Southern Utah University women’s basketball fell to Utah Valley University in Orem Saturday by a score of 58-47.
The game was determined mostly by free-throws and an ice cold streak in the final six minutes for the Thunderbirds.
The game stayed close through about 34 minutes of play. Neither team could gain much of an advantage as the Wolverines’ All-WAC center Josie Williams was held mostly in check by a team of defenders led by Darri Frandsen and Lizzy Williamson. Williams had only six points at the end of the first half, and was limited to just 33% shooting from the field.
SUU also struggled to make shots, and finished the game shooting just 27% from the field.
The T-Birds dominated the glass, out rebounding UVU 47 to 37, with 18 offensive boards. Frandsen was the game high rebounder with 11. Despite the offensive rebounding advantage, the T-Birds only scored 13 second chance points. In the final six minutes, SUU only secured two defensive rebounds.
Free-throw shooting proved costly to SUU throughout the game. The T-Birds finished shooting just 13-23 from the line. Sophomore guard Madelyn Eaton missed two straight free-throws with five minutes left that would’ve put the T-Birds on top. Megan Kamps missed a game tying free-throw with four minutes left. Meanwhile, the Wolverines only missed one free throw in the fourth quarter.
Cherita Daugherty, who finished with six points, checked out at the 5:50 mark of the 4th quarter when SUU was only down by one. By the time Daugherty checked back in with 28 seconds left, the T-Birds were down seven.
SUU struggled to score consistently down the stretch. During the final six minute cold stretch, Frandsen went 1-5, Eaton went 0-2, Kamps went 0-1 and Graves went 1-2 from the field.
UVU relied on their three stars, junior forward Nehaa Sohail, All-WAC junior guard Maria Carvalho and Williams to secure the victory. Together they scored 47 of the Wolverines 58 points, including 18 in the final six minutes of the game. Williams finished with a double-double, scoring 19 points and snagging 10 rebounds despite her first half struggles.
Former T-Bird Shay Fano finished with 0 points, going 0-5 from the field and remained in foul trouble throughout the game after she picked up her fourth foul in the second quarter. Fano transferred to UVU from SUU last April.
Weber State transfer Liz Graves led the T-Birds in scoring with 11 points coupled with nine boards. Eaton followed with eight points, shooting 3-15 from the field. Daugherty and Frandsen each chipped in six, shooting a combined 4-15 from the field and 3-6 from the line.
SUU will play UVU one more time this season on December 18th in Cedar City. The T-Birds are set to suit up next against Montana in Missoula on Thursday, December 3, at 7 p.m. The game can be watched live online at bigskyconf.com.
Story by: Kelton Jacobsen
Photo by: Mitchell Quartz