SUU-Utah Tech Part II: The Revenge

SUU-Utah Tech Part II: The Revenge

By: Keller Sherman

Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics

CEDAR CITY, Utah — Two weeks ago, Southern Utah might have played one of its most sloppy games of the season. It was probably some combination of that and Utah Tech’s best effort. On paper, the Thunderbirds looked like the superior team. However, there is a reason they play the game. One thing was crystal clear on February 4th in St George. In a rivalry showdown like this, records are null and void. The Thunderbirds were blazed through as the Trailblazers took an 86-79 decision. Now, it is Utah Tech’s turn to make the 45-minute trip up Interstate 15. Can the Thunderbirds return the favor?

Last Time Out

Both teams have enjoyed the week off in preparation for their big showdown on Friday night. Utah Tech went 0-2 last week while SUU went 1-1. The Trailblazers dropped close contests to Seattle U and Tarleton State by identical final scores of 75-71. The Thunderbirds had a thrilling come-from-behind win over Tarleton on Thursday. Down 6 at the break, SUU’s offense shifted into fifth gear in the 2nd half as the Thunderbirds won 72-62 over the Texans. SUU faced the same Utah Valley team that swept the season series with Utah Tech on Saturday. The Thunderbirds turned in yet another explosive offensive performance in the 2nd half, but it was not enough. SUU could not get stops when it mattered most and the Thunderbirds left Orem with an 83-90 loss.

Storm Warning: Packed House Expected

Normally, SUU students get into all athletic events for free just by showing their student ID. While they will not have to pay to attend this game, they will be required to pick up a ticket beforehand to be admitted. This is in large part due to the large student crowd expected for the rivalry game. When UVU played in Cedar City three weeks ago, the student attendance record was broken. It is possible that the student attendance record will be broken yet again on Friday night. Tickets in general have been in high demand too. It is possible that the America First Event Center could be sold out for this one.

Stomp Em Back

In order for SUU to get their vengeance on Friday, two Trailblazers will have to be slowed down. In the first meeting, Cameron Gooden and Tanner Christensen gave the Thunderbirds fits all night. The two Trailblazers combined for over half of Utah Tech’s points that night by themselves. Gooden scored 26 and Christensen had 21 as the two combined for 47 points. Slowing down their fast pace play and getting the big-play offense that has been the norm for SUU this season is key. Finding motivation for this team to play well should not be an issue for the Thunderbirds. There is no doubt that the game in Burns Arena two weeks ago has been on everyone’s mind in the locker room these past 13 days.

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