On Thursday, Feb. 13 Southern Utah men’s basketball traveled to Sacramento State and came up short 70-55.
The Thunderbirds went into the game holding a 3-1 record on the road in Big Sky conference play. They started offensively in the first half, and the Thunderbirds scored 7 of 21 shot attempts.
Sacramento State, coming into the game ninth in conference standings (13-10, 6-8). The Hornets were led by Mariohooho-Le’afa who knocked down five three-pointers and finished with 21 points. Bryce Fowler followed, finishing with 17 points.
The game started off closely at 10-10 in the first half. Sacramento State then went on an 11 point run, and rode a double-digit lead over the Thunderbirds for the rest of the game.
The Hornets came out strong shooting 50 percent from the field and 6 of 9 from the three in the first half.
“We just didn’t have it tonight,” said SUU head coach Todd Simon. “Offensively we were off tonight, and on the road you have to make shots. They were making them, especially early in the game, and that’s the biggest difference. They’re a good team at home, and we made too many mistakes to capitalize.”
In the second half the Hornets struggled, but the T-Birds couldn’t make a comeback, never getting within five points of their opponent.
Andre Adams led the Thunderbirds with 15 points going five of eight from the field. Cameron Oluyitan and Dwayne Morgan tied for second in scoring with 11 points each.
With six games left until the conference tournament in Boise, Idaho, Southern Utah holds down a No. 4 tournament seed, tied with Montana State sitting at 7-6 in conference play. The top five seeds in the tournament receive a first-round bye. Sacramento State moves into a tie for eighth.
Southern Utah is in a great position for the conference tournament. The Thunderbirds, hoping to secure a bye, are looking to finish their final six games strong.
The T-Birds will be back in action on Saturday, Feb. 15 as they travel to Flagstaff, Arizona, for a match-up with the Lumberjacks at Northern Arizona University.
Story by Mike Sims
Photo courtesy of Luis Platero, The State Hornet