s what we wanted to see.”

With the win, the Thunderbirds are now 11-6 on the season, and hold a 4-2 record in the Big Sky Conference.

The first half belonged to the T-Birds, as they held a 33-18 lead heading into the break.

The Hornets didn’t hit a shot from the field for the final 12 minutes of the opening half, and shot just 17 percent over the first 20 minutes.

Sacramento State improved their shooting in the second half, hitting 43 percent of their shots, but the Thunderbirds were hotter hitting 54 percent of their field goal attempts.

The Thunderbirds ended up outscoring the Hornets by 10 in the second half, and secured a 74-49 victory at home.

Cameron Oluyitan was the leading scorer for the Thunderbirds, scoring 19 points. He also pulled in five rebounds and dished out three assists. Oluyitan finished the game with a plus-33 in terms of plus-minus.

“We expected this,” Olyitan said. “We expect to do this every game. We let one slip against NAU, it left a bad taste in our mouth, and so we just told ourselves we weren’t going to let that happen again on our home court and that showed today.”

Dre Marin finished the game with 17 points, along with six rebounds, four steals and four assists for the Thunderbirds. He was the top rebounder for the Thunderbirds on the night.

John Knight III finished with 13 points, hitting 4-of-4 from the field and 5-of-5 from the free throw line.

The Thunderbird bench outscored Sacramento State’s 29-6.

The Thunderbirds will be back out on the road next week, as they’ll face off against the Eastern Washington Eagles (January 25) and the Idaho Vandals (January 27).

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Story and photos by SUU Athletics