SUU Basketball Previews 3/2-3/7

Southern Utah Basketball heads into its stretch run with three games remaining on the schedule for both the Men’s and Women’s teams.

As the conference tournament looms, SUU will have a few more chances to iron out their wrinkles in games against Montana, Montana State and Northern Colorado.

Lady T-Birds Look to End Season on a High Note

Southern Utah hosts Montana on Saturday, March 2 and Montana State on Monday, March 4. The T-Birds will look to avenge their road losses in Montana earlier this season.

Harley Hansen continues to lead the T-Birds in scoring with 12.0 PPG but is closely followed by Rebecca Cardenas who’s averaging 10.7 PPG. Ashley Larsen is averaging 9.5 PPG after a couple of nice performances on the road last week.

The T-Birds (6-20, 3-14) have achieved their highest conference win total in the last three years. They’ll look to improve that total against the Big Sky’s seventh and fifth place teams.

Montana relies on a potent three pronged offensive attack that consists of McKenzie Johnston (12.1 PPG), Gabi 

Harrington (11.6 PPG) and Jace Henderson (11.4 PPG). Each of these players has the potential to score consistently and 

will present a tough matchup for the T-Birds.

SUU lost in Missoula 57-79 despite Johnston sitting out due to injury earlier this season.

The T-Birds will then celebrate Senior Night and Bre Reid’s final home game against Montana State.

The Bobcats run their offense through star player Claire Lundberg (17.0 PPG). SUU took the game down to the wire in a 64-69 loss in Bozeman to open conference play.

The T-Birds will end their season with a trip to Greeley, Colo. to take on Northern Colorado. The Bears took down the T-Birds 71-44 in Cedar City in the team’s previous contest.

Men’s Basketball Ends the Season with Tough Stretch

SUU will take on three of the Big Sky’s top four teams to end the season. They travel to Montana on Saturday, Montana State on Monday and then finish the season on Thursday night against Northern Colorado.

SUU has won more  conference games (9) this season than any previous since joining the Big Sky in 2012. With one more win they’d finish with their first winning record since 2006-07.

Cameron Oluyitan leads the T-Birds with 12.7 PPG. Brandon Better (12.4 PPG) and Andre Adams (10.8 PPG) continue to lead the offense as well. Freshman wing Harrison Butler (10.4 PPG) is coming off his best performance of the season, 21 points and 13 rebounds against Idaho.

Montana (20-7, 13-3)  won the Big Sky last season and are in prime position to repeat as champions. Their only home losses this season came in overtime to Portland State and in a two point loss to second place Northern Colorado.

Ahmaad Rorie (15.5 PPG) and Jamar Akoh (15.5 PPG) lead one of the Big Sky’s most potent offenses. SUU will have their hands full on the road against the conference’s most proven team.

The Grizz knocked off SUU 89-76 in December.

SUU will look for revenge against Montana State in Bozeman. The Bearcats trounced SUU 92-62 in the team’s previous match up.

SUU is a different team than the one MSU disposed of to start conference play. The T-Birds will need to slow down the conference’s third leading scorer Tyler Hall (20.0 PPG).

Montana State sits a half a game ahead of the T-Birds going into the weekend. A win at MSU could mean a first round bye in the Big Sky Tournament for SUU.

Senior Night will honor lone SUU senior Brandon Better in his last home game against Northern Colorado.

UNCO (19-9, 13-4) has been a contender for the Big Sky’s best team all season long. They are a half game behind Montana and could have the regular season title on the line come Thursday.

Jordan Davis (23.5 PPG) leads the Big Sky in scoring and is virtually impossible to stop.

SUU will look to defend their seven game home winning streak against the Bears.

Be sure to catch all the action on Pluto TV and see the T-Birds in the America First Events Center Saturday, March 1, Monday, March 3 and Thursday, March 7.

Story by: Connor Sanders
sports@suunews.net
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics Strategic Communication

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