Cedar City, UT (Sports Network) - Jackson Stevenett tallied a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds as the Southern Utah Thunderbirds defeated North Dakota, 79-67, at Centrum Arena in the Big Sky Conference debut for both teams.
Wade Collie came off the bench to score 18 points for Southern Utah (3-6, 1-0 Big Sky), while Damon Heuir added 13 points. The Thunderbirds are now winners of three of their last five after dropping their first four games of the year.
For North Dakota (2-7, 0-1), Aaron Anderson had 16 points, while Josh Schuler put up 11 points. Mitch Wilmer (15 points, 11 rebounds) and Alonzo Traylor (13 points, 11 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles in the setback.
The Thunderbirds built a 39-33 lead at intermission behind 48.4 percent shooting in the first half. North Dakota shot just 39.3 percent from the field, but it kept the game close by draining 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
North Dakota cut its deficit to just three points on four different occasions in the second half, but it could never overtake the lead. Southern Utah closed the game out on a 17-8 run over the final three minutes to seal the victory.
Both teams were fantastic from the foul line. North Dakota drained 28-of-35 from the stripe, while Southern Utah was 17-of-20.