Thunderbirds Pull Away Late To Win Second Straight Game

Dec 30, 2023, 8:22 PM | Updated: 8:23 pm


(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds used a second-half push to pull away from the Pioneers in a 95-78 win.

The Thunderbirds (5-8, 0-2) hosted the University of Antelope Valley (9-3) at the America First Event Center in Cedar City on Saturday, December 30.

RELATED: Thunderbirds Overcome Early Deficit To Defeat MTSU

Braden Housley led SUU with 22 points, six assists, and four steals. Dominique Ford added 19 points while Zion Young contributed 16 and Chazz Hutchison finished with 10 points. Prophet Johnson had a double-double, grabbing 13 boards to go with 11 points.

First Half

Leading 5-4 in the opening minutes, Brock Felder’s first career triple gave the Thunderbirds a four-point advantage with 16:30 left in the half.

RELATED: Last Second Three Ends SUU Upset Bid In Bozeman

Two minutes later, Dominque Ford blew by his defender at the top of the key before drawing the foul and hitting the bucket to give his team a 15-8 lead.

Later in the half, good passing created a dunk chance for Felder. The 6’8 freshman from Parowan HS threw down a thunderous slam on the assist from Ford.

Both teams shot 44 percent in the opening half but SUU took a seven-point halftime lead thanks to 7-of-13 made threes and nine UAV turnovers compared to six for the Thunderbirds.

Second Half

Zion Young opened the second half in style for SUU, forcing a turnover and getting behind the defense for a dunk.

Later in the half with Southern Utah leading by 11, Prophet Johnson’s outlet pass found Ford for a dunk and 59-46 lead.

With 11 minutes left, Braden Housley turned the corner and got all the way the the hoop for a right-handed layup that gave his team a nine-point lead.

The Thunderbirds pulled away late for a 95-78 win.

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Southern Utah continues Western Athletic Conference play when they welcome Grand Canyon University (11-1, 2-0) on Thursday, January 4. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (MT). SUU is 0-3 all-time against the Antelopes, including an 84-66 loss at GCU on March 11 last season.

KSL Sports coverage of Southern Utah Athletics can be found here.

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Thunderbirds Pull Away Late To Win Second Straight Game