SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS

Housley’s Buzzer-Beater Rims Out As Southern Utah Drops Third Straight

Jan 13, 2024, 8:57 PM

Southern-Utah-Thunderbirds-Mens-Basketball...

(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

CEDAR CITY, Utah – You could hear the silence of anticipation as Braden Housley’s half-court shot soared toward the hoop. A silence that was broken with stunned disappointment when the heave bounced harmlessly off the rim as Southern Utah’s comeback fell short in an 84-82 loss.

SUU (5-11, 0-5) hosted the Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks (11-6, 4-2) at the America First Event Center on Saturday, January 13.

Dominique Ford led six Thunderbirds in double-figures with 20 points. Zion Young added 14 while Parsa Fallah had 13 in the loss. Braden Housley finished with 10 points and a team-high seven assists.

First Half

Parsa Fallah got the Thunderbirds started, hitting his first two shots.

It turned into a back-and-forth first half with neither team building a significant advantage. Braden Housley hit a three to give the Thunderbirds a 16-15 lead with 13 minutes left.

Housley’s second triple came at the perfect time as SUU had fallen behind by eight.

Later in the half, Dominique Ford found Prophet Johnson cutting on the baseline with a laser-like precision pass for an easy layup that made the score 27-25 SFA.

Ford did more than pass in the first half as led all scorers with 14 first-half points.

The halftime horn sounded with the score knotted at 43.

Second Half

Housley’s passing showed up early in the second half as the former Skyridge Falcon found Zion Young for a deep three.

Despite shooting 53 percent in the first 27 minutes, Southern Utah struggled because of an inability to get stops. The Lumberjacks had made 24-of-29 (62 percent) shots and 6-of-13 from deep during the same time frame.

Stephen F. Austin held a 66-62 lead with 10:22 left.

The Lumberjacks went on a run to equal their largest lead of the night, going ahead 77-69 on a Sadaidriene Hall fast-break dunk.

With SFA threatening to pull away, Fallah found Young in the corner for an and-one three that made it a one-possession game after the free throw.

The Thunderbird’s run continued with Jamari Sibley making contributions on both ends. Two Sibley free throws tied the game at 82 with 2:32 to play.

Both teams went scoreless down the stretch, leaving SUU with the ball and about five seconds separating shot and game clocks. Housley was whistled for a charge on the final play, giving the Lumberjacks the ball with 7.9 seconds left.

SFA guard AJ Cajuste got by his defender as the clock wound down, tossing up a shot that was goaltended to take an 84-82 lead with less than two seconds left.

Housley tossed up a half-court prayer at the buzzer but the shot rimmed out.

Follow Southern Utah Athletics With KSL Sports

Southern Utah turns its attention to in-state rival Utah Tech (7-9, 3-2) on Thursday, January 18. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. (MT). The Thunderbirds are 4-2 all-time against the Trailblazers, including a 3-0 record at home. SUU swept the two-game series between these programs last year.

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

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Brian Preece is a KSLsports.com insider covering the Utah State Aggies and Salt Lake Bees. Follow Brian’s coverage of the Bees, Big League Utah, and Aggie athletics here.

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Housley’s Buzzer-Beater Rims Out As Southern Utah Drops Third Straight