ST. GEORGE — The Thunderbirds were down 11 at the half after only scoring 26 points, but came back in the second half. They were up three with seconds to go when Nebraska threw in a long three-point attempt at the buzzer to force overtime. SUU came away with the win after the second overtime period on the road in Lincoln, Nebraska.
“Nebraska, being a Big Ten opponent, they’ve got a great coach and to go on their floor and get an opening week win is a testament to our guys and how far they’ve come with the work they put in this off-season,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said in a press release.
Nebraska came into the game after losing to UC Riverside at home by 19. They would have every opportunity to win the game, including a number of looks late in the game and a number of missed free throws.
The same could be said of the Thunderbirds. They had every opportunity to take over the game but were unable to do so. It also didn’t help that they shot 4-23 from three and 31-76 from the field. That’s just 17.4% from beyond the arc and 40.8% from the field.
“We had a really tough initial start,” Simon said. “I don’t think we could be more cold to start a game if we tried, but to our guys credit they stayed the course, stayed together and made enough plays to win the game.”
The Thunderbirds also missed a fair amount of free throws down the stretch, but Dwayne Morgan came up big, hitting two big free throws late in the second overtime period.
“He hit huge free throws for us, he was seven of eight from the line, did a great job there and was really proud of his effort and intensity,” Simon said.
Both teams only scored three points in the first overtime period and SUU barely outscored the Cornhuskers in the second overtime, 7-6. Although this was a very sloppy game and it definitely was not the best performance for the Thunderbirds, SUU was able to get their first road win against a Power 5 team on the road since 1996.
Dwayne Morgan led the way for SUU with a game-high 19 points and 11 rebounds in a double-double effort for the UNLV transfer. Maizen Fausett contributed 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench and the senior Cameron Oluyitan finished the game with 11 points and the game-winning pull up jumper.
SUU continues on in their tough non-conference schedule as they take on BYU on Wednesday and UCLA on Nov. 18.
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