T-Birds End Season With 2OT Loss to Eastern Kentucky
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. The Southern Utah men's basketball team ran out of steam in a double-overtime thriller as its season came to an end with a 108-106 loss to Eastern Kentucky in the semifinals of the Discount Tire College Basketball Invitational on Tuesday, March 21. Southern Utah closed its season with a 24-13 mark as Eastern Kentucky improved to 23-13.
That's the second most wins ever in school history for the Thunderbirds, trailing only the 25 wins from the 2001 NCAA Tournament team.
Graduate guard Cameron Healy (23) and sophomore guard Drake Allen (22) led the way for the Thunderbirds in the loss with both eclipsing the 20-point mark. Healy did his damage from the three-point line with seven made threes to tie Dre Marin'spostseason school record of seven triples made against Kent State in last year's Basketball Classic.
In sum, five T-Birds cracked into double digits for scoring. Senior guard Dee Barnes scored 17 points, while senior guard Tevian Jones tallied 16 points.
Senior forward Harrison Butler also scored in double figures with 12 points as part of a 12-point/10-rebound double-double. He's just the second Thunderbird to post a double-double in postseason play alongside sophomore center Jason Spurgin's16 points and 17 rebounds against North Alabama in the first round of the CBI.
Senior forward Maizen Fausett chipped in nine points as three of the most prolific scorers in school history played in their final games as Thunderbirds.
Fausett finished his career with a third-ranked 1565 points along with a school-record 965 rebounds Butler completed his time in Cedar City with a fourth-ranked tally of 1468 points to go with 901 rebounds as Fausett and Butler are the lone members of the 1400-point/900-rebound club at Southern Utah. Jones finished with a fifth-ranked tally of 1454 points with a final NCAA Division I scoring total of 1551 points thanks to some time at Illinois.
1,710; Davor Marcelic (1989-1992)
1,568; Jeff Monaco (1997-2001)
1,565; Maizen Fausett (ACTIVE)
1,468; Harrison Butler (ACTIVE)
1,454; Tevian Jones (ACTIVE) (1,551 overall)
1,434; Dre Marin (2017-2022)
1,300; James McGee (2014-2018)
1,297; Richard Barton (1989-1993)
1,273; Jackson Stevenett (2010-2013)
1,223; John Knight III (2019-2022)
1,205; Davis Baker (2007-2010)
Sophomore center Jason Spurgin finished his season with seven points, eight rebounds, two assists, a block, and a steal. His season tally of 63 blocks puts him second for a single season behind only Matt Hodgson's school record of 64 from 2009-10. Spurgin now stands fourth all-time in school history with 95 career blocks. Sean Allen holds the career record with 113 from 1993-95.
Spurgin's field goal percentage of .595 is the fifth-best in school history. He owns the school record with a .645 clip thanks to a 109/169 effort from 2021-22. He also currently holds the school record for career field goal percentage with a .609 success clip.
Single Season Records
64 Matt Hodgson (2009-2010)
63 Jason Spurgin (2022-2023)
60 Jayson Cheesman (2012-2013)
60 Sean Allen (1994-1995)
53 Sean Allen (1993-1994)
FG % 150 Attempts min.
0.645 Jason Spurgin (2021-22)
0.624 John Clifford (2008-2009)
0.613 Casey Oliverson (2014-2015)
0.603 Scott Brown (1978-1979)
0.595 Jason Spurgin (2022-2023)
FG % (375 Attempts min.)
0.609 Jason Spurgin (ACTIVE)
0.598 Andre Adams (2018-2020)
0.568 Dana Achtzehn (1990-1992)
0.567 Casey Oliverson (2013-2016)
0.567 Geoff Payne (2007-2008)
113 Sean Allen (1993-1995)
99 Matt Hodgson (2009-2011)
98 Ivan Madunic (2016-2021)
95 Jason Spurgin (ACTIVE)
Century-Mark Scoring Efforts
That's the sixth game in triple digits for the prolific Thunderbird offense. The T-Birds previously put up 100 or more points five times this season.
127 vs. Bethesda (67), Nov. 14, 2022
120 vs. West Coast Baptist (49), Dec. 6, 2022
117 vs. La Verne (55), Nov. 10, 2022
106 vs. Northern Arizona (101), Dec. 17, 2022
111 vs. New Mexico State (76), Jan. 19, 2023
106 vs. Eastern Kentucky (108), Mar. 21, 2023
That's the most 100-point performances in a season since the 1991-92 campaign when the Thunderbirds managed the feat seven times.
