Mesa falls to S. Utah in exhibition

Colorado Mesa had a five-point lead at halftime, but let it slip away.

Southern Utah University’s men’s basketball team rallied in the second half to defeat the Mavericks 68-60 in an exhibition game Tuesday night at Centrum Arena in Cedar City, Utah.

“We did some good things,” Mesa associate head coach Andy Shantz said. “We defended well, we rebounded well and we shot the ball well. We just had too many turnovers.”

The Mavericks shot 50 percent from the field in the first half to build a 33-28 lead, but eventually succumbed to the Thunderbirds’ pressure.

Southern Utah forced 23 turnovers, leading to 24 points

“They were pressuring the whole game,” Shantz said. “They got a little bit of momentum and our choices were not as good.”

Michael Bear led Mesa with 18 points. Chandler Burgon added 14 off the bench and redshirt freshman Mike Melillo scored 12 points in his first collegiate game.

“Mike played really well,” Shantz said. “He’s a really talented kid. He earned a start and took advantage of it tonight.”

Four players scored in double figures for the Thunderbirds.

Colorado Mesa opens the season at 5 p.m. Friday against Minot State (N.D.) University in the Dixie State Classic in St. George, Utah. The Mavs play No. 22-ranked Seattle Pacific at 5 p.m. Saturday in St. George.


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