This week the Southern Utah University Thunderbirds continued Western Athletic Conference play against the New Mexico State University Aggies at home. Southern Utah beat the Aggies 111–76. Their following was against the red-hot Seattle University Redhawks, who beat the Thunderbirds 81–60.
SUU is now 6–2 in WAC play and has an overall record of 14-7.
Southern Utah versus New Mexico State
SUU’s No.1 offense was on full display on Thursday, Jan. 19. The Thunderbirds made a program-record 20 three-pointers against the Aggies, 14 of which came in the first half. Southern Utah shot 57.1% on three-point attempts and 63.8% from the field. There were six Thunderbirds to score double-figure points.
Senior guard Tevian Jones led all scorers with 18 points. He shot 50% from three and dished out five assists. Jones and fifth-year forward Maizen Fausett were greedy on defense, racking up three steals apiece.
Defensively, Jason Spurgin controlled the paint. The sophomore center had four blocks and scored eight points down low for Southern Utah.
Fausett and senior guard Harrison Butler scored 15 points each. Butler shot 60% from beyond the arc with a pair from deep three-point range. He racked up five rebounds and dished out three assists. Fausett shot a perfect 100% from the floor and hauled in seven rebounds. He only missed one free throw on eight attempts.
Three of SUU’s double-digit scorers came off the bench. Senior guard Dee Barnes had 14 points on 4-5 shooting from three-point land. Cameron Healy shot lights out as well. The graduate guard from Australia went 4-7 from three and finished with 12 points. Freshman center Parsa Fallah scored 10 points on a perfect 4-4 from the floor.
The record-breaking three was made by junior guard Zion Young. In two and a half minutes of play, Young went 3-3 from downtown and finished with nine points. This propelled Southern Utah’s bench to outscore New Mexico State 47-26.
Southern Utah versus Seattle
In basketball, you live by the three and you die by the three. After a historic performance at home, the Thunderbirds went 1-25 and could not buy a three-point basket. Southern Utah shot an inefficient 4% on three-point attempts and 35% from the field against Seattle. Seattle entered the locker room up 36-34 and outscored the Thunderbirds 45-26 in the second half.
The Thunderbirds outscored the Redhawks 44-28 in the paint, but Seattle’s 13 made threes was the difference maker. Seattle shot 37% from distance and 46% in total. The Redhawks shared the ball well and racked up 15 team assists.
WAC Player of the Week Riley Rigsby had a career night. The senior guard had a career-high seven made three-pointers, three steals and 33 points. Rigsby shot 58.3% from three-point land and 65% on all shot attempts.
Junior guard Cameron Tyson shot 35% from the field and 20% on three-point attempts. Although he shot inefficiently, Tyson still scored 19 points and hauled in seven rebounds.
Jones finished the game with a double-double, but it was not enough to get past the No. 1 team in the WAC. He hauled in 10 rebounds and racked up 21 points. Jones went 5-6 from the charity stripe and 8-17 from the field.
Spurgin and Fausett both reached double figures in the scoring column. Fausett went 8-15 from the floor and scored 16 points while Spurgin shot 4-11 from the field and finished with 10 points. Both hauled in six rebounds apiece.
The Thunderbirds will host the Utah Valley University Wolverines on Thursday, Jan. 26, at 7 p.m. MST. Fans can also watch on ESPN+.
Article by: Chevy Blackburn
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