Thunderbirds travel through the Rockies to face the University of Colorado Buffaloes

The Thunderbirds have handled business as of late by winning four games in a row. Keeping the momentum will be key as they battle the University of Colorado Boulder Buffaloes on Wednesday, Dec. 21. The game will start at 5 p.m. and be held in Boulder, Colorado, at the Coors Event Center.

In 1996, the Thunderbirds came out with a narrow victory over the Buffaloes 82-80. Wednesday’s matchup marks the second-ever game between the two teams, and the Thunderbirds are expecting an outcome like the first time around.

A look at the Buffaloes

The Buffaloes have protected their home court well with a 5-1 record in the Coors Event Center. Beating then No. 11 University of Tennessee and No. 23 Texas A&M University proves that their 7-5 record is nothing to scoff at.

Scoring on 45.6% from the field and 33.7% from beyond the arc has propelled the Buffaloes to 75.6 points per game. Sophomore guard KJ Simpson is leading the way with 16.9 points per game and his scorching 38.5% from three-point land.

Simpson has also been active on the defensive end, averaging a team-high 1.4 steals per game. Paint defense for the Buffaloes has come from sophomore center Lawson Lovering, who has averaged 1.2 blocks per game.

As a team, the Buffaloes have broken even against their opponents in the steal category by an average of 8.1 per game. As for blocks, they are averaging 4.3 per game, which is almost one more than their adversaries.

Thunderbird keys to victory 

The Thunderbirds offense has been scorching defenders and is ranked first in the nation at 91 points per game. As a team, the Thunderbirds are shooting 48.2% from the field and 31.1% from three-point land. The offense is led by senior guard Tevian Jones, who is averaging 20.3 points per game on 33.7% shooting from beyond the arc.

Senior guard Harrison Butler has been an important piece to the starting lineup for head coach Todd Simon. Butler has provided a team-high in rebounds with 6.6 per game, and he is also tied for the most assists per game with 2.5. His 13.5 points per game trail only Jones in the scoring department.

Struggles for the Thunderbirds have been on the defensive end of the court, but throughout 12 games, the team is outscoring their opponents by 19 points per game. This is because the team is averaging 10.8 steals per game and 3.3 blocks per game.

The key to success for the Thunderbirds is limiting turnovers and getting points in transition. Since the Buffaloes are one of the better teams that SUU will face, the team will have to start the game strong to come out on top.

When to watch

Tipoff is at 5 p.m. in the Coors Event Center for Wednesday’s matchup and can be streamed on the Pac-12 Mountain network.

Article by: Chevy Blackburn

Photos by: SUU Athletics