SUU athletics strategic communication
Southern Utah's Dre Marin had six points and four assists in the T'Birds' 66-62 overtime win over Eastern Washington in Cedar City on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

CEDAR CITY (AP) — Brandon Better scored 13 points with four 3-pointers, Jamal Aytes added 11 points and Southern Utah beat Eastern Washington 66-62 in overtime on Saturday.

James McGee hit a corner 3, Aytes added a layup and Southern Utah led 59-54 in overtime after the Eagles missed their first two shots. Bogdan Bliznyuk hit a layup, but fouled out on the next possession, and Eastern closed to 62-60 on Mason Peatling's free throws with 1:23 left. The teams traded baskets before Dwayne Morgan iced it with two free throws after being fouled on a defensive rebound.

Comment on this story

“I was really proud of the guys,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said in a press release. “We’ve continued to create an identity and for so long we’ve been trying to work defensively to get consistent stops and play clean basketball on both ends, and today we didn’t make all of our shots but it was clearly a superior defensive effort taking charges, getting on loose balls, finishing plays on the glass the way we need to in key moments and we forced a lot of turnovers.”

The Thunderbirds led 35-30 at halftime and Morgan's free throws tied it at 54 at the end of regulation.

Jadon Cohee scored nine points for the Thunderbirds (8-10, 2-5 Big Sky Conference), who made 11 3-pointers but shot 36 percent from the floor.

Bliznyuk scored 18 points with seven rebounds, Sir Washington added 15 points, and Peatling had 10 points with 10 boards for Eastern Washington (9-11, 4-3), who missed 4 of 7 shots in OT and turned it over three times.