Tevian Jones and the SUU men split their recent road trip to Texas. Courtesy SUU Athletics.

SUU Basketball Teams Break Even in Texas

The SUU basketball teams traveled to Texas for week nine of Western Athletic Conference play. It was a split weekend as both teams went 1-1 on their respective trips. 

SUU women’s basketball tipped the week off with a nail-biting finish at ACU. Maleeah Langstaff and the Wildcats pulled out an 89-83 win over the Thunderbirds in a wild overtime game on Thursday.

Extra time was common for the women in Texas. At Tarleton, overtime was needed once again. However, SUU was able to get a victory over the Texans, moving their record to 18-9 overall and 14-2 in WAC play.

The men were able to get a victory over the UT Arlington Mavericks on Thursday. Unfortunately, in the biggest game of the weekend, SUU fell short against Sam Houston on Saturday. This moved the Thunderbirds overall record to 19-10 and 11-5 in conference play.  

MBB: Thunderbirds 86, Mavericks 76

In their first game in the Lone Star State, the Thunderbirds were able to down the Mavericks on Thursday. As a team, SUU shot 53 percent from the field and made 50 percent of their 3-point attempts. It was arguably the best shooting performance on the road for the T-Birds in WAC play. 

SUU controlled the game from the tip and never looked back. The Thunderbirds outscored the Mavericks 42-30 in the first half. Although UTA fought back in the second half, and outscored SUU 46-44, it was not enough to get past the Thunderbirds. 

Senior Tevian Jones led the Thunderbirds with 21 points and four rebounds. With his 21 points, Jones joined the 1,400-point club. 

A career-high was set by senior Dee Barnes as he was perfect from the field in the first half and had 17 points at the break. In 26 minutes, Barnes ended the game with 20 points, six rebounds and 100 percent marksmanship from 3-point territory. Sophomore Drake Allen scored 17 points and dished out eight assists, while senior Maizen Fausett amassed 13 points. 

The Mavericks had five players reach double figures. Marion Humphrey and Aaron Cash both scored 17 points. That was followed by Kryon Gibson with 13 points. Brandyn Talbot added 12 points, and true freshman Chendall Weaver scored 10 points. UTA drops to 10-18 overall and 5-10 in WAC play.

MBB: Bearkats 64, Thunderbirds 57

Defense won the Bearkats this game. SUU shot 30 percent from the field and nearly 28 percent from 3-point land. That is subpar for the T-Birds and credit goes to the Sam Houston defense.

The Thunderbirds even struggled from the charity stripe, finishing 15-21 at the line.

Sam Houston wasn’t much better from the field. However, the defense slowed Southern Utah down enough to win the ball game. Both teams had 15 turnovers. However, the Bearkats outscored SUU 18-9 in points off of turnovers.  

The first half featured a defensive battle between the Thunderbirds and Bearkats. Qua Grant and Donte Powers combined for 10 points in the first half, while Barnes continued his terror off of the bench. He led SUU in points with eight. Jones was close behind with seven points, four of which came from the charity stripe. After 20 minutes, the two were all tied up at 28 apiece.

SUU sprung out to a 34-31 lead. But Sam Houston responded with a 9-1 run to take the lead back. After the Bearkats took the lead back, the Thunderbirds were only able to get within two points the rest of the way.

Sam Houston played great defense, and responded when they needed to.  

Grant led all scorers with 22 points, three assists and four rebounds. Lamar Wilkerson played great defense, but finished 15 points.

For SUU, Jones scored 15 points and Allen had 14. The Thunderbirds are now 19-10 overall and have a 11-5 WAC record, while Sam Houston improves to 22-6 overall and 12-4 in conference play. 

WBB: Wildcats 89, Thunderbirds 83

On Thursday, SUU shot 45 percent from the field and made nearly 29 percent of their 3-point attempts against the Wildcats. ACU was relatively close in terms of efficiency, shooting nearly 43 percent from the field. However, ACU only shot 25 percent from beyond the arc. 

SUU and ACU kept the game close for the first 20 minutes with the Wildcats leading 31-29 at the halftime break. 

ACU came alive in the third quarter, outscoring SUU 29-17. Rallying back, the Thunderbirds outscored the Wildcats 28-14 in the fourth to force overtime. However, SUU could not complete the comeback. 

The Thunderbirds were led by Cherita Daugherty and Tomekia Whitman, who scored 18 points apiece. Although SUU had five players reach double-digit points, it was not enough to get past the Wildcats. 

For ACU, Maleah Langstaff scored a career-high 34 points to go along with eight rebounds. Behind her was Aspen Thornton with 17 points, seven assists and six rebounds. The Wildcats record improves to 13-14 overall and 7-9 in WAC play after their 89-83 victory.

WBB: Thunderbirds 80, Texans 78

SUU shot nearly 53 percent from the field and nearly 54 percent from 3-point range. The Thunderbirds were able to hold Tarleton to just 34 percent from the field. However, the Texans were able to stay in the ball game by shooting nearly 41 percent from 3-point range.  

The Thunderbirds’ started with a 9-0 run that was put to a halt by a pair of made free throws from Nya Mitchels. SUU continued to pour it on in the first quarter, and outscoring the Texans, 22-13.

The second quarter was vice-versa, as the Texans topped the Thunderbirds 19-13. Teresa Da Silva led Tarleton’s offense with 10 points in the quarter.

Out of the locker room, SUU jumped out with a 11-4 run. Da Silva responded again for the Texans, hitting three consecutive 3-pointers to erase SUU’s lead. It was a back-and-forth battle from there out.

The Thunderbirds had a 55-51 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter, senior Mayra Caicedo scored eight points for the Texans, finishing with 14 points in the contest.

Daylani Ballena and Whitman combined for 15 points in the fourth quarter, which helped keep SUU afloat.

40 minutes was not enough for this battle, and fans at Wisdom Gym got some free basketball.

The Thunderbirds were able to outlast the Texans in a 80-78 victory. 

Whitman and Da Silva had a game-high 23 points for their respective teams.

For the Thunderbirds, Ballena facilitated the offense with four assists and 22 points. Samantha Johnston shot 75 percent from the field and 67 percent from 3-point land, finishing with 16 points.

The Thunderbirds improved to 18-9 overall and 14-2 in conference play, while the Texans fell to 7-21 overall and a 1-16 WAC record. 

About the author

Chevy Blackburn

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