Regional foes jump start SWAC play in a battle of nationally ranked teams

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) The College of Southern Idaho basketball program begins conference play Saturday, welcoming in its biggest test of the season, Salt Lake.

Each one of these teams taking the court is nationally ranked.

Starting with the women the Bruins come in at 15th in the country. Leading the charge for them, Idaho transfer, Lauren Gustin. In two games, she has averaged 26.5 points. Allie Thayne will probably be mainly in charge of guarding the 6'1 forward.

No. 22 CSI is coming off a 77-69 win over Western Wyoming. Mallory Lapoole had her best game of the season, with 25 points and 16 rebounds.

Lapoole said, "the stands are going be packed tomorrow, I know it, you're going to have angry fans, you're going to have screaming, all kinds of stuff." "They're as hyped as we are, just keeping a level head throughout the whole game. Just keeping that lead you know because we struggle with that."

Meanwhile, the No. 13 men will take on the No. 7 Bruins, the highest ranked opponent CSI has faced this year.

Salt Lake comes in with three losses, one of them was to the reigning national champion, South Plains.

CSI is coming off a huge win over Indian Hills last weekend and if you attended that game you saw a very defensively charged team. The Golden Eagles held the Warriors to just 69 points and only 27 by halftime.

CSI assistant men's basketball coach Aaron Anderson added, "one of the things we talked about coming out of the locker room is 'hey guys, you can play defense now and we're going to hold you accountable for the rest of the year." "They did an excellent job of taking a scouting report and executing it. Now we are sitting there looking at it, we are going to give you scouting reports, like we the same we did with Indian Hills, we're going to expect you to execute it, we are going to hold you to it, that's the level we are going to keep moving towards."

The first 1,000 fans get a free t-shirt. Otherwise the school wants the gym 'Packed in Black', so don't forget! The ladies tip off at three, followed by the men at five.

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