Coming off a 78-66 victory over Northern Arizona University, Southern Utah University men’s basketball team is again looking to defend their home court on Thursday, Feb. 3. But this time around, you may not recognize the Thunderbirds.
When SUU takes the court against the University of Idaho Vandals, they will be wearing retro uniforms to honor their time as the College of Southern Utah from 1953-1969. Rather than the red, white and black colors everyone has become accustomed to, these threads will be light-blue and orange.
— SUU Men’s Basketball (@SUUBasketball) February 1, 2022
A look at the opponent
The Vandals are towards the bottom of the Big Sky Conference with a 2-9 record. Furthermore, Idaho has the worst-ranked scoring defense in the conference — allowing 80 points per game. Meanwhile SUU has the highest scoring offense, averaging nearly the same number the Vandals concede. Southern Utah and Idaho have already played once this season, with the Thunderbirds winning 81-75 in Moscow, Idaho.
Idaho picked up their two conference wins against Sacramento State University and Portland State University to end a five-game losing streak. They will come into Cedar CIty having lost two more games since then with this matchup being the last of a three-game road trip.
One bright spot for the Vandals has been guard Mikey Dixon. The senior averages nearly 17 points per game though he scored only six points in their last game and was held scoreless in the game before that. He is efficient behind the three-point line, currently shooting 42%.
A look at SUU
After dropping a big game to Weber State University 92-84, the Thunderbirds have bounced back with wins over Portland State and NAU. Senior guard Tevian Jones has impressed in
the last week posting back to back double-doubles and taking home the ROAR Organic Big Sky Player of the Week.
After the loss to the Wildcats, SUU fell from second to fourth in the Big Sky standings. Sitting at 7-2, they are behind Weber (10-1), Montana State University (8-2) and University of Montana (8-2). With 10 games left in the season, games like this one against Idaho are a must-win.
Tipoff against the Vandals is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3 in the America First Event Center. The game will also be live streamed on ESPN+.
Story By: Christian Esparza
Photos Courtesy of SUU Athletics and SUU Digital Library