CEDAR CITY, Utah — Brandon Better totaled 21 points, eight rebounds and three steals and Southern Utah moved above .500 for the first time under second-year coach Todd Simon with an 87-68 victory over NAIA member San Diego Christian on Saturday.
Jadon Cohee was 10 of 10 at the free-throw line and scored 16 for the Thunderbirds (4-3), while Jamal Aytes added 14 points and Dre Marin and Christian Musoko each scored 13. Southern Utah won just six games in Simon’s first season.
Derek Novsek led the Hawks with 15 points, Hayden Fredrick scored 14 and Anthony Gonzalez added 11 points off the bench.
San Diego Christian hung around in the first half and trailed just 41-37 at intermission. But the Hawks, who shot 56.5 percent (13 of 23) from the floor in the first half, went cold in the second and made just 9 of 28 shots (32.1 percent).
Better and Marin combined to score 23 in the second half and the Thunderbirds slowly pulled away.