CEDAR CITY — Gary Winston scored a career-high 26 points and Portland State survived a late scare from Southern Utah on Thursday night holding on for an 86-79 win.
Portland State (12-12, 7-8 Big Sky) couldn't shake the Thunderbirds in the second half after posting a slim 3-point, 29-26 halftime lead. The teams traded leads in the second period with no team pulling ahead by more than five points.
Southern Utah (1-23, 0-15) led 75-76 on two Casey Oliverson free throws with 1:25 remaining, but Winston's ensuing tip-in and Brandon Cataldo's follow-up jumper closed the door on the Thunderbirds hope of picking up a lone win in the conference. The Vikings finished making 7-of-8 free throws going into the buzzer.
DaShaun Wiggins recorded 19 points and Andre Winston, Jr. 13 for the Portland.
Oliverson finished with 10 rebounds while he and Trey Kennedy scored 19 points each for Southern Utah.