Utah Tech Fights Off Southern Utah’s Comeback Attempt For Rivalry Win

Feb 4, 2023, 9:25 PM | Updated: 9:27 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Tech men’s basketball team held off a valiant comeback attempt by the Southern Utah Thunderbirds for an in-state, in-conference rivalry victory.

The Trailblazers hosted the Thunderbirds at Burns Arena in St. George, Utah on Saturday, February 4.

Utah Tech beat Southern Utah, 86-79.

The Blazers beat the T-Birds behind a wire-to-wire performance.

35 seconds into the contest, Tanner Christensen made a layup for the game’s first points and gave Utah Tech an early 2-0 lead. The Trailblazers would never tie or trail the remainder of the night.

The Blazers built their advantage up to 22 points later in the opening half and took a 47-30 lead into the locker room at the break. After halftime, the Thunderbirds battled back and cut the Trailblazers’ lead to single digits.

Southern Utah outscored Utah Tech by 10 points over the final 20 minutes of game time. However, the Blazers’ early lead was enough for them to hold on.

The Trailblazers shot 52.7 percent overall and 47.4 percent from beyond the arc. The T-Birds finished the game shooting 41.4 percent from the floor, including 40.0 percent from three.

Four Utah Tech players reached double figures in scoring. Cameron Gooden led Utah Tech with a game-high 26 points on 8-18 shooting. He also had four rebounds, six assists, and one steal. Christensen poured in 21 points on 9-12 field goals. Frank Staine scored 11 points off the bench.

Five Thunderbirds scored 10 or more points. Maizen Fausett led SUU with 19 points on 7-14 shooting. Jason Spurgin and Drake Allen combined to score 26 points. Cameron Healy led Southern Utah’s second unit with 12 points.

With the result, the Blazers improved their record to 11-13 overall and 3-8 in Western Athletic Conference action. The T-Birds dropped to a 16-8 record, including 8-3 in league play.

Utah Tech’s next game is on the road against the Seattle University Redhawks on Wednesday, February 8 at 8 p.m. (MDT). The game will be streamed on ESPN+.

SUU’s next contest is at home against the Tarleton State Texans on Thursday, February 9 at 7 p.m. (MDT). That game will also be streamed on ESPN+.

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Utah Tech Fights Off Southern Utah’s Comeback Attempt For Rivalry Win