SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS

Southern Utah Fails To Keep Pace With Grand Canyon In WAC Tournament Final

Mar 11, 2023, 11:54 PM | Updated: 11:58 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Southern Utah men’s basketball team fell short in Western Athletic Conference Tournament Final by suffering a loss to the Grand Canyon Lopes.

The Thunderbirds and Lopes played at Orleans Arena on Saturday, March 11.

SUU fell to Grand Canyon, 84-66.

The T-Birds and Lopes opened the evening with a back-and-forth battle for the first portion of the contest. Southern Utah owned a one-point lead thanks to a Harrison Butler jumper with 6:30 remaining in the first half.

After Butler’s bucket, Yvan Ouedraogo connected on a jump shot of his own. Ouedraogo’s shot gave Grand Canyon a 27-26 lead. The Lopes owned the lead for the remainder of the contest.

By halftime, Grand Canyon had built its lead to double-digits. The Lopes took a 44-31 advantage on the scoreboard into the locker room at the break.

In the second half, GCU stretched its lead to a high of 18 points and coasted down the stretch.

Southern Utah finished the night shooting 34.9 percent from the field, including 34.8 percent on three-pointers. Grand Canyon shot 54.5 percent overall and a blazing 65.0 percent from downtown.

The Lopes had 10 more rebounds and dished out 11 more assists than the Thunderbirds.

Three T-Birds hit double figures in scoring. Tevian Jones led Southern Utah with 17 points on 6-12 shooting, including 3-6 from distance. Maizen Fausett poured in 12 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Butler added 11 points. SUU’s second unit combined to score 14 points.

The Lopes had three player score more than 16 points. Rayshon Harrison dropped a game-high 31 points. Gabe McGlothan poured in 21 points. Noah Baumann added 16 points off the bench.

With the win, Grand Canyon secured the Western Athletic Conference’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

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

With the loss, Southern Utah fell to a 22-12 record this season. The Trailblazers went 0-2 against the Lopes this season. Southern Utah suffered an 83-78 loss at home to Grand Canyon on March 1.

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Southern Utah Fails To Keep Pace With Grand Canyon In WAC Tournament Final