The SUU men are fresh off of a victory against UVU and hold the fourth spot in the Western Athletic Conference resume seeding standings. SUU put on an offensive masterclass in the second half to pull away in a big home win. After their victory, the Thunderbirds improved to 15-7 overall and 7-2 in WAC play.
SUU women’s basketball has shocked many WAC teams. The women struggled to start the year against top teams in the country, but have turned it up a notch in conference play.
After they beat No. 2 GCU on the road, the Thunderbirds won an ugly game against Tarleton in the America First Event Center. This matchup should not have been so close in the eyes of players and coaches. Southern Utah is now 8-0 in WAC play and 12-7 overall, which places them No. 2 in the WAC seeding system.
Men’s Upcoming Schedule
SUU travels to Riverside, California to play the California Baptist Lancers in the CBU Events Center. Three nights later, SUU plays in Burns Arena against the Utah Tech Trailblazers.
As a team, the Thunderbirds shoot nearly 48 percent from the field and 34 percent on 3-point attempts. Southern Utah’s 85.7 points per game places them second in the nation behind Gonzaga. This charge is led by senior guard Tevian Jones, who is 27th in the country in scoring at 19.6 points per game.
Other notable national rankings:
— No. 16 in the nation with 39.59 rebounds per game
— No. 14 in the nation with 28.41 defensive rebounds per game
— No. 23 in fast break points with 14.41 per game
— No. 18 in scoring margin with 12 points per game
Individual national rankings:
— Jason Spurgin tied at No. 46 for total blocks with 37
— Tevian Jones tied at No. 37 in made free throws with 99
Thunderbirds at Lancers – Wednesday, Feb. 1
The Lancers are averaging 68 points per game, while shooting 33.6 percent from three and 42.4 percent in total. They are negative in the turnover department and allow 0.6 more than they create.
Head coach Rick Coy has two players scoring in double figures. Sophomore guard Taran Armstrong averages 11.5 points per game. Grad transfer Joe Quintana averages 10.3 points per contest. Armstrong does it all for the Lancers. He is averaging nearly five assists and 4.3 rebounds per game.
At No. 8, the Lancers will have to do everything possible to take down Southern Utah’s versatile offense. They will look to improve on their 13-9 overall record and 5-4 WAC record. Tip-off is set for 8 p.m. MST on Wednesday, Feb. 1.
Thunderbirds at Trailblazers – Saturday, Feb. 4
Utah Tech is one of the newest D-I schools in the WAC. 2022-23 is their third year competing at the level. They are 10-12 overall and have two wins in nine conference games. That does not mean they aren’t capable of a victory.
Although they got off to a strong start this season, the Trailblazers took a step back in WAC play and sit at No. 9 in the seeding system. The Trailblazers’ have scored 75.5 points per game, made 45.4 percent of their field goals and shoot 37.8 percent from beyond the arc.
Head coach Jon Judkins’ offense is led by senior guard Cameron Gooden. He averages nearly 16 points, 1.2 steals and 3.4 assists per game. Gooden shoots 40.8 percent from 3-point land and a near 48 percent in total. Junior guard Isaiah Pope is next in line with an average of 13.5 points per game and four rebounds.
The Trailblazers will battle in-state opponent Utah Valley before playing SUU on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. MST.
Next Up for the SUU Women
Southern Utah will start their week off in Arlington, Texas for a matchup against the UT Arlington Mavericks. SUU’s following game will be in Edinburg, Texas against UTRGV.
The women are scoring 66.6 points per game, which is only 0.6 more than their opponents. What has separated Southern Utah is their fight. The team has come out victorious by a narrow margin in nearly every conference game. They shoot 41.2 percent from the field and 27.4 percent on 3-point attempts.
Notable national rankings:
— No. 31 in blocks with 4.6 per game
— No. 18 in rebounding margin with 8.6 per game
— No. 12 in defensive rebounds with 30.6 per game
— No. 14 in rebounds with 43.32 per game
Junior center Lizzy Williamson national rankings:
— Tied for No. 25 in total blocks with 39
— No. 22 in blocks with 2.05 blocks per game
— Tied for No. 33 in total rebound with 199
— No. 16 in defensive rebounds with 7.5 per game
— No. 18 in rebounds with 10.5 per game
Thunderbirds vs. Mavericks – Thursday, Feb. 2
The Mavericks are 9-12 and only have three wins in nine WAC games, which places them at No. 7 in the conference. UTA shoots 42.5 percent from the field and 28.3 percent on 3-point attempts. Defensively, the Lady Mavs produce 10 steals per game and nearly three blocks.
Redshirt senior Starr Jacobs does it all for UTA. She averages 16.6 points, seven rebounds, 2.5 assists and nearly three steals per game. Fifth-year guard Kayla White averages 13.5 points on 34.5 percent 3-point attempts. Head coach Shereka Wright’s third double-figure scorer is fifth-year guard Jireh Washington. She averages 11.6 points per game, 4.5 assists and rebounds a game.
The game will be on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 10:30 a.m. MST, as the Mavericks host their local elementary students for the game.
Thunderbirds vs. Vaqueros – Saturday, Feb. 4
The Vaqueros one WAC win came against UTA on Jan. 4. With seven losses in conference play, this places UTRGV No. 10 in the seeding system. They have been outscored by an average of five points per game. They shoot an inefficient 34 percent from the field and 28.8 percent from 3-point land, which has contributed to their low 60.5 points per game.
Head coach Lane Lord’s offense features sophomore guard Iyana Dorsey. She averages nearly 17 points per game, and shoots 33.3 percent from beyond the arc. Sophomore forward Deborah Ogayemi and junior guard Mele Kailahi both average over 10 points per game. Ogayemi also leads the Vaqueros’ in rebounds per game, hauling in 7.8 per contest.
UTRGV will battle Utah Tech on Thursday, Feb. 2, 5:30 p.m. MST. Their next matchup against SUU is on Saturday, Feb. 4, at 7 p.m. MST.