SUU defeats Dixie State in men’s, women’s basketball action

Southern Utah University vs. Dixie State, men's basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 22, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — The Southern Utah University basketball teams defeated Dixie State University in back-to-back contests this week, with the SUU women’s team winning at DSU in St. George on Tuesday afternoon and the SUU men defeating Dixie in similar fashion on Wednesday night. Following are short recaps of both games:

Men’s game

SUU 87, Dixie State 59

The Southern Utah Thunderbirds took down the Dixie State Trailblazers 87-59 in Cedar City on Wednesday night. The win evens the score between Dixie and SUU this season and pushes the Thunderbirds to 19 consecutive wins inside the America First Event Center.

SUU started hot from the opening tip off, taking the jump ball into a Maizen Fausett layup. The Thunderbirds went on a 10-0 run before the Trailblazers could score their first points of the contest. Dixie matched SUU’s scoring but could never find a lead after trailing early.

The Thunderbirds shot 55.3% on field goals in the first half taking a 50-17 lead into halftime. Dixie started the second half aggressively, keeping the T-Birds to 2 points through the first three minutes of the half. Both defenses got to show off with 22 total turnovers in the second half with John Knight III leading both teams with 4 throughout the game. 

Southern Utah University vs. Dixie State, men’s basketball, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 22, 2021 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

SUU more than doubled their three-point totals from Saturday, knocking down 11 threes, led by Aanen Moody with four. The defense also showed they could stop Dixie’s shooters with only 4 Trailblazer threes in 24 attempts.

Tevian Jones led Southern Utah scorers with 18 total points coming off of a 60% field goal percentage and a perfect 4-4 from the line. Fausett added 17 points of his own for the Thunderbirds with 10 total rebounds to seal the double-double. 

“We’re very happy with our guys’ performance, wire to wire, to lead in a game of this nature against a really good team,” said SUU head coach Todd Simon.

SUU now has an 8-4 overall record heading into Big Sky Conference play on Dec. 30, when the T-Birds host Sacramento State at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, Dixie State’s next contest is at home on Dec. 30 against Tarleton State, starting at 7 p.m.

Women’s game

SUU 95, Dixie State 58

After 12 days since their last contest, the Southern Utah University women’s basketball team closed out non-conference play with a dismantling 95-58 win over Southern Utah rival and future WAC foe, the Dixie State Trailblazers, Tuesday afternoon. 

With the win, the Thunderbirds improved their record to 6-5, while Dixie State dropped to 4-7 on the year. 

Dixie State University vs. Southern Utah University, women’s basketball, St. George, Utah, Dec. 21, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Stan Plewe via DSU Athletics, St. George News / Cedar City News

Senior Cherita Daugherty led the Thunderbirds offensively, setting a new career with 28 points while shooting 4-5 from downtown. She also grabbed nine rebounds with three assists. Center Lizzy Williamson continued to be a menace down low, scoring 20 points with six rebounds and two blocks. Daylani Ballena and Darri Dotson also racked up 11 points of their own. 

As a team, the Thunderbirds shot 54.5% from the field while holding the Trailblazers to just 33.3% from the floor. SUU outrebounded Dixie 43 to 33 while also dominating in the paint scoring 50 points compared to the Trailblazers 32. 

Dixie State’s next game will be a conference matchup on Dec. 30 at Tarleton State in Texas. Meanwhile, SUU’s next scheduled contest is also a road game on Dec. 30, with the T-Birds playing Sacramento State starting at 8 p.m. MST.

Written by SUU Sports Information staff, with Cedar City News reporter Jeff Richards contributing.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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