T-Birds Fly Away From Wildcats, Complete Season Sweep

For the first time since the 2014-15 season, the SUU Thunderbirds Men’s Basketball team swept their rival Weber State Wildcats in Big Sky Conference play, flying away with a 65-53 win on Feb. 7.

“Obviously it was a huge win for the program,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said following the contest. “Weber, for so many years has been the class of the Big Sky, an in-state rival, the whole deal. To get that in-state sweep was extra sweet for our guys.”

The T-Birds never trailed in the game, and got a 20 point lead within the first 20 minutes. They went into halftime leading 33-27.

Both teams struggled in the second half. Things looked especially bleak when center Andre Adams picked up his fifth foul with 4:19 to play.

The Wildcats cut the lead down to five with under a minute left in play. They started fouling to send SUU to the free throw line and try to save time. That decision blew up in their faces.

The T-birds would only hit two of four free throws at one point, but got offensive rebounds on both misses, getting back to the line and putting the game out of reach, eventually winning 65-53.

Freshman wing Harrison Butler was the star for the Thunderbirds, finishing the game shooting seven of 12 from the field for 19 points and pulling down 13 rebounds.

Maizen Fausett also gave a big contribution for SUU, coming off the bench for five points and nine rebounds, six of which came on the offensive end.

“Those guys just went and got it,” Simon said. “They’re a nightmare to blockout because they’re relentless. They’re two of the better [rebounders] I’ve coached in my career.”

Overall, the Thunderbirds outrebounded the Wildcats 46-33, including 13-5 on the offensive end.

Sophomore guard Dre Marin finished the game with 15 points, including starting the game off 3-3 from downtown, giving the Wildcats flashbacks to the game in Ogden.

“I just go out there and do what the coaches ask me to do,” Marin said. “Whether the shots are falling or not, I’m always going to play hard and compete.”

With the win, SUU moves to 11-10 overall on the season, and 6-6 in the Big Sky.

The Thunderbirds will be back in action on Feb. 9 when the face the Idaho State Bengals at 2 p.m. in the America First Events Center.

Story by: Kurt Meacham
kurtleymeacham@gmail.com
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication

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