101 vs. Nebraska (106), Nov. 30, 1991
102 vs. Weber State (89), Dec. 14, 1991
104 vs. San Diego State (82), Dec. 28, 1991
109 vs. Fort Lewis College (71), Jan. 9, 1992
133 vs. Texas Wesleyan (76), Jan. 25, 1992
100 vs. Northeastern Illinois (73), Jan. 27, 1992
104 vs. Chicago State (78), Feb. 1, 1992
- The 2022-23 campaign proved to be the most successful combined effort in SUU basketball history. With the men's team finishing with a 24-13 record and the women's team making history with a 23-10 record en route to an NCAA tournament bid, Southern Utah Basketball finished with 47 combined wins. Only twice before did SUU clear 40 wins combined with 41 wins last year and in 2000-01.
- Tevian Jones finished the season with 639 points. That's the first most in school history behind Randy Onwuasor's school record of 780.
- Thanks to the double overtime, SUU set all sorts of postseason school records. The 38 made field goals and 79 attempts are a school record. The previous records were 32 made against UTEP in the Basketball Classic and 69 attempts against North Alabama earlier this week.
- The T-Birds went 16-35 from beyond the arc, both postseason marks. The previous marks were 12-29 against Kent State last year.
Maizen Fausett opened the half with a bang as he drained a corner three-pointer to take a 3-0 lead with 19:!1 on the clock. After an EKU layup, Harrison Butler joined the party with a driving layup to push SUU's advantage to 5-2 with 18:25 to go. Following an EKU jumper, Jason Spurgin sank a reverse layup for a 7-4 lead for SUU at 17:48. EKU turned in a 4-0 burst to take an 8-7 lead before Fausett answered with a long jumper to take a 9-8 lead with 16:32 to go before EKU took a 10-9 lead heading into a media timeout with 15:48 on the clock.
Butler canned a three out of the break to grab a 12-10 lead with 15:28 to go. EKU responded by splitting a pair at the line before Fausett took a Drake Allen assist in for a layup to take a 14-11 lead with 14:38 to go. EKU replied with a jumper before Cameron Healy drilled a trey for a 17-13 advantage with 13:36 to play. EKU went on a 4-0 run to tie the game at 17-17 at 11:55 to head into another media timeout.
EKU took the lead out of the break, extending its run to 8-0 to take a 21-17 lead before Dee Barnes fired up the net with a contested triple to pull SUU back to within 21-20 with 10:17 to go. EKU scored another jumper before Barnes sank a corner three to tie the contest at 23-23 with 9:06 to go. Following an EKU jumper, Spurgin laid the ball in for a 25-25 tie with 8:42 on the clock. Barnes swished his third triple from the corner to put SUU up 28-25 with 8:06 to play heading into another media timeout.
After a minute of scoreless play, Allen drove the lane with a layup to put the 'Birds up 30-25 as part of a 7-0 run with 7:04 on the clock. Butler pushed the run to 9-0 with a fastbreak layup to take a 32-25 lead with 6:34 to go. Allen extended the run to 11-0 with a pair of free throws to take a 34-25 advantage with 6:19 on the clock. EKU ended the scoring streak with a layup before Fausett answered with a reverse layup of his own for a 36-27 lead at the 5:22 mark. EKU countered with a jumper before Allen drove the lane for another layup to put the lead back to 38-29 with 3:47 to go. Tevian Jones converted a bullet dime from Allen into a layup to grab a 40-29 advantage with 2:59 heading into another media timeout.
EKU split a pair at the line out of the break to pull to within 10 points, 40-30. EKU pushed the run to 5-0 before Jones scorched the net with a trey to snatch a 43-34 lead for SUU with 1:17 on the clock. After a pair of jumpers from EKU, Healy drilled a triple for a 46-38 advantage with 22 seconds. EKU drained a buzzer-beater three to close the half with SUU up 46-41.
A 4-0 spurt from EKU cut the deficit to one before Drake Allen drove the lane for yet another layup to push SUU back up 48-45 with 18:45 on the clock. After an EKU 5-0 burst put it up 50-48, Allen converted a layup to tie the game at 50-50 with 15:37 to play heading into the media timeout.
