The Southern Utah University men’s basketball team completed a two-game series sweep against Northern Arizona University Friday with a 92-62 win in Flagstaff.
The Thunderbirds had another high scoring night with four players reaching double digits and 10 players contributing in the scoring column.
Dre Marin led all scorers on the night with 20 points and shot 3-for-7 from deep in just 14 minutes of play. That makes it back-to-back 20 point games for the four year senior. Maizen Fausett had 18 points and snagged seven rebounds while Tevian Jones tacked on another 17 points for the T-Birds.
Nik Mains continued his hot streak for NAU and poured in 19 points on 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-6 from three point range. Luke Avdalovic was the only other Lumberjack in double digits with 11.
The biggest takeaway from Friday’s ballgame was that Cam Shelton, the Big Sky’s leading scorer only had seven points on 2-for-9 from the field and was held scoreless in the first half by the Thunderbirds.
Shelton’s first point came on a free throw 15 seconds into the second half, but his first field goal didn’t come until nearly the 13 minute mark. The Lumberjacks as a whole were held to just 40% from the field and only made eight field goals in the second half.
As per the usual, SUU won the rebounding battle once again by a margin of 37-22. However, NAU did shoot the ball well from deep as the team did against SUU on Wednesday, making 41% of their 3-point tries. However, the Lumberjacks shot a dismal 13-for-23 from the free throw line.
Southern Utah did not trail in the contest after jumping out to a quick 11-2 lead three minutes in.
The Lumberjacks responded with a 9-0 run and the lead was cut to two, T-birds just up 25-23. SUU would end up closing out the half with two made field goals by Fausett, one being a corner three, and then a steal and layup by Jones. SUU held a 42-32 lead heading into the half.
The second half was all SUU, outscoring NAU 50-30 in the second 20 minutes of play. The Lumberjacks appeared to find a little bit of life after Luke Avdalovic knocked in back-to-back threes to make it an 11 point game. Avdalovic moved into the No. 6 spot all-time in NAU history for made three point field goals.
But at the 8:37 mark SUU ran an out of bounds play for John Knight III that killed NAU’s comeback attempt. Nick Fleming put the ball right where it needed to be and Knight flushed it home with force. The Lumberjacks then turned it over on the next possession — leading to a Jones made 3-pointer — and the lead only grew the rest of the way.
With the win, the Thunderbirds complete the season sweep of NAU and improve to 10-2 in conference play and 17-3 overall. The T-birds will close out the regular season with a two-game series against Portland State University. Both games will be played in Portland on Thursday, March 4th, at 8pm, and Saturday, March 6th, at 1 pm.
Story by: Parker Haynie
Photo by: Mitchell Quartz