PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 14 - Life on the road was not good to Southern Utah's men's basketball team for the second straight night Thursday as the Thunderbirds hit just 20-of-60 shots, including 4-of-18 from 3-point range, in a 90-69 loss at Portland State.
Portland State, on the other hand converted at a .519 rate (28-of-54) and had six players finish in double-figures, including all five starters.
With the loss SUU dipped to 8-7 in Big Sky play (10-14 overall), allowing North Dakota - which beat Sacramento State at home Thursday night, 49-48 - to move into a tie with the Thunderbirds for third place in the Big Sky standings. Portland State snapped an eight-game losing streak with the win and improved to 4-11 in league play and 6-16 overall.
The Thunderbirds led just once in the game, 11-10 after Cal Hanks scored on a short jumper with 13:59 to play in the first half, but the Vikings responded to that with a 9-0 run. SUU pulled back within 24-21 on a Chris Nsenki 3-pointer with 7:15 to play in the half, and SUU stayed close through the remainder of the half but trailed 40-34 at the break.
PSU's halftime lead came after the Vikings hit 15-of-32 shots, including 3-of-5 from 3-point range, while SUU hit just 9-of-25 shots, 3-of-8 from long distance. The Vikings also out-rebounded the Thunderbirds, 22-17, in the first half. At the end of the game PSU wound up out-boarding the Thunderbirds 37-36
Southern Utah got the first basket of the second half on a Jayson Cheesman hokk shot, and pulled within 46-44 on a Damon Heuir three but the Vikings went on an 18-4 run to build a 64-46 advantage with 11:33 to play and the closest the Thunderbirds got the rest of the way was 13, at 82-69 after a short jumper by Jackson Stevenett with 2:36 to go.
Stevenett led all scorers with 26 points while Heuir finished with 14 but the two combined to go 11-of-31 from the floor, 8-of-17 by Stevenett and 3-of-14 by Heuir. Cheesman had a game-high nine rebounds.
Michael Harthun, who scored two points when the teams met in Cedar City last month, led the Vikings with 19 points while Renado Parker, who had seven in the first meeting, finished with 16.
-- SUU --