Yale opened the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off with a tough 88-85 loss in overtime to worthy Big Sky foe Southern Utah in Florida Tuesday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (3-3) led for much of the game, but the Thunderbirds (2-3) kept clawing back.
Southern Utah senior forward Maizen Fausett made three free throws with 13 seconds to go in regulation to tie the game and force overtime, and redshirt senior guard John Knight III made another three from the charity stripe with 0.8 ticks left in overtime to seal the victory.
Yale led 39-33 at the half. The Thunderbirds went on a 16-2 run early in the second half to tie the score at 51. Yale then went on an eight-point run of its own, but Southern Utah rallied to send the game into overtime.
All five Yale starters scored in double figures, led yet again by senior guard Azar Swain with 21. But Swain was only 1-for-9 from three-point range.
Yale was outrebounded, 42-36.
Yale will face Milwaukee in the consolation game Wednesday at 11 a.m. The Panthers feature freshman sensation Patrick Baldwin, Jr. (son of Milwaukee coach Pat Baldwin), who apparently suffered a slight ankle sprain Tuesday.