LAS CRUCES, N.M. The Southern Utah men's basketball squad opened Western Athletic Conference play with a 79-75 road win against defending WAC champion New Mexico State.  Thanks to 10 three-pointers, the T-Birds managed to overcome consistent foul trouble throughout with four players having four or more fouls as part of a 23-foul tally for SUU. Southern Utah improved to 9-5 (1-0 WAC), while NMSU fell to 7-6 (0-1 WAC).

Career-Scoring Charts
Senior guard Tevian Jones led the way for the Thunderbirds in scoring with 20 points, including five trifectas.  That pushed Jones' SUU career scoring tally to 1,072 points, while now having 1,170 points in his career including some time spent at Illinois.

Senior forward Maizen Fausett turned in 10 points (1,254 career), while senior guard Harrison Butler turned in nine points (1,248 career) as both drew ever closer to Jackson Stevenett's 1,273 points from 2010-13 to stand sixth all-time for the Thunderbirds.

Sophomore guard Drake Allen scored 14 points, while sophomore center Jason Spurgin played through exhaustion with his standard substitute freshman Parsa Fallah at home. Spurgin scored 12 points and nearly had a double-double with nine rebounds before fouling out with five minutes to play.  Graduate guard Cameron Healy also scored in double figures with 11 points.

Additionally, graduate guard Cameron Healy notched 12 points against the Buffaloes.  Meanwhile, Spurgin matched Butler's 11-rebound performance with 11 caroms of his own.

1,710; Davor Marcelic (1989-1992)
1,568; Jeff Monaco (1997-2001)
1,434; Dre Marin (2017-2022)
1,300; James McGee (2014-2018)
1,297; Richard Barton (1989-1993)
1,273; Jackson Stevenett (2010-2013)
1,254; Maizen Fausett (ACTIVE)
1,248; Harrison Butler (ACTIVE)

1,223; John Knight III (2019-2022)
1,205; Davis Baker (2007-2010)
1,072; Tevian Jones (ACTIVE)

T-Bird Tidbits

  • Southern Utah sank 10 three pointers, just a few deep shots off the school record of 16 against Northern Arizona on Dec. 31, 2016.
  • Defensively, the 'Birds were active scoring 25 points off 16 Aggie turnovers.

First Half
After New Mexico State raced its way to a 10-0 lead with 16:13 on the clock, Drake Allen ended the run with a layup followed by a free throw to cut the lead to 10-3 with 16:03 left. A Jason Spurgin dunk with 14:52 on the clock cut NMSU's lead to 12-5.  That dunk triggered a quick 4-2 burst by SUU to shave New Mexico State's lead to 14-9 with 12:28 to go in the half.

Southern Utah then drilled back-to-back three-pointers to take a 15-14 lead as Tevian Jones and Cameron Healy both splashed from deep to take the lead with 10:!4 on the clock.

The squads traded three-pointer to leave SUU up, 18-17, with 9:36 to play.  Jones drained his second three-pointer to retake the lead. Jones drilled another trifecta to push the SUU lead to 21-17 with 8:21 on the clock.  Healy then ran the SUU run to 16-3 with a layup to grab a 23-17 advantage heading into a media timeout at 7:54.  Healy converted on the old-fashioned three-point play to improve the lead to 24-17 following the break from play.

Jones, definitely on fire, uncorked a long-distance three-pointer from near half-court to push SUU up 27-19 with 7:07 on the clock.

After NMSU chopped the lead to 27-24 with 4:47 on the clock, Dee Barnes splashed a three-pointer of his own to leave the 'Birds up 30-24 heading into the final media timeout at 3:34. Healy sunk another triple to move Southern Utah up, 33-24, with 3:00 on the clock

Stepping away from an Aggie defender flying in to effect his shot, Jones canned a corner three with 55 seconds to play for a 37-29 advantage. NMSU hit a three-pointer of its own, leaving the half-time deficit to 37-32.

Second Half
After more than two minutes of scoreless play, Harrison Butler joined the three-point party to grab a 40-32 lead with 17:25 on the clock.  Following a New Mexico State dunk, Jason Spurgin scored two points down low to extend the SUU lead to 44-36.  Spurgin converted the three-point play with a made free throw for the 45-36 lead at 16:10 on the clock.

Tevian Jones slashed his way to a left-handed layup with 14:47 on the clock to push SUU up 47-40. After a pair of Aggie free throws, Drake Allen banked a jumper off the glass to lead 49-42 at 14:09.  NMSU flushed a dunk before SUU went on a quick 4-0 run thanks to Spurgin and Maizen Fausett layups to take a 53-44 lead with 13:01 on the clock.

After the squads traded a pair of free throws, Butler backed down his defender then banked a jumper in the paint off the glass to give SUU an 11-point lead, 56-45, with 11:17 on the clock. Drake Allen then drilled another SUU triple to grab a 12-point lead, 59-47, with 10:25 to go.

Spurgin pushed the lead to 61-47 with a layup after traversing the lane as SUU led with 8:52 on the clock.  NMSU ended a five-minute field-goal drought with a layup to cut the lead to 61-49 with 8:40 on the clock.

Allen stretched the SUU lead to 14 points with a layup as the T-Birds went up 63-49 with 7:52 to play.

The Aggies responded with a 5-0 run during the following 2:25 of action as SUU remained up, 63-54, with 5:27 on the clock. Allen responded by drawing a shooting foul during an inbound play under the basket.  Allen sank both free throws as SUU went up 65-54 with 4:41 to play. Fausett followed with a layup to take a 67-54 lead.

New Mexico State started crashing the paint, drawing multiple free throws down the stretch.  The Aggies cashed in four times at the charity stripe to move to within 67-58 with 4:11 on the clock.  Jones gave SUU a 10-point advantage again with a free throw of his own as SUU went up, 68-58, with 4:01 to play.

Following an Aggie layup, Jones connected two more times at the line as SUU remained in the lead, 70-60, with 2:53 to go.  After an Aggie free throw, Fausett slashed to the lane to keep SUU up, 72-61, with 2:17.

New Mexico State uncorked a 7-0 run to chop SUU's lead to four points, 72-68, with 59 seconds on the clock.  Fausett closed the contest with a clutch offensive rebound off a Jones missed three as the clock wasted away.  Fausett sunk a layup with a free-throw tacked on as Southern Utah moved back up, 75-68, with 30 seconds to go.

Southern Utah managed to hold off a hard-charging Aggie squad down the stretch to win, 79-75


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