Allen completed the three-point play with a free throw out of the break to put SUU back up 51-50 at 15:37. Dee Barnesfollowed with a pair from the charity stripe to stretch the lead to 53-50 with 15:12 to go. After an EKU dunk, Cameron Healy remained on fire from beyond the arc with a triple to seize a 56-52 advantage with 14:33 on the clock. After another EKU layup, Healy went back-to-back with another trifecta to push the lead to 59-54 at 13:40. Barnes stretched the lead to 61-54 at 13:07 thanks to a breakaway dunk. EKU responded with a three before Healy fired up a deep trey for a 64-57 advantage with 12:18 on the clock before heading into a media timeout.
After an EKU jumper out of the break, Allen continued to probe the lane with a layup for a 66-59 advantage with 11:29 on the clock. Following another EKU jumper, Tevian Jones flushed an alley-oop for a 68-61 lead at 11:01. EKU drained a jumper before Allen sank a jumper as well for a 70-63 advantage with 10:22 on the clock. Healy extended the SUU run to 5-0 with yet another corner three for a 73-63 lead with 9:39 to go. Barnes canned a pair at the line as the 'Birds stretched the lead to 75-63 with 9:11 on the clock. EKU tapped in a shot in the paint to cut the deficit to 75-65 at 8:59 before EKU took a timeout. EKU sank a three out of the break to push its run to 5-0 to shave the deficit to 75-68 with 7:54 to go before heading into a media timeout.
EKU stretched its run to 7-0 with two at the free-throw line to pull to within 75-70 before Allen split a pair at the line for a 76-70 advantage with 7:11 to go. EKU cut the lead to 76-73 with a triple with 6:53 to go before splitting a pair at the charity stripe to close to within 76-74 with 6:20 on the clock. Allen responded with another fast-break layup for a 78-74 advantage with 5:52 on the clock. EKU countered with a 5-0 burst to take a 79-78 advantage with 5:04 to go. EKU's run stretched to 7-0 with a jumper as the Colonels took an 81-78 lead with 3:46 to play before a media timeout.
Allen countered by splitting a pair at the line to close to within 81-79 with 2:53 to go. After a minute of scoreless play, Jones drilled a clutch fast-break three to take an 82-81 lead with 1:46 on the clock. After an EKU jumper, Healy responded with a step-up three for an 85-83 lead with 1:10 on the clock as EKU took a timeout with 55 seconds to go.
EKU tied the contest at 85-85 with a dunk with 31 seconds on the clock as SUU took a timeout with 26 seconds to play for the final shot. After a missed SUU layup, EKU was fouled on the rebound. EKU then missed the front end of the 1-and-1, giving SUU a timeout with five seconds left. Jones missed a buzzer-beater three as the game went into overtime.
EKU took an 87-85 lead with a jumper at the 4:18 mark before pushing the overtime run to 4-0 with an 89-85 advantage at the 3:29 mark. Jason Spurgin countered with a layup to cut the deficit to 89-87 with 3:17 to go. He converted the three-point play with a free throw to shave the deficit to 89-88. Harrison Butler followed a pair of missed EKU shots with a layup to put the 'Birds up 90-89 with 2:36 on the clock. Butler completed a three-point play of his own at the line to take a 91-89 lead. EKU knotted the game up at 91-91 with a layup before Tevian Jones drilled a triple for a 94-91 advantage at the 1:49 mark. EKU responded with a layup to pull to within 94-93 with 1:13 to go. EKU sank a jumper to take a 95-94 lead with 39 seconds on the clock. EKU followed by splitting a pair at the line for a 96-94 advantage with 28 seconds to play. EKU pushed its lead to 98-94 with a pair at the line with 12 seconds on the clock. Jones made three free throws to move to within 98-96 with seven seconds to go. EKU then split a pair at the charity stripe for a 99-97 lead with six seconds on the clock. Dee Barnes then exploded with an alley-oop dunk from an Allen dish to tie the contest at 99-99.
EKU sank a three-pointer to start the second overtime for a 102-99 lead with 4:30 on the clock. After more than three minutes of scoreless play, Cameron Healy scored an inside jumper to cut the lead to 102-101 with 1:26 on the clock. EKU responded with a jumper to push the lead back to 104-101 with 57 seconds to go. EKU split a pair at the line to take a 105-101 advantage with 38 seconds to go. Butler canned a tip-back jumper to close SUU to within 105-103 with 23 seconds to go. EKU split a pair at the line again for a 106-103 advantage with 17 seconds on the clock. Drake Allen drained a clutch three from the top of the key to tie the game at 106-106 with nine seconds on the clock. EKU was fouled on the rebound of a missed EKU layup with 1.1 seconds to go. EKU made the two shots at the line to take a 108-106 lead with 1.1 on the clock. SUU missed the half-court three-point shot.