Things were close early on as SUU held the advantage throughout the majority of the opening half but were unable to hold off the Huskies who evened the score at 41-41 heading into the break. Southern Utah used a 9-2 run to pull ahead 32-24 near the five-minute mark, but the Huskies came back and a basket by Erin McGarrachan tied the score at 38-38 with less than a minute remaining. SUU senior guard Andrea Jones hit a three in the following possession to put her team up, but Rachel Arthur answered with a buzzer-beater to even the count at 41-41 heading into the break.
The two sides continued to trade scores early in the second period until a layup by junior center Shanice Steenholdt put Houston Baptist up 71-64 with just under six minutes left. Jones then knocked down another three to pull SUU back within four, but another HBU run put the home team out in front 81-70 with 2:23 remaining. The Huskies took care of things from there to come out on top by a final count of 88-78.
Southern Utah edged HBU on the glass, 31-30, but committed 25 turnovers for the third time this season. Steenholdt had 21 points for the Huskies who scored 48 points in the paint and shot 59.3 percent from the floor. SUU hit 29-59 attempts from the field to up its shooting percentage to 47 percent on the season and hit 7-21 from beyond the arc.
Sophomore forward Lori Parkinson led the Thunderbirds in scoring for a second straight game, recording 16 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds. Jones finished with a season-high 13 points while Desiree Jackson and Marissa Robbins each added another 10.
SUU will play its first home game of the season next week as the T-Birds return to the Centrum Arena to host Utah Valley on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. followed by a meeting with Westminster on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Coverage of Thunderbird basketball is available online at www.suutbirds.com.