CEDAR CITY, Utah – Despite a strong defensive performance, the Thunderbirds fell to the Grizzlies 55-70 in the Centrum Arena.
Randy Onwuasor and Will Joyce led the Thunderbirds with 16 points and 10, respectively.
The Grizzlies outshot the Thunderbirds, 40.7% to 39.7%. UM also topped the T-Birds in rebounding, 41-30.
“Numbers-wise, it was one of our best defensive performances of the year. That’s usually a win combination,” head coach Todd Simon said. “To Montana’s credit, they did a great job on their end.”
Southern Utah led 9-4 to begin the game before UM rallied to capture the lead at 12-11. The Grizzlies slowly inched ahead of the Thunderbirds throughout the remainder of the first half to head into halftime with a 34-23 lead.
The Thunderbirds took a 9-2 rally to open the second half and force a five-point game before Montana extended its lead back to 10 with just under 14 minutes to play.
The Griz pulled ahead for a 15 point lead with 9:37 to play, which they comfortable held to the end for a 70-55 lead.
The Thunderbirds continue their home stretch with Montana State on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in the Centrum Arena.
Thunderbird fans, don’t wait to buy your tickets to the Road to Reno basketball tournament for your chance to cheer on our men’s and women’s basketball teams. For more information, visit tbirdtickets.com.
Keep up with the Thunderbirds by following @SUUBasketball on Twitter and Instagram along with liking SUU Basketball on Facebook.