Jackson Stevenett led SUU with 18 points and nine rebounds
SUU Publications

SUU Gets Summit League Win at Home

January 21, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

Related Links

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Jan. 21 – Jackson Stevenett bounced back after struggling against Oakland earlier in the week to score a team-high 18 points and help SUU claim a 58-56 victory over visiting IPFW on Saturday. The Thunderbirds came out on top of what proved to be a defensive battle to improve to 5-5 in the Summit League and 10-10 overall while the Mastodons fell to 3-7 in conference play and 9-10 on the year.

The Thunderbirds posted their lowest scoring total in a win since the 2008-09 season, but held IPFW to just 15 field goals on 31.3% shooting to earn their first home victory in conference play this season.

“It’s nice to get a win at home,” said head coach Roger Reid. “This league is very tough at home or away and anytime you can get a win you will take it.”

Stevenett played a key role on the SUU offense, pulling down nine rebounds to go with his 18 points. The Thunderbirds also got significant contributions from several other players who were asked to step-up after their teammates got in early foul trouble.

“When our regular players get in foul trouble it breaks down our continuity,” explained Reid. “Tonight we had to have Damon Heuir at the point for us which is a position that he doesn’t usually play. We were fortunate to have him there though because he did a great job.”

Heuir finished the game with eight points and four assists for SUU and played all 40 minutes without committing a single turnover.

The Thunderbirds led by as many as nine points in the opening half, taking a 25-16 lead on a Matt Massey layup at the five-and-a-half minute mark. The Mastodons outscored SUU 8-2 during the last five minutes however, to trail 27-24 heading into the break.

Southern Utah held the lead throughout the second half, but the Mastodons were able to trim the margin to a single basket several times throughout the period. Following a free throw by Ramell Taylor, IPFW took possession of the ball down by two with just nine seconds remaining. Frank Gaines took the ball all the way to the basket but his attempted lay up rimmed out and into the hands of his teammate Antwaun Boyd. Boyd threw up a shot at the buzzer that was off the mark, allowing SUU to hold on for the 58-56 victory.

“After some of our losses this year I have told the guys that sometimes the ball just doesn’t bounce your way,” commented Reid. “Tonight we got a couple of breaks that helped us get the win.”

The Thunderbirds will continue their four-game homestand next week as they get set to face UMKC. Southern Utah took a 91-77 win over the ‘Roos in Kansas City earlier this season and will look to match that result when the two teams meet in the Centrum Arena this Thursday at 7 p.m.