Southern Utah
Tevian Jones and Southern Utah made a statement in their first win as member of the WAC on Wednesday night. Courtesy SUU Athletics.

MBB: Shorthanded Southern Utah Knocks Off Defending Champs

Welcome to the WAC, Southern Utah!

Tevian Jones knocked down five first-half 3-pointers to lead shorthanded Southern Utah to a 79-75 win at New Mexico State to open WAC play on Wednesday night.

The T-Birds handed the Aggies just their second WAC home loss since February, 2012.

And they did it with an extremely short bench.

In fact, Southern Utah had just nine players dress on Wednesday night. Only seven of those were scholarship players. And four starters played 30-plus minutes.

It didn’t matter.

Tevian Jones knocked down his first 3-pointer of the game with 10:52 left in the first half as part of an 8-0 run.

And with 8:21 to play in the first half, Jones knocked down another 3-pointer to give the T-birds the lead for good.

Jones’ fifth 3-pointer of the first half pushed the Southern Utah lead to 37-29. But Anthony Roy answered with a 3-pointer of his own 11 seconds later.

However, SUU went into the break with a 37-32 lead.

Drake Allen’s layup with 7:52 to play gave Southern Utah its largest lead at 63-49.

And with New Mexico State rallying late in the second half, SUU forward Maizen Fausett may have had the play of the game.

With the shot clock winding down, Tevian Jones threw up a prayer. Well, that prayer was answered. Answered in the form that it ricocheted off the backboard right into the waiting hands of Maizen Fausett. The senior forward didn’t hesitate as he took the offensive rebound, scored and got fouled. Fausett knocked down the free throw and to make it a 75-68 game with 30 seconds to play.

Ball game.

Southern Utah opens its first year in the WAC with a big time road win.

Tevian Jones finished with a game-high 20 points. Drake Allen had 14 points. Jason Spurgin had 12 points. And Cam Healy and Maizen Fausett were also in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

New Mexico State got out to a hot start and led 14-7 at the 13:46 mark of the first half.

But, then the Aggies went ice cold and Southern Utah took advantage. And the Aggies never recovered.

Deshawndre Washington finished with a team-high 18 points and 12 rebounds. Xavier Pinson had 16 points and four assists. Anthony Roy had 11 points off the bench. And Quayè Gordon had 10 points.

It was kind of an ugly game all around.

The two teams combined to shoot 42 free throws in the second half as 31 fouls were called. The teams combined to commit 31 turnovers. And both teams shot 25 percent from 3-point range in the second half after combining for 14 3-pointers in the first half.

SUU improves to 9-5, 1-0 in WAC while New Mexico State falls to 7-6, 0-1 in WAC.

The T-Birds head home to host UTRGV on New Year’s Eve. New Mexico State gets to spend New Year’s Eve at home when the Aggies host Sam Houston.

About the author

Kyle McDonald

Love everything about WAC Hoops so decided I wanted to write more about it and cover this amazing conference that just keeps getting better. Follow us on Twitter @wachoopsdigest for information, game analysis and much more.

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