First Half Run Leads Southern Utah To Big Win Over UT Rio Grande Valley

Feb 3, 2024, 8:31 PM


Southern Utah's Parsa Fallah (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds blew out the UT Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros, 79-59, following a huge run to close out the first half.

SUU closed out the first half with a 25-7 run.

Zion Young led all scorers with 20. Parsa Fallah added 17 points on 87.5% from the floor.

First Half

Southern Utah and UT Rio Grande Valley went blow-for-blow for much of the first half.

The Thunderbirds forced the Vaqueros to shoot an abysmal percentage from the field but 13 free throw attempts kept UTRGV right in it.

Zion Young had a dominant first half with 20 points on 6/9 from the field. Parsa Fallah was the second-leading scorer for the T-Birds in the half with nine.

SUU did much of its work in the paint early on. They doubled the Vaqueros points in the paint in the first half with 20.

Halfway through the first half, Southern Utah held a one-point lead, 17-16.

UTRGV continued to have an answer for everything that SUU brought on both sides.

Whenever the Thunderbirds made a mistake, it seemed like a Vaquero was right there to clean it up.

But, with six minutes left before halftime, Southern Utah took off.

Led by Young, SUU rattled off 11 unanswered points.

UT Rio Grande Valley was able to stop the bleeding with two quick buckets but the Thunderbirds weren’t done just yet.

Prophet Johnson bookended another run before the half to put Southern Utah up by 20.

The Thunderbirds shot an impressive 58.6% from the field in the first half while holding UTRGV to just 25%.

Southern Utah also had 11 assists to UTRGV’s two.

SUU held the 20-point lead going into the break, 48-28.

Second Half

The second half wasn’t nearly as lopsided but Southern Utah was able to comfortably stay in front.

This didn’t look like the case early on as SUU started the half on a 16-6 run.

Like earlier in the game, UTRGV had an answer ready.

The Vaqueros went on a 13-2 run to get the lead below 20.

SUU continued to get whatever they wanted inside the paint and kept UTRGV out of striking distance.

Young went scoreless in the second half but his production was replaced by Fallah.

He scored 8 points at or near the rim in the second half.

With two minutes left, Southern Utah led by 17, 76-59.

The Thunderbirds locked UTRGV down in the final minutes to walk away with a 20-point win.

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

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First Half Run Leads Southern Utah To Big Win Over UT Rio Grande Valley