CEDAR CITY, Utah — Southern Utah used a double-digit scoring run midway through the second half to claim the lead and hold off Montana State for a 59-53 victory on Saturday at the America First Event Center.
It was the second straight Big Sky Conference road loss for MSU, which fell at Northern Colorado on Thursday.
The first half was a defensive stalemate. Both teams shot 23% from the field as Montana State took a 21-17 advantage into halftime.
MSU (8-7, 2-2) jumped out to a 33-23 lead, its largest of the game, after a Harald Frey jumper at the 14:38 mark of the second half. The Bobcats led 37-29 before the Thunderbirds put together their biggest run of the contest, a 12-0 spurt.
Five Thurderbirds combined to score 12 consecutive points to take a 41-37 lead with 7:25 remaining. The Bobcats tied the game 41-41 on a Mychael Paulo 3-pointer, and Harald Frey hit two free throws to put MSU back up 43-41 with a little over five minutes remaining.
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But Southern Utah tied the game on its next possession and went back into the lead for good after an MSU turnover led to a fast-break dunk by Maizen Fausett. MSU cut the deficit to 52-51 with 55 seconds left, but an and-one finish for Fausett and four John Knight III free throws sealed the game for SUU.
Frey scored a game-high 14 points. The Bobcat senior guard was joined by Amin Adamu (12 points) and Ladan Ricketts (10) in double-digit scoring. Adamu grabbed nine rebounds while Frey and Borja Fernandez had three assists apiece.
Southern Utah had three score in double digits, led by Fausett's 13-point and 10-rebound double-double performance.
Montana State plays at Idaho on Thursday. The Bobcats return home to Worthington Arena on Jan. 11 to host Portland State.