SUU ATHLETICS STRATEGIC COMMUNICATIONS
CEDAR CITY- The Thunderbird men’s basketball team will return home on Saturday with an opportunity to improve to a winning record, as the 3-3 T-Birds will host the Hawks of San Diego Christian College.
The T-Birds knocked off a West Coast Conference team for the first time since 1997 on Wednesday night, as they topped the Pepperdine Waves 88-82.
Jamal Aytes had another huge game for the Thunderbirds in Malibu, finishing with 22 points and seven rebounds in the contest. Aytes finished 7-of-10 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free throw line.
Dre Marin had a career high for the Thunderbirds against the Waves, dropping in 16 points. James McGee had 14 for the T-Birds and Jadon Cohee had 11.
For the Waves it was Kameron Edwards leading the charge offensively and on the glass. Edwards finished the contest with 25 points and 16 rebounds, shooting 10-of-14 from the field. He also had three blocks and a steal.
The biggest difference in Malibu was the three point shooting from the Thunderbirds.
As a team the T-Birds knocked down 15 shots from beyond the three point line, and hit a couple big ones down the stretch that kept the Waves at arm’s length.
Marin and McGee led that charge for the Thunderbirds, as they both knocked down four triples in the contest. Jacob Calloway had three, and Brandon Better knocked down two for the T-Birds.
On what wins like the one against Pepperdine do for the confidence of the team…..
“In the nature of how it went down where we had to buckle up and answer the bell every time they made a run, it showed that we know how to win and that we can close out the game,” SUU head coach Todd Simon said. “We’ve done it against a Mountain West team at home, and we’ve done it against a WCC team on the road and those are big milestones for the development as we continue to get better.”
The Hawks of San Diego Christian College will come to Cedar City with a 2-5 record, with victories coming against La Sierra University and West Coast Baptist.
Derek Novsek has been the Hawks’ best player to this point, averaging 21.5 points a game so far this season. He also leads the team in rebounding with 4.5. Hayden Fredrick is averaging 11.8 points a game, and has pulled down an averaged 3.7 rebounds a contest.
The Hawks are coached by Edgar Mendez, who is in his third season as the head coach of the Hawks.
Start time at the America First Event Center is scheduled for 12:30 p.m.