Cedar City, UT (Sports Network) - Jayson Chessman scored the game-winning layup with 12 seconds remaining to give the Southern Utah Thunderbirds a 73-72 victory over the Cal State Northridge Matadors at Centrum Arena as part of the annual BracketBusters event.
Jackson Stevenett led the way for the Thunderbirds (11-15) with 21 points, while Chessman posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Damon Heuir added 18 points for the hosts.
The Matadors (13-15) were paced by Stephen Maxwell with 20 points. Brandon Perry chipped in with 12 points as Northridge lost their fourth straight contest.
Northridge shot 53.8 percent from the field in the first half to take a 35-34 lead at halftime. Southern Utah shot just 35.3 percent from the field but attempted eight more field goals than the Matadors to keep the game close.
In the second half, the Matadors cooled off considerably, hitting on just 37 percent from the field, which included misses on all but one of their six 3- point tries. The Thunderbirds improved to 46.2 percent shooting, including 4- of-10 from beyond the arc. The teams traded leads after halftime, but a late push by the Matadors gave them a 72-71 advantage with 21 seconds remaining. After Heuir missed a jumper, he got his own rebound to keep the Thunderbirds' possession alive, and Chessman rewarded the effort with his game-winner with 12 seconds left on the clock. Northridge had two chances to win it in the final seconds thanks to an offensive rebound, but it failed to connect on either attempt.
Northridge outscored Southern Utah in the paint, 42-30. The Thunderbirds had the advantage on the perimeter, outscoring the Matadors from 3-point range, 18-3.