Southern Utah won its first game in the Big Sky, defeating North Dakota, 79-67, at home. Northern Colorado also beat North Dakota to start conference play, winning 75-66 on the road.
The Thunderbirds are led by junior forward Jackson Stevenett, who posted a double double with 21 points and 10 rebounds against North Dakota. Steventt also scored a season-high 29 points earlier this season against the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
The Southern Utah defense is one of the nation's best, rejecting 5.7 shots per game, good for 15th in the country. The Thunderbirds had a particularly impressive game against North Dakota, blocking 12 shots overall.
The Northern Colorado defense has also played well of late, as they have held their opponents under 70 points five times this season. The team only accomplished that feat three times last year.
Game Time: Saturday, Dec. 29; 7:30 p.m. MT
Location: Centrum Arena; Cedar City, UT