SUU Advances To Big Sky Quarterfinals With Win Over Idaho State
BOISE, Idaho – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds had a slow start to their first round matchup in the Big Sky Conference Tournament, but a strong second half gives them a 94-80 win over Idaho State.
Five SUU players reached double figures, led by Andre Adams with 23 points on 9-of-16 shooting to with his 8 rebounds. Brandon Better dropped 17 points off the bench, while Jacob Calloway contributed 15 points.
Alonzo Walker was Idaho State’s leading scorer with 17 points on 6-for-10 shooting. Sam Dowd chipped in 12 points. Their best player Brandon Boyd was held to just 9 points after averaging 14.4 points per game this season.
Southern Utah dominated the boards with 36 rebounds and limiting the Bengals to 22.
Big Runs For Both Teams
The Bengals got off to a great start, hitting three of their first four three-pointers and had a 15-4 lead, just five minutes into the game.
Southern Utah battled back quickly with a 16-5 run to tie the game at 20 with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Late in the first half, both teams were exchanging the lead and keeping the game close.
Idaho State took a 41-40 lead into the halftime break.
Alonzo Walker had 11 points in the opening half to lead ISU, while Andre Adams and Dre Marin each had 8 points in the first 20 minutes.
Thunderbirds Pull Away Late
Southern Utah start the second half on a 9-6 run to take a 49-47 lead, just four minutes into the half.
The Thunderbirds took their biggest lead of the game to that point, when they had a 60-54 advantage with 13 minutes remaining.
They pushed their lead to 13 with 9 minutes left but the Bengals went on a 9-0 run to trim the lead to 4 with 5 minutes remaining.
Bengals center Kelvin Jones fouled out with 3 minutes left, trailing by 4 points, but Jones picked up a technical foul as well.
That sequence basically sealed the deal for the Thunderbirds.
Southern Utah advances to the quarterfinals of the Big Sky Conference Tournament and will play No. 2 Northern Colorado on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. on Pluto TV channel 231.
UNC won both meetings this season with a 79-68 win on January 24 in Greeley, Colorado and a 70-53 victory on March 7 in Cedar City, Utah.