Southern Utah stayed in the game thanks to a huge day from guard Damon Heuir. He finished with 25 points on 7/14 shooting, including an impressive 9/12 from the line. The rest of the team was just a combined 11-41 from the floor. Jayson Cheesman had 9 points and 13 rebounds for the TBirds.
They lost in part because of an uncharacteristically poor game from Jackson Stevenett, who simply couldn't get the ball to go down. He was 0/10 from the floor, and finished with just one rebound and two assists in 26 minutes.
"Jackson didn't see the first couple of shots go through the net and he struggled tonight; a couple of them rimmed in and out, maybe three or four of those shots, and a lot of those were good shots, a lot were contested, but those are shots he's made before," Robinson pointed out. "I'm not worried about that, we had other guys chip in, Jayson was able to get some pretty good looks, Wade [Collie] made a couple of shots for us, and Tyson played extremely well."Stevenett will have plenty of big games this year where he is the biggest reason that SUU wins, but that probably won't make him feel better in this one. The Thunderbirds led by a point midway through the second half before TCU went on a 24-15 run over the final ten minutes.
Meanwhile, Montana State trailed by ten at the half before making the game very interesting late. It seems they used too much energy getting back into the game, and couldn't muster enough down the stretch. From the Bozeman Daily Chronicle:
The Bobcats tied the game at 59 and trailed by two at the 2:47 mark, but they just couldn't make anything at the end of the game. They missed seven shots in the final 1:59 of the game.
“The difference was being down 10 at half,” Huse said. “They’re a hard team to come back on – we fought to get to where we were at and it comes down to a free-throw block out, a loose ball or something crazy. They converted, got a two possession lead and we couldn’t find the bottom of the net.
Xavier Blount led the team with 19 points, while Jamie Stewart had 14 points. They struggled a bit with forcing some shots against the Pepperdine zone, which was not helped by an ankle injury to Flavien Davis, their best scorer inside.
The losses dropped Montana State to 1-4, while Southern Utah is 1-5.
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