CEDAR CITY, Utah – Despite a hot 54.2 percent shooting outing for the Thunderbirds, the Montana State Bobcats left the Centrum Arena with an 83-78 victory.
Randy Onwuasor led the Thunderbirds with 32 points after shooting 10-of-16 from the field and 11-of-13 from the free throw line. James McGee added 13 points.
“In most categories, I felt like we improved, and we were the better team,” head coach Todd Simon said. “Really just turnovers. We need to take care of that.”
The Thunderbirds turned the ball over 23 times in the loss.
Onwuasor put up the first six Thunderbird points of the game to give SUU a 6-2 advantage before the Bobcats pulled ahead midway through the first half for an 18-16 lead.
The Bobcats hung onto their lead throughout the first half, entering halftime with a 44-35 edge over the Thunderbirds.
Onwuasor led the Thunderbirds in the first half with 10 points as Brayden Holker added six. The Thunderbirds shot 61. percent% from the field in the opening half.
Back-to-back treys by Onwuasor and Madunic followed by an Onwuasor layup gave the Thunderbirds their first lead of the second half at 58-57 before MSU pulled back ahead for a 64-59 lead at the 7:43 media timeout.
The Thunderbirds battled to pull head, but a handful of turnovers sealed the Bobcat victory, 83-78.
After taking a bye next Thursday, Southern Utah basketball returns to the Centrum Arena on Saturday, Feb. 18, as they host Northern Arizona at 2:00.
“More important than anything, is getting some time over the next few days (before NAU),” Simon said. “We’ll get guys back on their feet, healthy, and going full steam again.”
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.
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