Southern Utah Cruises In Second Half To Pick Up 20th Win

Mar 3, 2023, 9:09 PM
Southern Utah Thunderbirds guard Harrison Butler (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)
(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

SALT LAKE CITY – The Thunderbirds led from start to finish on Friday night, winning their 20th game of the season by knocking off California Baptist 81-71.

Southern Utah (20-11, 12-6) closed out the 2023 WAC regular season against California Baptist (16-15, 7-10) on Friday, March 3. This game was played at the America First Event Center in Cedar City, Utah.

The Thunderbirds entered on a two-game losing streak. SUU lost by seven against Sam Houston, struggling from the field in the road loss. Earlier this week, Southern Utah struggled after a fast start against Grand Canyon, losing at home for the first time since November.

The Lancers beat Texas-Rio Grande Valley, 88-70 in their last game.

RELATED: Thunderbirds Start Hot, Fall Flat In Second-Half Of Loss To GCU

Jason Spurgin led four Thunderbirds in double-figures. Drake Allen added 15 points and eight assists. Maizen Fausett scored 12 and Harrison Butler added 11 points and a team-high eight rebounds in the win.

Cal-Baptist saw four players reach double figures with former Utah Ute Riley Battin leading the way with 19 points. Scotty Washington added 15 points in the loss.

First Half

Southern Utah opened the scoring with a 7-0 run. Jason Spurgin made two baskets in the paint sandwiched around a Harrison Butler three.

SUU took their largest lead of the night when Butler’s fifth point gave them a 29-22 advantage with 6:26 left in the half.

RELATED: Southern Utah Struggles From Field In Loss To Sam Houston

SUU would take a 44-39 halftime lead.

Second Half

Taran Armstrong scored the Lancer’s first six points of the half but CBU struggled to make headway, trailing 51-45 after Drake Allen found Maizen Fausett for a three with 17:29 left in the game.

RELATED: Southern Utah Thunderbirds Take Care Of Business Against Arlington

The Thunderbirds used a 14-5 run early in the half to open up a double digit lead.

Later in the half, Allen found Spurgin for a throwdown that gave the Thunderbirds a 72-55 lead with 8:35 left.

California Baptist closed the game on an 8-0 run but still came up short. SUU picked up the 81-71 win.

Up Next

Southern Utah travels to Las Vegas for the WAC postseason tournament. Played at The Orleans Arena, the men’s tournament will be played Tuesday, March 7- Saturday, March 11.

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Southern Utah Cruises In Second Half To Pick Up 20th Win