Southern Utah Can’t Make Up Ground, Falls To Abilene Christian Wildcats

Feb 29, 2024, 8:29 PM

Southern Utah Thunderbirds Abilene Christian Wildcats College Basketball...

(Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics)

(Photo courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics)

CEDAR CITY, Utah – The Southern Utah Thunderbirds fell flat against the Abilene Christian Wildcats and lost by nine in front of the home crowd.

Zion Young led SUU in scoring with 19. Parsa Fallah, Dominique Ford, and Braden Housley all had 10.

The T-Birds lost the rebounding battle by 17 and made one less three despite attempting 11 more than ACU.

First Half

The T-Birds and the Wildcats went back and forth in the first half.

After Parsa Fallah got SUU started with a short jump shot, Zion Young gave Southern Utah a 5-4 lead with a triple.

Abilene Christian stayed on the attack and pulled away a bit with two straight makes from deep.

Southern Utah kept it close but ACU held the lead for the majority of the first half off of their early advantage.

Young tried his hardest to put the T-Birds out in front though. He was the leading scorer for SUU in the half with 13 and made three threes in the first seven minutes.

Outside of Young, no one could really get much going.

Southern Utah shot just 39.3% from the field and 36.4% from deep in the first half. Abilene Christian had an overall better shot selection and made 54.8% of their attempts.

Despite all of this, SUU was right on the Wildcats’ tail for the entire 20 minutes.

The Thunderbirds got outrebounded 22-12 in the first half but that stat wasn’t really noticed until the final seconds of the half.

ACU got an offensive rebound with less than five seconds left and found a shooter on the three-point line to increase the lead to six going into the break.

Second Half

Two easy looks at the rim for ACU increased their lead to 10 in the opening minutes of the half.

Southern Utah clapped back and closed the lead with some open shots from outside.

The Thunderbirds were able to get within one possession before the Wildcats had enough.

Abilene Christian went on an 18-9 run and reopened a double-digit advantage.

It seemed like every time Southern Utah switched it up, the Wildcats had a response.

SUU was unable to get the lead back below 10 and ACU kept generating easy buckets.

With three minutes left, the Thunderbirds trailed by 11, 73-62.

Southern Utah closed the lead down to 9 but couldn’t do more than that.

The T-Birds dropped to 9-19 on the season with the home loss to Abilene Christian.

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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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Southern Utah Can’t Make Up Ground, Falls To Abilene Christian Wildcats