Courtesy: SUU Media Relations
CEDAR CITY, Utah, Feb. 9 – Idaho State held Southern Utah to a season-low 50 points on 28.3 percent shooting to take a 60-50 win over the T-Birds in the Centrum Arena Saturday night. Bengal forward Cydney Horton exploded for a career best 28 points on 11-14 shooting to lead the way for ISU which improves to 8-5 in the Big Sky and 13-9 overall. SUU falls to 5-8 in conference games and 11-12 on the season.
“We didn’t execute our scout on Horton,” explained SUU head coach JR Payne. “She loves to go to her left hand and she continued to drive and make layups with her left hand. With Tayler Anderson being out tonight, she is typically our good defender there, she did a good job.”
The Idaho State scoring came from the outside in the opening half as the Bengals hit 5-7 from behind the arc to start the game. Kaela Oakes and Kara Jenkins got things going by knocking down back-to-back threes to help their team double up the score at 12-6 after six-and-a-half minutes of play.
The Thunderbirds came back with free throws from Andrea Jones and Lori Parkinson, followed by two shots from behind the arc for Hailey Mandelko, to claim a 20-16 lead with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.
ISU quickly rallied with three straight threes from Lindsey Reed to go up by five. Cydney Horton then added a basket and a trip to the line to stretch the margin to 31-22.
SUU went on to close the period on a 7-1 run, capped by Jones beating the buzzer with a running underhand scoop, to trail by just three with the score at 32-29 heading into the break.
Reed finished with 12 points, including hitting 3-4 from the outside, to lead all scorers at the half while Jones and Mandelko each turned in six for SUU. The Thunderbirds outrebounded the visitors 25-20 in the first 20 minutes and shot 32.4 percent from the field to Idaho State’s mark of 34.5 percent.
Carli Moreland came up with a two scores in the first four minutes of the second half to help the T-Birds even up the game at 35-35. After the teams traded baskets, the Bengals scored five unanswered to pull ahead 44-39.
Southern Utah was held to just six points over the next eight minutes, all of which came at the foul line, as ISU extended its lead to 57-45 with 4:04 remaining. The visitors kept SUU in check in the closing moments to hold on for the 60-50 victory.
Along with Horton’s 28 points, the Bengals got another 12 from Reed. Kimie Hawkins was the only T-Bird to score in double figures, finishing the game with 13 points. SUU held a 46-38 advantage on the glass and outscored ISU in bench points by a count of 25-2 but matched its season low with 17 total field goals in the contest.
“I didn’t think we played poorly tonight. I thought we did some really nice things, our aggressiveness just didn’t pay off,” stated Payne. “I like how we played we just didn’t finish and didn’t contain that kid.”
The Thunderbirds wrap up their four-game homestand next week by hosting Portland State and Eastern Washington. The Vikings will be in town on Thursday followed by a visit from the Eagles on Saturday with both games scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. tip. Coverage of the games is available at www.suutbirds.com.
Thu. Mar. 6
vs. North Dakota
(W) 73 -53
Sat. Mar. 1
vs. Montana State
(W) 70 -60
Wed. Feb. 26
(W) 69 -49
Sat. Feb. 22
@ Portland State
(W) 86 -79
Thu. Feb. 20
@ Eastern Washington
(L) 54 -59
Sat. Feb. 15
@ Weber State
(W) 80 -64
Sat. Mar. 8
vs. Northern Colorado
Thu. Mar. 13
Big Sky Conference Tournament