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S. Utah 68, Utah Valley St. 60

SHARE S. Utah 68, Utah Valley St. 60

CEDAR CITY — Nurudeen Adepoju scored 17 points and Orlando Griego added 13 as Southern Utah held off a late Utah Valley State rally and beat the Wolverines 68-60 Wednesday night.

Steve Barnes scored 12 points and had eight assists for the Thunderbirds (5-2), who nearly squandered a 15-point second-half lead before pulling out a win in their first-ever game against Utah Valley.

David Heck led the Wolverines (4-2) with 24 points, including 17 in the second half. Matt Peterson scored 13 for Utah Valley.

The Wolverines shot 59 percent in the second half and won the rebound battle, 29-27, but Utah Valley committed 17 turnovers, leading to 19 points for the Thunderbirds.

Trailing 33-26 at halftime, Utah Valley cut the lead to 33-31 before going more than seven minutes without scoring.

Southern Utah outscored the Wolverines 13-0 during that stretch, getting layups from Justin Allen, Brad Kanis, Swaney Cooper and Adepoju.

Adepoju finished the run with a 3-pointer from the right wing that gave the Thunderbirds a 46-31 lead with 12:23 to play.

Heck played a pivotal role in a 12-0 spurt that clipped Southern Utah's lead to a point, 53-52, with 4:39 left.

Heck opened the rally with a layup and followed with a dunk off the fast break. After Josh Olsen scored off a steal, Heck and Olsen hit consecutive 3-pointers.

Cooper answered for the Thunderbirds with a three-point play with 4:02 left, and Barnes followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.

Griego's jumper from the foul line at 2:39 gave Southern Utah a 61-54 lead, and the Thunderbirds preserved the win by going 7-for-8 from the foul line in the final two minutes.