Carli Moreland scored 19 points at ISU then followed up with 14 more against the Wildcats in SUU’s first meetings with the BSC foes earlier this season.
SUU Strategic Communications

T-Birds Open Big Sky Homestand

February 05, 2013
By SUU Strategic Communication

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Southern Utah (10-11, 4-7 BSC) returns home this week after going 1-3 while playing its last four games on the road. The Thunderbirds take on rival Weber State (0-21, 0-12) for the second time this season Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before preparing to face Idaho State (12-9, 7-5) in the Centrum Arena on Saturday at that same time. SUU defeated the Wildcats by a final score of 74-61 the first time around but fell to the Bengals, 80-71. ISU is coming off a Big Sky championship last year while WSU is looking for its first conference win in nearly two years.Coverage of this week’s games can be found on

Weber State is 0-12 in the Big Sky this season after being held without a conference win all of last year. The Wildcats feature talented freshmen Jalene Carpenter and Kalie Matthews who are averaging 9.0 and 7.7 points a game respectively. The pair also lead lead the team with over seven rebounds a game. Head coach Bethann Ord is in her second season at WSU. Southern Utah’s 74-61 win in Ogden earlier this year gave the T-Birds a 12-11 edge in the all-time series.


Idaho State was the preseason conference favorite after capturing the Big Sky championship last year. The Bengals were edged at home by Northern Colorado last week, then bounced back with a win over North Dakota to improve to 7-5 in BSC play. Ashleigh Vella is averaging 12.8 points a game while leading the conference in three-point shooting with a mark of 43.3 percent. Head Coach Seton Sobolewski is in his fifth season at ISU where he has compiled a career record of 80-64. The Bengals took the first meeting between the teams this season by a score 80-71 as Southern Utah’s attempt at a comeback, after trailing 41-18 at the half, came up short.

Southern Utah came back in the final minutes of regulation to force overtime in its game at Northern Arizona, but it was the Lumberjacks who would eventually come out on top as they scored the final four points of the contest to claim a 76-74 win. All five starters for Lumberjacks scored in double-figures as Amy Patton led the way with 19 and Aubrey Davis recorded a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. SUU had four players go for ten or more as Kimie Hawkins scored 17, Hailey Mandelko added 15, Andrea Jones dropped in 14 and Marquelle Funk finished with 10 points. Carli Moreland came up just one rebound shy of her career record after grabbing 16 boards in the contest.


Southern Utah came out on the losing end of a 93-86 offensive battle at Sacramento State in a game that saw both teams shoot over 42 percent from the field. Thunderbird forward Carli Moreland recorded her third double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds while Tayler Anderson scored a career-high 16 for SUU. Fantasia Hilliard had a career-night for the Hornets, finishing with 24 points, 10 assists, eight steals and seven rebounds. Kylie Kuhns also posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. SUU outrebounded Sacramento State 52-46.

The Thunderbirds have proved themselves to be a strong rebounding team and are currently averaging 44.6 boards a game, the best mark in the Big Sky. SUU also holds a +7.0 rebounding margin advantage over its opponents, which is the 34th best mark in the nation. Junior forward Carli Moreland leads the T-Birds on the glass with an average of 6.4 rpg.

Sophomore guard Hailey Mandelko is shooting 36 percent from behind the arc this season, a mark that puts her in the top ten shooters in the Big Sky and among the top 70 players in the nation. She hit six threes at SJSU early in the year and knocked down five against NAU. Mandeko’s hot shooting helped her to be named the Big Sky Player of the Week on Dec. 10.

The T-Bird offense has been putting up big numbers this season, twice eclipsing the 90-point mark and averaging over 70 points a game. That number puts SUU in the top 40 among the nation’s scoring offenses. Southern Utah also ranks in the top 75 in the NCAA with an average of 14.5 assists.

The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team has received its first commitments of the 2013 recruiting class as Madison Wright of Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, Wash. and Mary Klapperich of Colony Hight School in Palmer, Alaska have signed NLIs and will join the Thunderbirds next fall.

The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team 2as picked to finish eleventh in its first season as a member of the Big Sky Conference. Defending champion Idaho State received eight first-place votes to come out on top of the coaches’ poll followed by Northern Colorado and the University of Montana. Northern Arizona and Weber State were slotted ninth and tenth respectively, just ahead of SUU.