Courtesy SUU athletics strategic communication
Southern Utah's Cameron Oluyitan, left, tries to drive past Drake's Brady Ellingson during their game CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament game at America First Event Center in Cedar City on Friday, March 22, 2019. The T'Birds beat the Bulldogs 80-73 in overtime to advance.

CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) — Harrison Butler matched his season high with 21 points as Southern Utah defeated Drake 80-73 in overtime in the first round of the CIT on Friday night.

Cameron Oluyitan had 15 points for Southern Utah (17-16). Dre Marin added 14 points. Brandon Better had 12 points for the hosts.

It's the first postseason tournament victory for the T'Birds since their move to Division I.

“We’re really excited,” Marin said in a news release. “Getting in the postseason was one of goals from the get-go and to get this first postseason win here, too, I’m just truly blessed and humbled.”

Noah Thomas had 19 points for the Bulldogs (24-10). Liam Robbins added 14 points. Anthony Murphy had 13 points.

Comment on this story

“Just a war of a college basketball game, I mean it was a battle,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “You saw guys cramping up on both sides, everybody was playing so hard, and hats off to Drake what a program they’ve got in terms of gutty players that make all the right plays. That’s a good team, there’s a reason they won the Missouri Valley, he’s a heck of a coach and they do a great job. But it was a lot of fun.”

The Thunderbirds will host CSU Bakersfield on Monday at 6:30 p.m. MDT in the second round of the CIT.