Dominant Defense Propels Men’s Basketball Past Portland State


Southern Utah men’s basketball came out victorious with a blowout 85-57 victory over Portland State on Feb. 8 at the America First Event Center.

The Thunderbird defense was the enforcer of the night. The Vikings shot 17-67 from the floor and 2-23 from three point range. 

Cameron Oluyitan led Southern Utah’s offense with 24 points on 87.5 percent shooting from the field. Other leaders on the offensive end included Andre Adams with 12 points (on 5-5 FG), and guards Dre Marin and John Knight, who finished with 11. 

The T-Birds came off a loss Thursday night at the hands of Northern Colorado, another member of the Big Sky Conference.

“It was a good bounce back win,” said Todd Simon, Southern Utah’s head coach.  “This group has shown all kinds of character and ability to bounce back from adversity and today we were really focused on defense, which has been our calling card, and I think we put together a pretty good 40 minutes of it.”

This victory marks Simon’s 50th win at Southern Utah University. 

The game started off slow and after five minutes both teams were locked up at 2-2. The T-Birds then started to heat up and carried a 17-6 lead halfway through the first. The first half finished 30-18 with SUUmaintaining the lead.

Portland State struggled offensively and it would continue that way for the rest of the game.

The T-Birds gained offensive firepower in the second half and shot 60 percent from the field, also heating up from behind the arc with a 62 percent average. 

The Vikings had to answer offensively and defensively, but they could not get that done against the T-Birds. Southern Utah finished the game outscoring Portland State 55-39 in the 2nd half.

SUU improved their record to 14-9 overall and 7-5 in the Big Sky Conference. The T-Birds head back on the road next week as they will travel to Sacramento State on Thursday, Feb.13 at 8 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Pluto TV.  


Story by Mike Sims

Photos courtesy of SUU Athletics