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Montana State (9-10) at Southern Utah (1-17)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 9 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Centrum Arena (5,300) -- Cedar City, Utah. Television: None. Home Record: MSU 6-2, SUU 1-5. Away Record: MSU 3-6, SUU 0-12. Neutral Record: MSU 0-2, SUU 0-0. Conference Record: MSU 4-4, SUU 0-9. Series Record: Montana State leads, 11-3.

GAME NOTES: The Southern Utah Thunderbirds will try to put an end to their 17- game losing streak on Saturday when they host the Montana State Bobcats at Centrum Arena for a Big Sky Conference tilt.

Montana State has lost its last three games to fall one game below the .500 mark. The Bobcats were defeated, 69-64, last weekend at Idaho State. The loss to the Bengals dropped them to a 4-4 league record, which began with three consecutive victories. Coach Brad Huse's team was outscored, 25-10, at the free-throw line and finished with seven less total rebounds than ISU in its last appearance. MSU is ranked second to last in Big Sky play in points per game at 68.6 ppg.

The only school with a lower scoring offense average in conference play is Southern Utah, which has posted a mere 57 ppg in its nine Big Sky losses. While the Thunderbirds have lost every game since their season-opener, they have managed to keep the final margin on the scoreboard in single-digits in four consecutive games. Coach Nick Robinson's squad dropped a 69-61 decision at home to Montana on Thursday after it was limited to 2-of-8 efficiency from behind the 3-point line in the contest. SUU has been outscored by an average of 15.7 ppg in league play.

This will be the 15th meeting in history between these programs on the hardwood. MSU owns a 11-4 all-time record versus SUU after its sweep of the Thunderbirds in the 2012-13 season's home-and-home series.

In their loss to ISU, the Bobcats were led by Marcus Colbert who tallied 23 points, grabbed six rebounds and handed out five assists. Calen Coleman added 13 points with the help of a 4-of-9 showing from 3-point range while Flavien Davis scored 10 points and came up one board shy of a double-double. Davis is MSU's leading scorer on the campaign at 11.4 ppg. Senior big man Paul Egwuonwu had reached double figures in the scoring column in six-straight games before being held to four by the Bengals. The 6-foot-9 center is second on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg) and MSU's top rebounder with 7.2 rpg.

SUU struggled with its perimeter shooting against Montana, but still managed to finish shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 81 percent at the charity stripe. The Thunderbirds received a boost from their reserves, who outscored the Grizzlies' bench by a 16-4 margin. Trey Kennedy paced the team with 17 points and five assists, but he was also charged with six turnovers. Before fouling out, Casey Oliverson contributed 14 points and seven boards. Kennedy has been stepping up his play of late, with double-digit scoring outings in four of his last five games along with five or more assists in three consecutive appearances. The rookie guard is scoring a team-high 11.7 ppg, but has received very little help on a consistent basis.

The Thunderbirds are clearly not going to be a contender to win the Big Sky Conference this season, but their effort has only increased with time. This could be a trap game for the Bobcats if they fail to match SUU's intensity from start to finish.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Utah 67, Montana State 62

02/01 10:14:45 ET

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Local
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14
 
8:07pm Tonight
SFG
KAN
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WISC 52
MD 7
Final
SMU 10
MEM 48
Final
ILL 28
MINN 24
 
Final
RICE 41
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Final
NEB 42
RUTG 24
Final
KST 23
TEX 0
Final
ARK 45
UAB 17
Final
UVA 27
UNC 28
Final
EMICH 17
NILL 28
Final
NAVY 41
SJST 31
Final
BST 35
AKR 21
 
Final
GASTATE 31
GASO 69
Final
TOL 42
UMASS 35
 
Final
WMICH 42
OHIO 21
 
Final
COL 37
UCLA 40
 
Final
UMO 10
KSU 3
 
Final
WAKE 17
BC 23
 
4th
BUF 14
CMICH 20
 
4th
MARS 28
FATL 16
 
4th
PITT 21
GT 49
 
4th
SMISS 13
LATU 24
 
4th
MSU 28
MICH 3
 
4th
KENT 24
MSST 31
 
4th
STAN 38
ORST 7
 
3rd
TCU 61
TTU 20
 
4th
OKST 10
WVU 20
 
3rd
WKENT 56
ODU 44
 
3rd
UTST 27
UNLV 13
 
4th
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VANDY 7
 
2nd
UCF 24
TEMPL 14
 
1st
WASU 0
ARZ 10
 
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CLEM
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TXST
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UTEP
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PSU
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UTAH
USC
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WASH
ARST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
NEV
Final
SJS 1
BUF 2
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOR
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NYI
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PHI
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OTT
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NAS
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MIN
TAM
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CAL
WAS
Final
NCCU 42
SAVST 14