Southern Utah Holds Off Abilene Christian For First Win Of 2023

Jan 7, 2023, 8:40 PM

Tevian Jones - Southern Utah Thunderbirds...

Southern Utah guard Tevian Jones (Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics)

(Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Southern Utah men’s basketball team fought off the Abilene Christian Wildcats to earn their first victory of the new calendar year.

The Wildcats hosted the Thunderbirds at Moody Coliseum in Abilene, Texas on Saturday, January 7.

SUU beat Abilene Christian, 74-72.

The T-Birds held off the Wildcats during the final minute to capture their first win of 2023.

It was a neck-and-neck night between Southern Utah and Abilene Christian for much of the contest. During the first 12 minutes of the first half, things were tight between the two teams before the Wildcats built a double-digit lead on the scoreboard.

Abilene Christian took a five-point advantage into the locker room at halftime, 30-25.

After the break, the Thunderbirds caught fire on offense to battle back.

Over the final 20 minutes of game time, Southern Utah scored 49 points and won the second half by seven points en route to victory.

SUU finished the night shooting 55.8 percent overall and 36.4 percent from beyond the arc. Abilene Christian shot 39.7 percent from the floor, including 20.0 percent from downtown.

The Thunderbirds committed 12 more turnovers than the Wildcats but used a plus-17 advantage in rebounds to control possession during the contest.

Three Thunderbirds reached double figures in scoring. Tevian Jones led the T-Birds with a game-high 28 points. Jones’ total came on 9-12 shooting, including 4-6 on three-pointers. He added four rebounds, one assist, one steal, and a block in 36 minutes on the court.

Maizen Fausett and Drake Allen combined for 21 points on 7-9 field goals. Martel Williams led Southern Utah’s second unit with nine points in 20 minutes off the bench.

Five Wildcats scored 10 points or more. Cameron Steele led Abilene Christian with 16 points off the bench.

With the win, the Thunderbirds improved their record to 11-6 this season, including 3-1 in Western Athletic Conference games.

Southern Utah’s next game is at home against Sam Houston on Thursday, January 12 at 7 p.m. (MDT). The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

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Southern Utah Holds Off Abilene Christian For First Win Of 2023