GAME NOTES: First-time foes clash at Viejas Arena this afternoon as the Bryant Bulldogs and the Southern Utah Thunderbirds take part in the third and final round of the Basketball Traveler's Invitational in San Diego.
Attendees of the tournament have seen two different sides of the Thunderbirds between there 76-75 win over UC Davis in the first round of the event on Friday and a dismal 70-37 loss to host San Diego State last night.
As for the Bulldogs, they too have split their first two games in this event, beginning with a 75-63 defeat at the hands of the Aztecs and then a bounce- back win on Saturday in a 70-63 final versus UC Davis.
Corey Maynard scored 19 points, leading four starters in double figures, as the Bulldogs captured the seven-point win over the UC Davis Aggies on Saturday night in California. Maynard added six rebounds and six assists for the Bulldogs in the triumph. Alex Francis accounted for 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, followed by Frankie Dobbs and Claybrin McMath with 12 and 10 points, respectively. Dobbs also handed out a game-high seven assists. The Bulldogs were able to win despite shooting just 3-of-8 at the free-throw line, while allowing the Aggies to knock down 14-of-29 behind the three-point line. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, not getting to the charity stripe seems like a running theme for the team, at least through the first two games, since the squad was just 3-of-4 at the line in the opener against San Diego State as well.
The Thunderbirds failed to put a single player in double figures, with Ray Jones, Jr. accounting for nine points in 32 minutes of action on Saturday night as they suffered an ugly 33-point loss versus San Diego State. No one on the team made more than just a pair of field goals, the squad finishing the meeting at a mere 30.2 percent clip. In addition, not only did Southern Utah convert just 1-of-10 behind the three-point line last night, the team also kept itself from making any significant runs at the Aztecs due to 26 turnovers. In the opener the team turned the ball over 15 times, so clearly it all depends on the level of talent that the Thunderbirds are going up against. A bigger problem thus far appears to be a lack of accuracy beyond the arc, as Southern Utah made just 1-of-9 opportunities on the perimeter in the narrow season-opening win against UC Davis.
Southern Utah simply looked defeated last night and because the Thunderbirds have such a quick turnaround, don't expect it to be much different this afternoon either.