Hot shooting from junior Tevian Jones lifted Southern Utah University men’s basketball to an 81-71 victory over Utah Valley University on Wednesday in Orem.
Jones led the game in scoring with a career high 33 points, going 6-8 from the free throw line and 5-12 from deep.
Junior forward Maizen Fausett, who was named last week’s Big Sky Player of the Week, scored 19 points on 6-8 shooting and two blocks.
Harrison Butler kept SUU’s offense rolling as he dropped 10 points off the bench on 5-5 FG.
UVU sought out sophomore center Aimaq Fardaws early and often, and the center scored 20 points and 15 rebounds as a result. Sophomore guard Jordan Brinson finished with 18 points on 7-12 shooting and junior guard Trey Woodbury put up 15 points while going 2-4 from deep.
SUU controlled the game from the start and never trailed the Wolverines. The T-Birds forced six turnovers and scored off each of them in the first half.
The T-Birds also outscored the Wolverines in the paint 24-16, which helped them establish a nine point lead heading into the second half.
UVU cut the lead to one point around the 15 minute mark in the second period, but a dunk by Butler and a three-pointer off a UVU turnover put the lead back up to six.
Aimaq hit two free throws on the ensuing possession to cut it back to four before a second chance layup by Fausett would put the T-Birds ahead by six.
That was the closest the Wolverines would come to cutting the T-Birds’ lead.
Despite Aimaq pulling down 15 boards for the Wolverines, the T-Birds outrebounded their opponent 43-33. SUU also won the offensive rebounding battle, 10-5.
The T-Birds’ perimeter defense held the Wolverines to just 1-6 from deep in the second half, while SUU shot 4-11.
Jones’ scoring output increases to 18.8 PPG, good for second in the conference. Knight III, who assisted four baskets in Wednesday’s game, continues to lead the conference in assists per game with 5.4.
SUU improves their record to 4-1 this season, which ties with the 2018-19 team as the best start to a season since the 2000-01 season. UVU drops to 2-2 on the season.
Good team win at in state rival Utah Valley 81-71!!
21 assists on 27 shots along with +11 on the glass were a couple keys for us. 7 players had 4+ rebounds and all 10
players had an assist.
— Todd Simon (@CoachTsimon) December 10, 2020
SUU will use the next eight days to prepare for another Western Athletic Conference opponent, Dixie State University. The Trailblazers and the T-Birds will battle Thursday, December 17, in the America First Event Center.
Story by: Kelton Jacobsen
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication