Senior Jordan Johson went 5-5 from the floor for a career high 10 points in the win
SUU Strategic Communications

Southern Utah Runs Away with 95-65 Win Over San Diego Christian

December 01, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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CEDAR CITY, Utah, Dec. 1 – Senior guard Jordan Johnson scored a career high 10 points on 5-5 shooting to help Southern Utah take a 95-65 win over San Diego Christian (3-8) Saturday night. The Thunderbirds shot the ball almost 56 percent as a team and outrebounded their opponents 51-27 to open the year 2-0 at home and improve their overall record to 2-5

“It was great to be at home and we had a fantastic crowd,” said SUU head coach Nick Robinson after the win. “I was very pleased with our effort, I felt like we played a full 40 minutes.”

SUU forward Jaren Jeffrey opened the game with a dunk and the Thunderbirds quickly jumped out to a 10-2 lead after knocking down three of their first four shots of the contest. The visiting Hawks hung around until the 12-minute mark when Wade Collie pulled down an offensive rebound and went back up for a lay-in to start a 9-2 run that eventually pushed the Southern Utah advantage into the double-figures at 26-15.

The Thunderbirds went on to lead 40-31 at the break after shooting 48.3 percent from the floor in the opening half. Southern Utah’s Jayson Cheesman led the way with eight points and seven rebounds in the early going. SUU held a 24-15 advantage on the glass and converted on 10 of 11 attempts at the free throw line to start the game.

Southern Utah came out firing in the second half, outscoring San Diego 21-11 in the first eight minutes to run its lead to 61-42. Jackson Stevenett and Chris Nsenki each knocked down shots from the outside during the streak and Jordan Johnson added six more points while going 3-3 from the floor.

The Thunderbirds brought the crowd to their feet in the closing minutes as Damon Heuir pushed the ball up the court in transition and floated an alley-oop to Stevenett who went up to get the ball and finished with a two-hand slam to push the margin to 90-62. Southern Utah eventually went on to the 95-65 win, turning in their best offensive performance so far this season.

SUU went 33-59 from the field in the game to tally a season high 95 points. The T-Birds also shot 46.7 percent from behind the arc and successfully converted 22 of their 28 free throw attempts. San Diego Christian was able to manage just 32.8 percent shooting from the floor and connect on six of its 22 tries from the outside.

Stevenett scored 15 to lead the Thunderbirds who also got 13 from both Heuir and Collie. Cheesman and Johnson each recorded new career highs in the win, scoring 12 and 10 respectively. Kwaminique Brandon finished with 15 points to lead the visitors.

“We had six guys in the double-figures, which shows that it was a real team effort,” stated Robinson. “Our guys are starting to trust each other more and are playing together.”

SUU is back home next week for its final tune-up game before starting Big Sky Conference play. The Thunderbirds will take the court against the San Diego Toreros this Tuesday at 7 p.m. (MT)