This weekend will be an interesting one for the Southern Utah Basketball teams. The men’s and women’s teams have an odd symmetry. The Lady T-Birds will look to end their three game losing streak and the men’s team will hope to continue their three game winning streak.
The streaks may be heading in opposite directions, but the mindset for both teams will be the same: win.
Lady T-Birds Look to Continue Winning Ways at Home
There is a stark contrast in how the Lady T-Birds play at home and how they play on the road. SUU is a respectable 5-5 at home and a a shocking 1-11 on the road.
One of their road losses came in a one point loss against Sacramento State. The Hornets pulled off a 67-66 win when SUU wing Harley Hansen missed a jumper with three seconds to go.
Thursday night the Lady T-Birds will be out for revenge. Hansen (12.3 PPG) and stellar backcourt duo Rebecca Cardenas (10.6 PPG) and Bre Reid (10.2 PPG) have managed the bulk of the scoring throughout the season.
Hannah Friend leads the Sacramento State offense with 18.9 PPG. Kennedy Nicholas averages 14.4 PPG and the two from a potent pick and roll combination. The offense revolves around Friend/Nicholas pick and rolls and the T-Birds will need to interrupt the offensive action.
Southern Utah also welcomes Portland State this weekend. The Vikings are one game out of second place at the top of the Big Sky. Sidney Rielly and Ashley Bolston lead the team with 15.4 and 13.1 PPG respectively.
Men’s Basketball Looks for Season Sweeps
SUU already beat Sac State and Portland State in Cedar, but now the T-Birds will be tasked with winning away from home. The team has been playing its best basketball over the last week, earning wins against Weber State, Idaho and Idaho State.
Cameron Oluyitan has really come into his own as the team’s go-to-guy. Oluyitan had his best game of the season against the Hornets where he scored his career high of 21 points.
Andre Adams has been unstoppable lately, but needs to stay out of foul trouble. SUU managed to win against Weber with Adams mostly on the bench, but that won’t work more than once or twice.
Sacramento State and Portland State are tied for the second to last in the Big Sky with 4-8 records in conference play. Both teams are talented, but Southern Utah should win both of these games.
Senior guard Marcus Graves leads the Hornets in scoring with 16.0 PPG. Graves was an animal in the second half of Sacramento’s loss in Cedar City. He scored 19 points and single handedly willed the Hornets back into the game after they went into halftime down 41-18.
Priority one will be limiting Graves. The T-Birds have struggled on the road this season, but have a solid chance of winning in Sacramento.
Portland State is led by another stud guard in Holland Woods. Woods is averaging 14.3 PPG and is a great distributor. The Vikings are very athletic and play ferocious defense. The T-Birds will have their hands full but should be favored in this one.
The Lady T-Birds will take on Sacramento State on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the America First Events Center. Then they’ll take on Portland State Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The game will also be broadcast on Pluto TV channel 236.
The men’s team takes on Sac State Thursday at 8:05 p.m. on Pluto TV channel 233. Saturday’s game against Portland State will be at 8:05 p.m on Pluto TV channel 232.
Story by Connor Sanders
Photo by SUU Athletics Strategic Communication