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Southern Utah Basketball Defeats Utah Tech Following Second-Half Push

Jan 18, 2024, 9:45 PM | Updated: Jan 19, 2024, 1:27 pm

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds men’s basketball team picked up its sixth win of the season over in-state rival Utah Tech on Thursday.

It was a rough shooting night for both sides. The Blazers (40%) actually shot better than the T-Birds (35.2%) from the field.

Dominique Ford led the way for Southern Utah with 23 points. Utah Tech’s leading scorer was Jaylen Searles with 13.

First Half

Utah Tech came out of the gates hot and jumped out to an 8-2 lead.

Six of the Blazers first eight points came at the rim.

When the Thunderbirds went inside for easy baskets, Utah Tech’s big men sent the shots right back.

Southern Utah responded with a three-pointer and a three-point play to tie the game at 8.

Halfway through the first half, SUU took its first lead of the game, 12-11.

The rest of the half was evenly matched as both sides fought to gain the edge.

The difference would end up being the Thunderbird’s three-point shooting.

Utah Tech made just three of their 16 attempts from deep while Southern Utah shot 32% with some timely makes.

After SUU went up by five, Utah Tech tied the game at 26 with two minutes left before the half.

Southern Utah regained the lead and went into the break up by three, 31-28.

Second Half

The Thunderbirds opened up the second half with another make from downtown.

Three of SUU’s seven makes from deep came after halftime.

Utah Tech came back with a 6-2 run to close the lead to two.

Noa Gonsalves got a transition bucket to go plus a foul to put some momentum on UTT’s side.

Over the next seven minutes, Utah Tech and Southern Utah went back and forth on both ends.

Makes were followed with makes and both sides got big stops.

SUU’s Brock Felder rose up for a nasty rejection on an alley-oop dunk with 11 minutes left.

Following the midpoint of the half, Southern Utah took control.

The Thunderbirds scored 13 unanswered points and built their biggest lead of the game at 14.

Utah Tech attempted to stop the bleeding but never fully recovered.

They closed the lead down to seven but Southern Utah had gained a clear advantage.

Prophet Johnson hit the dagger with less than a minute left.

Home-court advantage played a huge part as Southern Utah defeated Utah Tech to improve to 6-11 on the season.

The 75-65 loss was the tenth of the season for Utah Tech as they fell to 7-10.

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Chandler Holt is a co-host for the Jazz Notes podcast and a Digital Sports Producer for KSLSports.com, specializing in all things basketball and football. Follow Chandler on Twitter @ChandlerHoltKSL or on Threads @chandlerho1t.

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