Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics
CEDAR CITY, Utah — Southern Utah will take a four-game winning streak over Utah Valley into their first-ever conference meeting. The Thunderbirds have not lost to the Wolverines since November 22, 2014. With a win, SUU can create a tie with UVU for second place in the conference standings. The two schools have enjoyed playing each off and on in the non-conference play, but the rivalry enters a new era as the two now share membership in the WAC.
Last Time Out
Despite proving its spot in the upper echelon of the WAC with home wins over Sam Houston and Stephen F Austin, SUU was brought back down to Earth last Saturday. The three-point shooting that had largely carried the way in those landmark wins hit the freezer. A 1-25 three-point shooting day for the Thunderbirds clipped their wings in an 81-60 loss at WAC-leading Seattle U.
My Student Section is Better than Yours
The Den, UVU’s student section will look to make its presence known in the America First Event Center Thursday night. A student spirit bus will join the team on the 210-mile trek down Interstate 15 on Thursday night. Free snacks, pizza, a ticket to the game, and the bus ride itself will be provided for UVU students. Aside from the rivalry game that will obviously take place on the basketball court, the student sections are competing for bragging rights as well. Expect the Thunder Crew, SUU’s student section to show up in droves for this huge in-state showdown.
How the Wolverines are Doing It
The Wolverines are bringing a seven-game road-winning streak into Cedar City. Four of their players are averaging double figures in scoring. Justin Harmon, Trey Woodbury, Le’Tre Darthard, and Aziz Bandaogo are all delivering on a high-scoring Wolverine offense. Rebounding has been a specialty for Bandaogo with an average of 10.4 RPG. Darthard is never hesitant to take shots from beyond the arc. He has made 54 of 114 attempts from distance. Fortunately for the Thunderbirds, they have a high-scoring offense of their own; the 2nd best-scoring offense in the nation in fact.
High Flying Thunderbirds
19.6 points per game. That is what Tevian Jones is averaging in each game. He is a daredevil from distance attempting 143 three-point shots and making 55 of them. That is almost double what any other Thunderbird has attempted this season. Harrison Butler, Maizen Fausett, and Jason Spurgin have made a routine out of scoring in double figures. The bench has also shined when it’s needed to and even when it hasn’t. Cameron Healy has been the biggest name off the bench for the T-Birds, but it has also been a great showcase of the younger talent on this SUU roster.