SOUTHERN UTAH THUNDERBIRDS

Southern Utah Basketball Struggles In Blowout Loss To Grand Canyon Lopes

Feb 10, 2024, 8:23 PM

Dominique-Ford-Southern-Utah-Mens-Basketball...

Southern Utah's Dominique Ford (Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

(Courtesy of SUU Athletics)

PHOENIX – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds fell behind early against the Grand Canyon Lopes and couldn’t make their way back into the game.

Turnovers and rebounding doomed the T-Birds in Global Credit Union Arena. The Lopes had eight fewer turnovers and 21 more rebounds.

The Thunderbird will return home for a game against Seattle U on Thursday, February 15.

First Half

Southern Utah started strong in Phoenix and kept it close against the favored Lopes.

After Dominique Ford put SUU on the board with a layup, Jamari Sibley nailed a three from the top of the key.

Grand Canyon’s offense was able to generate good looks with ease but the T-Birds weathered the storm for as long as possible.

With 11 minutes left in the half, GCU led by two, 10-8.

The Lopes took off after that. They went on a 10-1 run to open a double-digit lead.

After Ford made a three to stop the bleeding, Grand Canyon got right back to business.

They scored nine unanswered points to go up by 17.

Southern Utah continued to fight to try and close the gap.

The Thunderbirds were able to close the lead to 10 before the Lopes went on another big run.

GCU scored 11 straight points to take their biggest lead of the first half at 21.

Luckily for SUU, they clutched up just before halftime with two big shots to get the lead back under 20.

The Thunderbirds shot 40% from the floor and 33.3% from deep in the first half. Ford led the way with 9 points.

SUU had two more turnovers and five fewer offensive rebounds. They went into the break down by 16.

Second Half

The second half didn’t go much better for Southern Utah.

The Lopes quickly opened the lead back up to 20.

The Thunderbirds fought hard to make it competitive but it seemed like GCU had an answer for everything they tried.

With ten minutes left in the game, Southern Utah trailed by 25, 68-43.

Ford continued to lead SUU’s offense. Whether it was at the rim or behind the arc, Ford found a way to get it to go.

He would finish with 23 points. Southern Utah’s second-leading scorer was Prophet Johnson with 12.

Down the final stretch, the Lopes continued to build on their lead.

The Lopes were on fire from downtown. They made 42.1% of their triples.

Southern Utah fell to 9-15 on the season with the 94-65 loss to the Grand Canyon Lopes.

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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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Southern Utah Basketball Struggles In Blowout Loss To Grand Canyon Lopes