CEDAR CITY, Utah — Kevin Deeb scored 22 points to lead four Cal Baptist players in double-figures as the Lancers upset Southern Utah, 79-69, Monday night.
Cal Baptist improved to 4-1 on the young season while SUU dipped to 0-1.
The Lancers closed the first half with a 7-1 run to take a 41-31 lead into the locker room, then held off the Thunderbirds in the second half.
Ray Jones and Ramell Taylor each scored four points as the Thunderbirds opened the second half with an 11-2 run to pull within 43-42, but Luke Evans hit a free throw and Jon Willimas buried a 3-pointer to push the Lancers' edge back to five at 47-42 with 13:26 to play.
The Cal Baptist advantage remained between three and seven points until the Thunderbirds pulled within 56-54 on a Jones jumper with 4:46 to play, but Deeb answered with a 3-pointer to push the margin back to 59-54. SUU stayed close, however, as Taylor scored to bring SUU back within three.
De'Jon Prescott scored to put CBU back up 61-56, but Matt Massey answered with a 3-point play to pull the Thunderbirds back within two at 61-59. The Thunderbirds were able to get no closer, however, and in the final minute CBU hit 10-of-13 free throws to pull away and seal the win.
"The biggest disappointment to me was that they out-played us, they just wanted it more," SUU Coach Roger Reid said. "They just played harder than we did, it's that simple.
"Our defense was not very good a lot of the time, and another thing that was disappointing was quite a few times we played solid defense until there were 10 seconds on the shot clock and we'd let down, or we'd play solid defense, they'd miss a shot, but we'd let them get the rebound.
"Hopefully, we can look at this and learn from it, and get better from it," Reid added.
Cal Baptist came into the game shooting 47.8 percent from the floor, including .268 from 3-point range, but the Langers were on fire Monday night, hitting 9-of-17 from long range (.520) and 24-of-48 shots overall.
Meanwhile, SUU converted 26-of-54 shots and 16-of-18 free throws but hit just 1-of-12 from 3-point range.
The teams also finished even in rebounds with 26 each.
Jones led SUU with 22 points, while Massey finished with 15 and Taylor had 12 for the Thunderbirds. Matt Hodgson had a game-high seven rebounds for SUU but he played just 15 minutes because of foul trouble.
Justus Von Wright scored 12 for CBU, while Evans and Nick Paulson each had 10.