Hailey Mandelko scored a career-high 27 points to lead SUU
SUU Strategic Communications

Hot Shooting T-Birds Down San Jose State

December 08, 2012
By SUU Strategic Communication

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San Jose, Calif., Dec. 8 – The Southern Utah University Women’s basketball team matched its school record by knocking down 15 three-point field goals in a 93-82 win at San Jose Sate on Saturday. The T-Birds shot over 57 percent from downtown to go along with a season-high field goal mark of 49.3 percent. Sophomore guard Hailey Mandelko led the way by hitting five three-pointers to set a new career high with 27 points and help SUU improve to 4-4 on the season while dropping the Spartans to 3-5.

The Thunderbirds opened the game on an 11-2 run as Sofia Hepworth and Andrea Jones got things going from the outside. Mandelko would then knock down her first three ball of the afternoon halfway through the period to push the advantage into the double-digits as SUU stretched its lead to 24-14.

Southern Utah closed out the half shooting 50 percent from the floor to take a 48-37 lead into the break. Six different T-Birds connected from behind the arc in the early going, helping SUU start the game 6-13 from downtown.

Mandelko opened the second half with two more quick threes to push the margin to 15 with the score at 56-41. Then near the 12-minute mark she heated up again, draining three-straight from the outside to make it 76-61 near the halfway point of the final period.

The Spartans battled back within ten on a layup by Riana Byrd with just over eight minutes to play, but Jones answered with another three to push the SUU advantage back into the double-figures for good as Southern Utah went up by a count of 80-70.

Marquelle Funk hit the record-tying three in the closing minutes, and Brenna Gates and Tayler Anderson added scores down the stretch to help the T-Birds come away with the 93-82 victory.

Mandelko’s 27 points are the most by any Thunderbird this season, while Funk also set a new career-mark by scoring 16 and Jones added 14 points by shooting 4-6 from the outside. Byrd finished with 24 to lead the Spartans, who got another 18 from Ta’Rea Cunnigan. SJSU shot 46.2 percent from the floor, but just 3-11 from three.

Southern Utah dominated the glass, posting a 43-27 rebounding advantage and was able to turn 20 offensive boards into 19 second chance points. Both teams were careless with the basketball as San Jose State turned it over 30 times in the game and SUU committed a season high 37 turnovers.

SUU will now have a short break before returning to the court as they get set to host Houston Baptist on Dec. 17. The T-Birds will open a basketball doubleheader by tipping things off against the Huskies a week from Monday at 5 p.m. (MT) in a game that will be followed by the Thunderbird men opening Big Sky Conference play against the University of North Dakota.