Dylan Garrity chipped in 12 points for the Hornets (7-5, 2-2 Big Sky), who had lost four of their previous five games. Sacramento State took 55 foul shots, many of them in the final minutes as Southern Utah tried to rally, but made just 29 of them, a 53 percent clip.
Jackson Stevenett had 24 points on 8-of-15 shooting, plus 12 rebounds, for the Thunderbirds (5-8, 3-1), who never led but pulled within 41-40 on Jayson Cheesman's dunk with 9:32 to play. But Sacramento State scored the next 11 points, and Southern Utah couldn't get within a possession again.
The Thunderbirds, conference newcomers this season, still lead 13-7 in the all-time series, which dates to 1987. Monday's game was the first between the schools since 2008.