Southern Utah Pulls Off Comeback Win, Advances To WAC Championship Game

Mar 10, 2023, 11:55 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2023, 1:05 pm
Southern Utah guard Tevian Jones (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)
(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

LAS VEGAS – The Utah Valley Wolverines matched up with the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference men’s basketball tournament on Thursday.

In the quarterfinals, the Wolverines pulled out a convincing 14-point win over the Tarleton Texans. The Thunderbirds beat the Utah Tech Trailblazers by 1 point.

The winner of the game goes on to play the Grand Canyon University Lopes in the WAC Tournament championship at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday.

First Half

Jason Spurgin opened up scoring for the Thunderbirds with some work in the paint.

The Wolverine offense came out hot. They made all of their first three attempts from the field.

Southern Utah was able to keep it close by forcing five UVU turnovers in the first five minutes.

Halfway through the opening half, Utah Valley led by two, 13-11.

Aziz Bandaogo had a powerful putback slam that followed an SUU run.

Cameron Healy hit a big three to give Southern Utah their biggest lead of the game.

Trey Woodbury was on fire from deep in the first half. He made three of his first five attempts.

The Thunderbirds only had two makes from three as a team.

Woodbury led the way during a 10-1 Wolverine run.


Utah Valley led by eight at the half, 41-33.

Second Half

The Wolverines expanded on their lead to start the second half. They went on an impressive 13-0 run.

Justin Harmon drove to the rim and made a layup plus a foul to give UVU a 20-point lead.

Bandaogo threw down a highlight alley-oop slam.

The Thunderbirds started the second half shooting 1/5 from the field.

Tevian Jones created a three-point play to stop the bleeding for Southern Utah.

Bandaogo caught another lob just minutes later.

SUU went on a run to drop the lead to eleven, 66-55, with ten minutes left in regulation.

The Wolverines answered with a third lob to Bandaogo.

Woodbury continued to shoot the lights out from deep. He had 25 points on 7/11 shooting from behind the arc.

Southern Utah went into a press and forced some UVU turnovers. They were able to drop the lead to 7 with three minutes left.

Harrison Butler hit a big three to drop the Wolverine lead to just five.

Tevian Jones drove to the lead and threw down a poster slam to cut the lead to one.

The pace picked up in the final minutes. The in-state rivals traded baskets down the stretch.

Harmon went to the free-throw line with 15 seconds left and missed both.

Tevian Jones got fouled on a three-pointer and made the shot to tie the game. He made the free throw to give SUU their first lead of the second half.

The Wolverines ran the floor but missed their last-second layup attempt. Southern Utah pulls off the comeback victory, 89-88.

Chandler Holt is a Digital Sports Producer for, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter at @ChandlerHoltKSL.

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Southern Utah Pulls Off Comeback Win, Advances To WAC Championship Game