The conference winning streak was 15. Add in a nine-game road winning streak. And there was also the seven-game winning streak.
The Stephen F. Austin men’s basketball team was red hot coming into a marquee afternoon matinee on Saturday in Cedar City.
However, all that came to a screeching halt at the America First Events Center.
Southern Utah decided to play some defense, Maizen Fausett had another big game, and the T-Birds snapped all three of those streaks with a 67-58 win over SFA on Saturday afternoon.
Coming off a game-high 22 points on Thursday, Fausett was even better on Saturday afternoon.
The senior out of Saratoga Springs had a game-high 19 points. And, to go along the scoring, Fausett also pulled down 10 rebounds to record a double-double.
Not necessarily know for its defensive ability, Southern Utah flipped a switch on Saturday.
The T-Birds were averaging 87.1 points per game prior to Saturday. And on the flip side of that, the T-Birds were allowing over 73 points per game.
But, the T-Birds played a different style of ball game on Saturday.
Southern Utah held the Jacks to just 33.3 percent shooting in the first half. And the T-Birds never allowed SFA to get into any offensive rhythm. At least for the first 27 minutes of the first half.
Fausett’s layup with 3:09 left in the half gave Southern Utah a 27-19 lead.
And Parsa Fallah’s layup with 1:58 left in the half made it 29-21.
But, SFA didn’t go away, instead finding some offensive rhythm. Roti Ware was able to get to the free throw line, and Latrell Jossell and AJ Cajuste each knocked down a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to two at the break.
— SFA Men’s Basketball (@SFA_MBB) January 14, 2023
Following Nigel Hawkins’ layup that gave SFA a 36-34 lead early in the second half, Maizen Fausett responded with his second 3-pointer of the half to give Southern Utah the lead right back.
Jaylin Jackson-Posey responded with a 3-pointer of his own. But Fausett continued to score, with a layup on the other end to tie the game at 39.
Nigel Hawkins gave SFA the lead right back on the following possession. And after getting a stop, Derrick Tezeno gave the Jacks a 43-39 lead with 14:29 to play.
Kyle Hayman’s layup a minute later gave SFA its largest lead at 45-39.
But, that is when the game turned. Southern Utah responded with a 12-0 run to take a 51-45 lead. And the T-Birds did not trail again.
A pair of Nigel Hawkins free throws cut the deficit to three with 6:27 to play.
However, Tevian Jones responded with a 3-pointer and after a stop, Jason Spurgin’s dunk pushed SUU’s lead back to eight with 4:26 to play.
— SUU Men's Basketball (@SUUBasketball) January 14, 2023
And it was Maizen Fausett that put the game away with back-to-back layups to make it 65-55 with 2:58 to play.
Along with Fausett, Jason Spurgin and Tevian Jones were also in double figures with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
AJ Cajuste led SFA with 11 points. Jaylin Jackson-Posey was the only other Lumberjack in double figures with 10 points.
SFA falls to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in WAC play. The Jacks head to Huntsville for the Battle of the Piney Woods at Sam Houston on Thursday.
Southern Utah improves to 13-6 overall and 5-1 in WAC play. The T-Birds host New Mexico State on Thursday.