T-Birds taking on Pepperdine tonight


CEDAR CITY- The Thunderbird men’s basketball team will continue their two-game road swing tonight, when they will be in Malibu, California, to take on the Waves of Pepperdine.

The Thunderbirds were in Las Vegas last Saturday for a matchup with the Rebels of UNLV, in a contest that went to the Mountain West Conference representative 101-82. The loss left the T-Birds with a 2-3 overall record, and UNLV with an undefeated 6-0 mark.

Jadon Cohee led the offensive attack for the Thunderbirds, dropping in 24 points during the contest. He also dished out five assists and pulled in four rebounds.

Jamal Aytes finished the game with a double-double, scoring 19 points and pulling in 10 rebounds. Jacob Calloway dropped in 14 points and Brandon Better added 10. Ivan Madunic was huge on the glass for the Thunderbirds, pulling in 12 rebounds.

Aytes, SUU’s grad transfer from Brigham Young University, has had a major impact for the Thunderbirds in their last two contests.

He finished with 19 points and 15 rebounds against Benedictine last Tuesday, and followed that up with a 19-point and 10-rebound performance against UNLV on Saturday. That left him with a total of 38 points and 25 rebounds last week.

To this point in the season, Aytes is 16th in the conference in scoring, third in the conference in offensive rebounds and sixth in the conference in total rebounding. He also sits sixth in field goal percentage through five games.

Words From The T-Birds

On what the team wants to see carry over from the UNLV game to this next contest…..

“If we play with that energy, we can compete with almost anyone in the country,” Cohee said. “I feel like it’s a good sign, but at the end of the day I’m not huge on moral victories. I want to win and I’ve stated that since the minute I got here.”

The Waves of Pepperdine will enter Wednesday’s contest with a 2-4 record on the season, with both of their wins coming at home.

Under seventh year head coach Marty Wilson, the Waves have knocked off both Cal Lutheran and Oral Roberts. Their losses have come to fairly high profile teams, with marks against Oklahoma State, Northern Colorado, UC Santa Barbara and Texas A&M.

Kameron Edwards has been the leading scorer so far this season for the Waves, averaging 15.2 points per contest in their six games. Edwards is also averaging 6.2 rebounds per game. Colbey Ross has averaged 13.7 ppg and Trae Berhow has dropped in 11.7 ppg. All three of those players have been in Pepperdine’s starting five in every game this season.

Pepperdine competes in the West Coast Conference, and finished their 2016-17 conference slate with a 5-13 record in league play.

Start time at the Firestone Fieldhouse is scheduled for 8 p.m. MT.


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