The SUU women’s basketball team nearly pulled off an insurmountable comeback against Grand Canyon University on Thursday night in Phoenix, Arizona.
The Lady T-Birds were down 17 points with just over five minutes remaining in the game before they rallied and cut that lead to just two with only 3.2 seconds left after a jumper by Harley Hansen.
A pair of ensuing free-throws by the Antelopes put them up four and handed SUU its first loss of the season, 69-65.
The Thunderbirds couldn’t buy a basket in the first half against GCU. They shot 21% from the field and were only 50% from the free throw line. The Antelopes outrebounded the Thunderbirds 27 to 12 and took a 35-22 lead into halftime.
Head coach Tracy Sanders fired up the team in the locker room as they came out hot in the second half and cut GCU’s lead to five.
Antelope Jada Holland then found the bottom of the net on a three pointer and a drive to the rim that stopped the T-Birds’ run. Holland’s shits led to a barrage of baskets by GCU that pushed the lead back to 13.
Facing a 17-point deficit halfway through the fourth quarter, senior guard Rebecca Cardenas and junior forward Jessica Chatman took charge and the team surged to a 13-2 run.
Chatman drained a three pointer with 13 seconds left to cut the lead to three, but the Antelopes were clutch at the free throw line and finished off the T-Birds for a 69-65 win.
Cardenas led the way in scoring for SUU with 18 and Chatman followed right behind with a season-high 17. The loss moves the Thunderbirds to 2-1 on the season as they now prepare to host the UNLV Rebels Tuesday, Nov. 19 at 6:30 p.m. in the America First Events Center.
Story by: Connor Aste
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics