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State basketball roundup: Southern Utah overwhelmed by Oral Roberts

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CEDAR CITY — Michael Craion scored 23 points, leading four Oral Roberts players in double figures, and the Golden Eagles easily defeated Southern Utah 85-65 Thursday night.

Craion also had 12 rebounds, one of two Oral Roberts players with a double-double. Kevin Ford had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (18-12, 12-5 Summit), who led 42-39 at halftime and held Southern Utah to 31 percent shooting after intermission while making 58 percent of their shots.

"We did some things well tonight, but we couldn't keep it going in the second half," SUU coach Reid said "That's a mark of a young team, it's hard to maintain that intensity for a full 40 minutes."

Dominique Morrison and Warren Niles added 14 points each for the winners.

Ryan Brimley led Southern Utah (6-22, 2-15) with 18 points. Davis Baker had 16 and Jake Nielson 11 for the Thunderbirds.

"They were very deep and very poised tonight," Reid said. "It was nice to see Ryan come in and have the kind of game he had, and Davis and Jake both played well, but Oral Roberts is an outstanding team.

Oral Roberts won for the 16th straight time in the series between the teams.

HOUSTON BAPTIST 61, UTAH VALLEY 48: At Houston, Michael Moss scored 16 points, grabbed seven rebounds and made five assists to lead Houston Baptist past Utah Valley 61-48 on Thursday night.

The Huskies (8-19, 7-2 Great West) took the lead early, holding the Wolverines (11-16, 4-7) to just 18 points and 25 percent shooting from the field in the first half.

The Wolverines pulled within six points with eight minutes to go in the second period but could get no closer than that.

"I was pleased with the competitive spirit in our comeback. We dug ourselves into such a big hole in the first half, but we came back and got better with our game plan," coach Dick Hunsaker said. "Houston Baptist was too strong for us down the stretch and made more plays than we did, and we came up a bit short."

Wendell Preadom finished with 15 points for the Huskies and Andrew Gonzalez added 12.

Eric Dearden led Utah Valley in scoring with 16 points while Jordan Swarbrick finished with 10.

The Wolverines play their final Great West Conference game of the year when they host NJIT on Mar. 4. They close out the regular season on Mar. 6 when they host Seattle University.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL

UTAH VALLEY 70, HOUSTON BAPTIST 59: At Houston, Julie Smith scored a game-high 24 points, while Jenna Johnson added 16 and Kaycee Mansfield recorded the Wolverines' first double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds in their 70-59 win over Houston Baptist Thursday afternoon.

"It's not easy to beat anybody on the road, so we knew we had to play well," coach Cathy Nixon said after the Wolverines' first road win of the year. "It was a physical game and our kids stepped up and responded well. It is good to get a win."

With the win, the Wolverines improve to 6-22 overall and 2-9 in Great West Conference play, while HBU drops to 3-21 overall and 1-8 in league play.

The Wolverines erased an early 7-1 first-half deficit fueled in part by four points from Erika Newbold, who finished with seven points in the half and eight for the game, and a Smith three-pointer with 12:39 left in the half to give UVU to the 13-12 lead.

The game was tied at 20-20 with 7:30 left in the half before the Wolverines went on an 11-3 run to end the half to lead 31-23.

Johnson started the UVU burst a two-pointer and a three-pointer and Mansfield scored six straight points to end the half.

The Wolverines increased their halftime lead to as high as 19 points with 11:07 left on a pair of foul shots by Mansfield. HBU chipped away at the UVU lead and got as close nine with two minutes left in the game.

Destini Texada led the Huskies with 14 points. Kayla Burningham added eight points for UVU and Asumi Nakayama dished out six assists.

The Wolverines host Great West Conference foe NJIT on Mar. 4 at 4:30 p.m. at the UVU Events Center in the final regular-season home game for seniors Smith, Nakayama and Blake Reynolds.

SLCC 64, SNOW COLLEGE 62: At Ephraim, The fifth ranked SLCC Women's basketball team clinched the SWAC Championship by defeating Snow College 64-62.

With the game tied at 62, Jamie Mokofisi hit the game winning shot. Salt Lake is 23-5 overall and 15-4 in SWAC play.

Haley Holmstead finished with 23 points and Mokofisi scored 13 points off the bench with seven rebounds.

The Bruins out the regular season against the Snow College Badgers on Saturday February 27th at 6 p.m.