Southern Utah Rallies for 88-85 Overtime Win
John Knight III scored 19 points, including the go-ahead free throws to erase a five-point overtime deficit, as Southern Utah defeated Yale, 88-85 on Tuesday at the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off.
Southern Utah’s Tevian Jones led all scorers with a season-high 24 points, highlighted by a season-best six 3-pointers made. Maizen Fausett finished with a season-high 20 points and nine rebounds for the Thunderbirds, who sank 12 3-pointers as a team.
Azar Swain led the way for Yale with 21 points, his third consecutive game scoring at least 20. As a team, the Bulldogs converted a season-best 11 3-pointers and had five players scoring in double figures, but they could not withstand the Southern Utah comeback.
With the scored tied at 82 in overtime, Swain made one of two free throws to give the Bulldogs a one-point advantage. Knight III followed suit with a three-point play to give the Thunderbirds the lead to 85-83.
On the ensuing possession for Yale, Isaiah Kelly converted two free throws to tie the game once more at 85. Knight III was fouled on his ensuing 3-point attempt with 0.8 seconds left, setting up the deciding three free throws – all of which were converted and gave the Thunderbirds the victory.
Trailing by 12 points early in the second half, Southern Utah stormed back with a 16-2 run spanning over five minutes, taking a 51-49 lead going into the under-12 timeout. Yale would not go quietly and responded with a run of their own, scoring the next 11 points to take 60-51 lead with just over eight minutes to play.
The Thunderbirds kept chipping away, and a clutch 3-pointer by Jones cut the deficit to 71-69 with 1:19 left. After a dunk by Matthue Cotton put the Bulldogs up by four with 37 seconds left, Knight III sank a free throw and Southern Utah forced a turnover on a Yale inbound.
With 13.4 seconds left in regulation Fausett calmly sank three free throws to knot the game at 73 after being fouled on his 3-point attempt. Swain missed a three as time expired, sending the game to overtime.
Southern Utah will take on either Bowling Green or Milwaukee in the championship game of the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Palms Division on Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. ET. Yale will face either team in the consolation game at 11 a.m. on Wednesday.