Fausett Sets Career-High as T-Birds Extend Record Win Streak Against Bethesda

suu vs bethesda

For the second time in four days, Southern Utah University men’s basketball overwhelmed Bethesda University, winning on Monday afternoon by a score of 96-57 at the America First Events Center.

The win marks the final non-conference game of the season for the T-Birds and sets the record for the longest regular season winning streak in program history with seven consecutive wins.

“We wanted to be better than we were defensively on Friday and I thought we did a good job on that end of the floor,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said postgame. “Offensively, we turned it over too much, but some of that was trying to be too unselfish and making too many plays for one another.”

Maizen Fausett finished with a career-high 23 points, including 4-of-4 3FG to go along with eight rebounds.

“I just came out to play and whatever happens happens. The ball just happened to go in,” Fausett said. “I know I can do that, so I’m glad I was finally able to show it.”

The game started with a bang as Dre Marin threw a perfect backside alley-oop to John Knight III on the T-Birds’ opening possession.

A 3-pointer by Flame Garet Rentmeister a few possessions later gave the Flames what would become their final lead of the game 2:38 seconds into the contest at 6-4. Fausett drilled a 3-pointer on the next possession, and the T-Birds would hold onto the lead until the final buzzer.

The Flames remained within striking distance throughout the first half. The teams exchanged baskets before Bethesda found themselves down one point with 14 minutes left after a fastbreak layup by Shaquille Russell.

Simon called timeout and spoke to the team, and his players responded with an 11-0 run over the next six minutes to seize a 23-11 lead.

Consecutive 3-pointers by Aanen Moody and Fausett extended the lead to 17 for SUU, but the Flames battled back and made a layup at the buzzer to trail 38-25 at halftime.

Fausett exploded offensively over the first four minutes of the second half. He scored 10 points before the first media timeout to help extend the lead beyond 20 points.

Hot shooting from Fausett, Tevian Jones and Marin over the next few minutes put the game out of reach.

The T-Birds shot 61% from the field, including 13-of-29 3PFG (45%), to outscore the Flames 58-32 in the second half. 

“We’re a buzzer-beater away from winning all of our non-conference games,” Simon said. “Just the fact that we were able to get all of these games off, in terms of handling the protocols and that stuff, comparatively speaking we’re fortunate to be eight games in, and that’s a testament to our guys taking [COVID-19] seriously.”

Marin scored 13 points and added five rebounds and assists to the winning effort. Jones also finished with 13 points on 6-of-13 from the field. Knight III had a season-high 10 rebounds to go along with 10 points to notch his second double-double in a T-Bird uniform.

SUU outrebounded Bethesda 52 to 25 and held the Flames to just 35% FG. The T-Birds also benefited from an advantage in bench scoring, adding 35 points from non-starters compared to 17 for Bethesda.

The Thunderbirds committed a season-high 23 turnovers in the game, but the team was much more careful with the ball in the second period after coughing it up 17 times in the first half.

Steve Wooten led the way offensively for Bethesda, scoring 16 points but committing seven turnovers. Rentmeister (4-of-8 3FG) also finished in double figures with 15 points.

Southern Utah will be back with Big Sky Conference action on Dec. 31 when the team travels to Bozeman to take on Montana State University. 

Story by: Connor Sanders
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication