Junior Guard Andrea Jones
SUU Strategic Communications

SUU Set to Host New Mexico State this Saturday

November 29, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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IThe T-Birds return home this weekend to kickoff an SUU basketball doubleheader by hosting New Mexico State at 5 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be followed by a matchup between the Southern Utah men and San Diego Christian at 7:30. The T-Birds are coming off a trip to the BTI Classic where they went 1-2 while picking up a 76-47 win over the University of New Orleans. New Mexico State brings a record of 4-2 to Cedar City and is currently riding a three-game winning streak after edging UTEP by a final score of 69-68 earlier this week. SUU knocked off the Aggies 58-57 in Las Cruces last season thanks to a last second jumper from Hailey Mandelko. Saturday’s game will be broadcast on Power91 and online at SUUTbirds.com.

Southern Utah went 1-2 last week while competing at the BTI Classic in Lubbock, Texas. The Thunderbirds fell by a score of 65-54 to Nicholls State and dropped a 73-54 contest against Texas Tech but also came up with a 76-47 rout of New Orleans. Senior forward Tayler Anderson was named to all-tournament team after averaging 5.7 rebounds per game, 1.3 assists and 6.7 points on 52.9 percent shooting. SUU shot the ball 39 percent from the floor as a team in the three-game set while tallying 12.4 assists and 9.6 steals per game.


The Thunderbirds have proved themselves to be a strong rebounding team and are currently averaging 47.2 boards a game. SUU also holds a +9.2 rebounding margin advantage over its opponents, which is the 35th best mark in the nation. Junior forward Carli Moreland has been the top T-Birds on the glass so far this season with an average of 7.0 rpg.

Southern Utah’s Andrea Jones has been very stingy when it comes to turnovers this season. The SUU guard has only given up seven takeaways while dishing out 17 assists. That equates to a assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.43, the 35th best count in the NCAA. Jones has also been dangerous on the defensive end, averaging 1.4 steals per game.


Southern Utah wrapped up the preseason with a 71-59 win over Dixie State to finish with a record of 2-0 in exhibition play. Kimie Hawkins led the T-Birds to victory with 17 points and 15 rebounds. The win came two days after SUU opened the year with a 83-62 win over New Mexico Highlands. Sophomore guard Marquelle Funk led Southern Utah with 18 points while connecting on 4-of-5 shots from behind the arc.

The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team has been picked to finish eleventh in its first season a member of the Big Sky Conference. Defending champion Idaho State received eight first place votes to come out on top of the coaches polls followed by Northern Colorado and the University of Montana. Northern Arizona and Weber State were slotted ninth and tenth respectively, just ahead of SUU.

Hailey Mandelko was selected as a member of the Summit League All-Newcomer Team after leading Southern Utah with 14.0 ppg in conference play, an average that ranked eighth among the league’s top scorers. She also ranked second with a 41% three-point field goal percentage.
Carli Moreland received All-Summit honorable mention honors after ranking fifth in the conference in average rebounds (7.9), seventh in blocked shots (1.3), eleventh in scoring (12.3) and sixth in field-goal percentage (48.1%).

Southern Utah University has announced the hiring of new assistant coach Jill Mahoney who will join the Thunderbird women’s basketball program for the upcoming season. Mahoney comes to SUU from Western State College of Colorado where she helped the Mountaineers to a top four finish in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Southern Utah adds three JC transfers this year, all of whom were teammates at Salt Lake Community College over the past two seasons. Sofia Hepworth (G) was the Bruins leading scorer with 14.9 ppg, Marissa Robbins (G) ranked second on the team with 10.7 ppg and Nicole Newbold (F) shot over 53% from the floor for SLCC.

• In its first two games of the year Southern Utah is averaging 15.0 steals, a significant jump from last season’s mark of 5.8 spg.
• The Thunderbirds have attempted  63 free throws in their first two games, converting on 40 of those tries. Last year SUU averaged 21.4 attempts per game and shot over 72% from the line.
• Southern Utah currently holds a +5.0 advantage in rebounding margin so far and outrebounded Southern Oregon by a count of 56-39.


• Junior Forward Carli Moreland recorded the first double-double of the season for SUU with an 11 point and 13 rebound performance against SOU. The game marked Moreland’s tenth career double-double.
• SUU returns three different players who finished last season with a double-digit scoring average including, Hailey Mandelko (13.1 ppg), Carli Moreland (11.1) and Andrea Jones (10.6).
• Sophomore guard Hailey Mandelko has connected on five of her first 13 three-point field goal attempts this year for a 3FG% mark of 38 percent.