Men’s basketball travels to Sin City for the Jack Jones Hoopfest

Southern Utah University is headed to Las Vegas for the Jack Jones Hoopfest against California State University, Fullerton. The two will play in the first matchup Saturday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. MST. All games will be in the Michelob ULTRA Arena, located at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino.

The tournament will include Brigham Young University versus Creighton University at 6 p.m. To finish off Saturday’s slate, Utah State University will face Loyola Marymount University at 10:30 p.m.

There will be two games on Monday, Dec. 12. The first game will feature Arizona State University versus Creighton University at 7 p.m. The University of New Mexico will play San Francisco University to close out the tournament at 9:30 p.m.

Last time out

In their last game, the Thunderbirds beat the West Coast Baptist College Eagles by a team-record 71 points. The final score was 120-49, which helped propel the team to second in the country in scoring with 91.9 points per game and a 6-4 record.

Freshman center Parsa Fallah led the team with 23 points while shooting 91.7% from the field. He dominated the glass by coming down with 17 rebounds; this marked his first career double-double. Both are career highs for the young center from Iran.

The bench was on fire against the Eagles. Senior guard Dee Barnes also had a career-high 17 points, and freshman guard Martel William contributed 12 points and eight rebounds off the bench for head coach Todd Simon.

Senior guard Tevian Jones finished the night with 15 points while shooting 43.7% from the field. Another key starter was senior guard Harrison Butler, who had 12 points while shooting and five assists.

Defensively, the team had 17 steals and four Thunderbirds amassed three each. These pesky defenders were Fallah, Jones, Butler and freshman guard Amound Anderson.   

A look at Fullerton 

The California State University, Fullerton, Tigers have a record of 4-5 after falling to the University of Southern California. Dedrique Taylor is the head coach of the Tigers and is entering his 10th season at the helm.

Leading the way on offense for the Tigers is senior guard Jalen Harris, who is currently averaging 15.7 points a game. Junior guard Latrell Wrigtsell Jr. follows that with an average of 14.3 points per game. Both guards have helped on defense by averaging a steal per game.

Senior forward Vincent Lee is topping the team in rebounds by averaging 5.7 per game and has added a block per game. Just behind him is senior forward Garrison Wade with 5.6 rebounds per game.

As a team, the Tigers are scoring an average of 72 points per game on 43.6% field goal shootings. They are efficient from beyond the arc as well, shooting 35.8% from three-point land.

How to watch

The Thunderbirds will play the Tigers Saturday, Dec. 10, at 5 p.m. in the Michelob ULTRA Arena, located at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. 

Tickets can be purchased online, and one ticket per day will allow access to all of the games being played. Fans can visit for the pay-per-view streaming option of the Jack Jones Hoopfest. 

Article by: Chevy Blackburn
Photos by: SUU Athletics