T-Birds Top Toreros in Tracy Sanders’ Debut

CEDAR CITY, Utah– Rebecca Cardenas scored 18 points to lead Southern Utah to a 69-59 win over San Diego to open the Tracy Sanders era.

“It was nice to finally get to play against someone else after practicing for so long. I know the girls were really looking forward to this game,”  Head Coach Tracy Sanders said. “San Diego is always a great team so coming in I just wanted the girls to feel prepared and be able to execute and I think they did a great job.

The game started in a scoreless stalemate for the first five minutes before USD’s Leticia Soares opened the scoring. After a back and forth first quarter, the Toreros played their way to a 16-12 at the end of the period. SUU bounced back in the second quarter to take a 31-29 halftime lead.

In the fourth quarter, a 9-0 run gave SUU a 67-52 lead with 1:49 left. Cardenas scored six points during the run which would ultimately give the T-Birds a big enough cushion to hold off USD for the win.

Bre Reid and Harley Hansen also contributed for SUU with 12 and nine points respectively.

Obviously there are some things we still need to work on, but they weathered the storm and were able to build on their lead and that’s really all we can ask of them,” Sanders said.

SUU shot 41 percent from the field, including 37.5 percent from behind the arch. USD finished at 46.2 percent overall and two-for-eight from deep.

The T-Birds also won the rebound battle with 35 compared to 29 from USD.

Sophomore Jessica Chatman was injured when she dove for a loose ball. Her status moving forward is unknown.

SUU’s next matchup will be on the road against UC Riverside at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Story by: Aaron Peterson
Photo by: SUU Athletics Strategic Communication