Complete Big West Conference Release
Northridge, Calif. – Pack your suitcase … Cal State Northridge is hitting the road back to Utah.
Earlier this year, the Matadors traveled to Provo, Utah, and to Salt Lake City to face Brigham Young and the University of Utah, respectively.
This time, it's back to the state of Utah for a third time when Cal State Northridge travels to Southern Utah University on Feb. 23 at the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.
Southern Utah University is located in Cedar City, Utah. And just where is Cedar City from Northridge? Matador assistant basketball coach Bob Lowe should know. Lowe was an assistant coach at SUU from 1992-00 where he helped coached the Thunderbirds to a #1 ranking among Division I independents in 1994 and helped Southern Utah to two American West Conference Tournaments (1995, 1996). During Lowe's tenure at Southern Utah, the Thunderbirds led the nation in three-point field goal percentage.
Getting to Cedar City will be another long effort for CSUN. Cal State Northridge will most likely fly from Los Angeles to Las Vegas and then bus nearly three hours to Cedar City, population 22,000. Nearly 8,100 students attend Southern Utah University.
The CSUN-SUU game will feature two teams that are playing good basketball. The Matadors have won three of their last four games to raise their season record to 12-11. Southern Utah, a member of the Big Sky Conference, has won its last four games to up its season mark to 9-12. The Thunderbirds play their home games at the Centrum, a 5,300-seat arena that has seen SUU win eight of its eleven home games in 2012-13.
Damon Heuir (6-2, 200, Senior, Guard, Townsville, Australia) leads Southern Utah in scoring at 16.8 ppg. Heuir is a long-range shooter who has hit a team-leading 43 three-pointers this year.
Jackson Stevenett (6-4, 185, Senior, Forward, Kaysville, Utah) is the team's other double-digit scorer at 16.4 ppg. Stevenett and Jayson Cheesman (6-11, 250, Junior, Center, Orem, Ut) lead the team in rebounding at 6.2 boards per game.
Cal State Northridge and Southern Utah have played three common opponents this year. CSUN split with Cal State Fullerton, losing a 105-86 decision but coming back last week to defeat the Titans, 92-86. Southern Utah dropped a 112-69 decision to CSF. The Matadors defeated San Diego Christian, 93-63, while SUU also beat SDC, 95-65. CSUN beat San Diego, 74-71, while Southern Utah lost to USD, 67-53.
All ten Big West Conference teams will play in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters.
Friday, February 22
Stephen F. Austin @ Long Beach State, 6:00 pm (ESPNU)
Saturday, February 23
Cal State Northridge at Southern Utah, tba
Pacific at Western Michigan, 10:00 am (ESPN3)
Loyola Marymount at Cal Poly, tba
Northern Colorado at UC Davis, tba
Sacramento State at UC Santa Barbara, tba
Northern Arizona at Hawaii, tba
Cal State Fullerton at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, tba
UC Irvine at Texas-Arlington, tba
UC Riverside at Portland State, tba
The Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters concept provides participating programs with an opportunity to play top non-conference opponents roughly three weeks before Selection Sunday. Each conference selects its participating teams before the season, and the matchups for the event are determined by ESPN in conjunction with the conferences.
Matador Memo …
Southern Utah leads the series against Cal State Northridge, 13-5 … The last meeting resulted in a 83-77 Thunderbird victory on Dec. 11, 1998 at the Cougar Classic in Provo, Utah … The Matadors are 0-7 in games played at Southern Utah.