Men’s basketball to host Idaho State

Riding a 4-1 win streak, Southern Utah University’s men’s basketball team is set to host the Idaho State University Bengals on Saturday, Jan. 22. The Bengals currently sit towards the bottom of the Big Sky Conference standings with a 1-6 conference record. 

A look at the opponent

ISU has dropped their last two games, both to Weber State University, and four out of their last five en route to a 3-13 overall record. On top of that, the Bengals are 0-9 on the road this season. 

Their offense runs through guard Tarik Cool as he leads Idaho State in scoring, averaging 10.9 points per game. The senior also leads in field goal attempts, assists and turnovers on the season. 

As a team, the Bengals are shooting just under 40% from the field and around 30% from the three-point line. Defense has proven to be their weakness as they are allowing opponents to score 69 points per game on 46% shooting. 

A look at the Thunderbirds

SUU is coming off an 86-76 home win over Portland State University on the night of Jan. 17. Senior forward Maizen Fausett led the way with 21 points while shooting an impressive 82%. 

However, it was the reigning Big Sky preseason MVP, senior Tevian Jones, who sealed the victory. Fresh off being put on the Lou Henson Award watchlist, the senior threw down an impressive dunk that ignited the crowd and led to a scoring run from the Thunderbirds to pull away in the final minutes. The versatile forward finished with 18 points. 

The win put SUU back on track after a loss to the University of Northern Colorado on New Year’s Day that snapped a 20-game home win streak. 

A win over ISU would keep the Thunderbirds alive in the race for the number one seed in the Big Sky. That spot is currently held by Weber State University, whom the Thunderbirds are set to play on Monday, Jan. 24. 

It is an early afternoon tipoff at 2 p.m. in the America First Event Center on Saturday, Jan. 22. The game will also be live streamed on ESPN+ and broadcasted on KSUB 107.7. 

Article By: Christian Esparza

Photo Courtesy of SUU Athletics