10th February 2013




I have been to almost all the SUU men's basketball games this season - the first time I have ever watched college basketball. It's been a surprise to me, I always thought it rather slow compared to professional ball but having a team to support makes that irrelevant. SUU are playing their first season in the BigSky Conference and have done better than most experts forecast, coming into this game in 4th place at 8-8. On this night they played a non-conference game against Cal State Northridge in something called "bracket busters", I haven't really figured out what that means other than it affects seeding somehow in the NCAA final tournament. Since this is the last year for "bracket busters" and SUU are not likely to make the NCAA finals I think I will just ignore it and enjoy seeing a team we would not normally play. All of SUU's athletic teams are nicknamed The Thunderbirds.

The Thunderbird's Jayson Cheesman, white #50, goes up for the first half tip-off.
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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

One of SUU's players was paid a visit by his fan club. Sometimes the women's team shows up all in red to support the men, they dress a little more modestly though.
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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

SUU started out slow, falling behind by as many as 13 points early in the game. Coach Robinson, who is in his first season at SUU, is normally fairly calm on the sidelines but he got quite animated today and it worked.
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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

The Thunderbird's mascot Thor is an expert unicycle rider, but met his match today ()

Thor was challenged to a bicycle race.
After a rocky start for Thor the youngsters took the lead
The tri-tykes built up a good lead
Thor raced furiously down the court but was left in the dust.

Freshman A.J.Hess (in white) has improved a lot this season and got his first start tonight.

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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

Australian Damon Heuir (white, 3) launches a high shot to put the Thunderbirds into the lead. (Heuir rhymes with fire, at least in Utah)
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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

The Thunderbirds brain trust come up with a plan to hold on to the lead.
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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

The official player of the game was Damon Heuir but I disagree, Jason Cheesman had his best game, he was strong offensively and defensively, took his free throws well and scored the winning points. I've not always been his biggest fan this season but he was excellent on this night, I'm glad he will still be around next season and am sure he can get much better.
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© Bob Palin 2013
 

 

SUU scored the final basket, they then turned over the ball but managed to reject Northridge's last ditch attempt, winning by 1 point.

This was my first attempt at photographing basketball and I like to watch the whole game rather than just the view through the camera so there are not that many action shots. Wish I had taken a picture of the final scoreboard though.
The pictures were taken with a Canon EOS60D and EF 70-300mm zoom. I started out at ISO 600 but the later pictures are at 1000.


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