men's basketball image 12/14/2022

Guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr. pictured against the University of Vermont on Nov.13 at Titan Gym, led CSUF in scoring with 20 points in Saturday's contest. (Navtej Hundal / Daily Titan)

In their first matchup since 2016, Cal State Fullerton men’s basketball suffered a 67-60 loss against Southern Utah University Saturday afternoon at the Jack Jones Hoopfest at Michelob ULTRA Arena in Las Vegas.

CSUF have now lost five consecutive games and fall to 4-6 overall. They now have an all-time record of 7-1 against Southern Utah following the loss.

Guard Latrell Wrightsell Jr. was CSUF’s leading scorer with 20 points on 7-15 shooting, including four 3-pointers. Following a rough outing against the University of Southern California, guard Max Jones bounced back with 14 points.

For Southern Utah, forward Harrison Butler and guard Tevian Jones led their team in scoring with 15 points each.

While both teams shot inefficiently from the field, Southern Utah overcame their shooting woes with opportunities at the free-throw line, where they shot 24-35 in comparison to CSUF’s 11-17. Jones attempted the most free throw attempts as he shot 7-11 from the charity stripe.

Including free throws, Southern Utah outscored CSUF, 32-24, from points in the paint alongside 14 second chance points.

Trailing 60-55 with more than two minutes remaining, guard Jalen Harris performed a pick-and-roll with forward Vincent Lee, who drove to the basket and dunked the ball to trail by three points.

In response, guard Drake Allen scored a layup to extend Southern Utah’s lead to five with two minutes remaining.

Harris and Wrightsell Jr. went on to miss four straight shots down the stretch as Southern Utah began to pull away with the game.

After Jones went 1-2 at the free-throw line to extend Southern Utah’s lead to 63-57, Harris knocked down an open 3-pointer on the left corner of the court to make it a one possession game, prompting CSUF to call a timeout with 38 seconds left.

However, center Jason Spurgin responded by converting a layup to give Southern Utah a 65-60 lead with 11 seconds remaining. Following a missed 3-pointer from Harris, forward Maizen Fausett sealed the game with two made free throws as the final buzzer went off.

CSUF will have a week to rest before they host San Diego Christian College on Dec. 19 at Titan Gym at 7 p.m.

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