Southern Utah Beats North Alabama To Advance In CBI

Mar 18, 2023, 2:37 PM | Updated: 4:26 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – The Southern Utah men’s basketball team advanced from the first round of the CBI with a victory over the North Alabama Lions.

The No. 4 seed Thunderbirds and No. 13 seed Lions played at Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Florida on Saturday, March 18.

SUU defeated North Alabama, 72-50. It was Flynn Clayman’s first victory as interim head coach of the T-Birds. Former Southern Utah head coach Todd Simon was recently hired as head coach of the Bowling Green Falcons.

The Thunderbirds advanced to the second round of the tournament with the win.

Southern Utah captured the victory thanks to a second half comeback.

After taking a 2-0 lead 22 seconds into the game, the Thunderbirds quickly trailed the Lions. North Alabama built up its lead to 11 points during the first half before Southern Utah stormed back. At halftime, the T-Birds and Lions were knotted on the scoreboard at 34-34. Following the break, the Thunderbirds blitzed the Lions.

Southern Utah opened the second half on an 8-0 run. The Thunderbirds’ advantage grew to double-digits in no time. During the final 20 minutes of game time, SUU owned a lead of 22 points before cruising down the strech.

Southern Utah won the second half, 38-16.

The Thunderbirds finished the afternoon shooting 37.3 percent overall and 34.6 percent from behind the arc. The Lions shot 29.9 percent from the field, including 29.2 percent from downtown.

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

Four Thunderbirds scored more than 12 points in the contest. Jason Spurgin led the T-Birds with a massive double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds. He added one steal and three blocks as well.

Dallas Howell led North Alabama with 13 points.

Southern Utah’s next game will be in the second round against the winner of No. 5 Duquesne and No. 12 Rice. The Dukes and Owls square off on Sunday, March 19 at 11 a.m. (MDT). SUU’s second round game will take place on Monday, March 20 at 2:30 p.m. (MDT).

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Southern Utah Beats North Alabama To Advance In CBI