The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team is set to face the Brigham Young University (BYU) Cougars this Saturday for their first regular season game in Provo at the Marriott Center. Neither team has started regular season conference play, but both have played exhibition games.
SUU played Northern New Mexico College on Oct. 30 at home, winning 86-67. Sophomore guard Rebecca Cardenas led the scoring for the Thunderbirds with eight points before the half, and freshman guard Peyton Torgerson scored the most for the team overall with 16 points for the game. Torgerson and senior center Whitney Johnson both pulled nine rebounds during the game.
In their second exhibition game for the season, SUU also defeated Concordia University 82-62 at home on Nov. 3. Whitney Johnson led the team with seven points scored at the half and 16 points overall, making for a promising comeback after an injury last season. Whitney Johnson tied with her sister Kiana Johnson, a sophomore guard, for most rebounds during the game with eight each.
This season SUU has four true freshmen, including guard Natalie Sanchez, Cardenas’ cousin.
Sophomore forward Jessica Chatman will be facing her old teammates on Saturday, having played her freshman season at BYU. Chatman appeared in 19 games for the Cougars and averaged 3.3 minutes per game.
BYU defeated Colorado Mesa University at home in their only exhibition game of the season on Nov. 2 86-68.
The last time the Cougars and the Thunderbirds faced off was Dec. 8, 2012, in Provo. SUU lost to BYU 49-82. Since then, SUU has hired a new head coach, with Chris Boettcher replacing JR Payne in May 2014. BYU has had the same head coach, Jeff Judkins, since 2001.