The Southern Utah University men’s basketball team fell 86-78 to the Colorado Buffaloes on Dec. 21. The loss snapped the Thunderbirds’ four-game winning streak, and their record fell to 8-5.
SUU held their own in the first half of the game and were the first to put points on the board. The lead changed five times before Colorado took control. SUU managed to keep the Buffaloes to just a four-point lead going into halftime. The Thunderbirds kept it close for the first 10 minutes of the second half but eventually trailed by as many as 14 points. Despite cutting down the deficit down to just single digits, they ultimately lost by eight.
Senior guard Harrison Butler, who played 35 of the 40 minutes, led the team in scoring. He put up a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds, all defensive. Senior guard Tevian Jones, graduate guard Cam Healy, and senior forward Maizen Fausett all contributed with their own double-digit scoring efforts. Jones also went four for four at the freethrow line, and Healy and Fausett each made three shots beyond the arc. Jason Spurgin helped on the defensive side with five blocks.
KJ Simpson and Tristan da Silva both passed the 20-point mark for Colorado. Da Silva also collected 10 rebounds, giving him a double-double. With Colorado’s win, head coach Tad Boyle is now the winningest men’s basketball coach in school history. It was his 262th victory in 13 years with the Buffaloes.
Turnovers were a problem for SUU throughout the game. They gave up 15 turnovers, allowing the Buffaloes to score 14 points off of them. SUU also struggled with defense near the basket and gave up 52 points in the paint. Their main strength came from long-range shooting, as they made 12 three-point shots compared to Colorado’s three.
The Thunderbirds’ next game will be the start of conference play. They will travel to Las Cruces to take on Western Athletic Conference opponent New Mexico State University on Wednesday, Dec. 28. SUU will look for their first-ever win against the Aggies. The game will take place at 7 p.m. MST at the Pan American Center and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Story and photo by: Anden Garfield