Pocatello, ID (Sports Network) - Jackson Stevenett scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Southern Utah Thunderbirds held off the Idaho State Bengals in overtime, 81-79, in Big Sky Conference action at Holt Arena.
Damon Heuir added 17 points, eight assists, and three steals for SUU (10-12, 8-5 Big Sky), which has won a season-high five straight games. A.J. Hess scored 12 points, while Cal Hanks chipped in 10 points for the visitors.
For Idaho State (4-18, 3-10), Tomas Sanchez scored 19 points, Andre Hatchett had 18 points, Melvin Morgan netted 15 points, and Neveij Walters pitched in 11 points. The Bengals' extended their losing streak to six in a row.
SUU shot 44.4 percent from the field in the first half as it took a slim 30-29 lead into intermission. Idaho State shot less than 35 percent in the frame but kept the game close by shooting 12-of-15 from the foul line.
Idaho State opened the second half on a 10-2 run to take a seven-point lead, but SUU responded with a 12-1 spurt of its own to retake the advantage. The teams went on the seesaw down the stretch, and following a pair of Morgan free throws for Idaho State with 36 seconds left, the game was tied at 62-62. The Thunderbirds had one last possession to try and take the lead, but they turned the ball over and the game went to overtime.
With the game tied at 73-73 with less than a minute left in the extra session, SUU took the lead on a pair Heuir free throws and held on from there.
SUU held a convincing advantage on the boards, 42-28.