GAME NOTES: One of the longest losing streaks in the nation is on display in Cedar City tonight, as the woeful Southern Utah Thunderbirds try to break out of a major slump as they host fellow Big Sky Conference foe, Weber State, at Centrum Arena.
The 2013-14 campaign has been absolutely dreadful for the Thunderbirds, a team which won the season opener against Arizona Christian (85-78), but has now fallen in 20 straight decisions. On Monday night, SUU was stung by the Sacramento State Hornets in a 68-56 final on the road, which means the Thunderbirds have not defeated a Division I opponent since a Feb. 23, 2013 decision over Cal State Northridge.
While Southern Utah is all alone in last place in the Big Sky standings with a record of 0-12, the Wildcats are at the opposite end with 10 victories in 12 chances to claim first place all to themselves. Weber State opened the year with three straight defeats and four in the first five games, but the team has turned it around in conference play and has won back-to-back affairs.
Last Saturday, the Wildcats took down Northern Colorado at home in a 79-65 final, marking the eighth win in nine tries for the program. During that stretch, the only setback came in overtime against Sacramento State (78-75) a few weeks back.
The Wildcats have a commanding 25-6 advantage in the all-time series, winning eight in a row over SUU thanks to a 65-59 decision in Ogden last month.
The Wildcats shot both 53.3 percent from the floor and 12-of-20 (.600) behind the 3-point line in the meeting with Northern Colorado last weekend, which was more than enough to put the Bears in their place. Jeremy Senglin and Davion Berry both tallied 15 points for the hosts, followed by Jordan Richardson with 14 and seven boards. Registering a double-double was Joel Bolomboy with 12 points and a game-high 13 rebounds in the triumph as well.
Weber State is pouring in 72.8 ppg in conference play, thanks to the efforts of Berry who has used 43.1 percent accuracy beyond the arc to generate 20.3 ppg. Berry is also responsible for a team-best 47 assists and 12 steals during those 12 league bouts. Senglin checks in with 10.8 ppg and Kyle Tresnak another 10.3 ppg, while Bolomboy (9.7 ppg) has the potential to put up a double-double every time he takes the floor as he averages 12.5 rpg
As is becoming the case all too often, SUU fell behind right out of the gate against the Hornets on Monday night and never recovered. The team made a total of just eight field goals in the first half and trailed by 16 at the break, so it didn't matter that the Thunderbirds turned it around with 51.9 percent accuracy from the floor over the final 20 minutes. Jaren Jeffery came off the bench to tally a game-high 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, followed by fellow reserve Juwan Major with 11 points.
On the season, the Thunderbirds don't have a single player averaging double digits in the scoring column, as the unit produces a mere 56.3 ppg which is one of the lowest averages in the nation. Trey Kennedy (9.9 ppg) tries to give the team a fighting chance, but he has converted only 37.2 percent of his field goal tries and 26.7 percent out on the perimeter where the team is a collective 31.7 percent over 21 games.
While upsets are par for the course in all sports, pitting the best team in a conference against the worst generally doesn't work out well for the weaker program. However, Weber State has to be careful not to take the Thunderbirds too lightly given the margin of victory from the first meeting this season.
Game Date and Time