Southern Utah (1-4) at Cal State Northridge (4-4)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 3, 10:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: The Matadome (1,600) -- Northridge, California. Television: None. Home Record: SUU 1-1, CSUN 2-0. Away Record: SUU 0-3, CSUN 0-4. Neutral Record: SUU 0-0, CSUN 2-0. Conference Record: SUU 0-0, CSUN 0-0. Series Record: Southern Utah leads, 14-5.
GAME NOTES: The Thunderbirds of Southern Utah try to snap a four-game slide tonight, as they challenge the Cal State Northridge Matadors on the road.
Now a member of the Big Sky Conference, the Thunderbirds have yet to defeat another Division I program, with the lone victory for the squad coming in the season opener against Arizona Christian, 85-78. On Sunday, the team was handed an 86-57 setback by the Portland Pilots on the road.
In the case of the Matadors, they are an even 4-4 on the campaign, although two of those wins have come against sub-standard competition. In addition to an 86-74 win over Hope International in the first game, CSUN also took down La Sierra two days ago, 97-79, in order to snap a two-game slide.
The Thunderbirds own a 14-5 advantage in the all-time series with CSUN, taking five of the nine matchups played in Northridge over the years. The teams were members of the American West Conference together between 1994-96. Last season, SUU slipped by with a 73-72 victory at home during the annual BracketBuster event.
At the Chiles Center on Sunday afternoon, the Thunderbirds made a total of just seven field goals in the first half, burying themselves under the weight of a 38-22 deficit at the break before losing by 29 points on the road. The team shot only 36.4 percent from the floor overall, but 41.2 percent (7-of-17) behind the 3-point line, thanks in part to Juwan Major who knocked down both of his triples en route to 10 points. Trey Kennedy accounted for a team-best 12 points.
On a team that is scoring only 61.0 ppg, while giving up a hefty 80.6 ppg, Kennedy is the only one in double figures through five games with his 11.4 ppg. Of his 57 total points, 20 have come at the free-throw line where he is 83.3 percent accurate. The test of the team has combined for only 62 conversions at the stripe, slightly more than 12 per contest.
Against La Sierra, a team which has now won only twice in 10 chances, the Matadors weren't exactly dominant. Granted, Northridge shot 58.6 percent from the field and 5-of-8 beyond the arc, but really the score should have been even more lopsided considering the competition. Stephen Maxwell and Stephan Hicks both scored 21 points for the hosts, the former clearing a game-high 13 rebounds and the latter having a double-double of his own with 10 boards. Josh Greene contributed 17 points and five assists off the bench.
Hicks and Maxwell, both of whom as shooting better than 54 percent from the floor at the moment, are scoring 18.9 and 17.0 ppg, respectively. Hicks, an 84.1 percent shooter at the free-throw line, is responsible for 7.4 rpg as well, which is second only to Maxwell with his 8.9 rpg for the Matadors entering the week.
Packing a tough one-two scoring and rebounding punch from Hicks and Maxwell, the Matadors should be able to ride those two into the win column once again.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Cal State Northridge 72, Southern Utah 62
12/03 10:37:16 ET