The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team defeated California State University at Sacramento Thursday by a score of 77-55. The win propels SUU to 9-5 (4-2) on the season while Sac. State falls to 1-17 (1-14).
Liz Graves led the way for the T-Birds scoring 17 points while pulling down six rebounds in just 20 minutes. Darri Frandsen finished with 15 points and eight boards, while Cherita Daugherty scored 13 points while pulling down 9 rebounds and adding a team-high six assists.
Summer Menke scored a game-high 22 for the Hornets. She also pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds, but turned the ball over seven times. No other Hornet scored in double digits. The Hornets shotjust 28% from the field.
The Hornets jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and kept it until Graves tied the ball game at 8 with a layup midway through the first quarter. Daylani Ballena hit a fastbreak lay-up off a Daugherty assist to put the T-Birds on top for the first time in the game.
The T-Birds expanded their lead to eight midway through the second quarter, but the Hornets responded with a 9-0 run to put Sac. State back on top by one. Kinsley Barrington ended the run on another Daugherty assisted layup, but Sarah Abney’s 3-pointer at the buzzer put the Hornets back up two to close the half, 29-27.
SUU came out of the break firing on all cylinders. A Frandsen layup and a Daugherty 3-point shot gave the lead back to the T-Birds, and they would not give it up for the rest of the evening.
Additional buckets from Daugherty, Frandsen and Graves put the T-Birds up six. Just two possessions later, Frandsen hit a fastbreak and-1 to put the T-Birds up 10. SUU closed the quarter on a 9-2 run that put them up 17.
Sac. State couldn’t manufacture consistent stops on the defensive end in the fourth quarter, and the T-Birds were able to build their lead as a result.
A long range bomb by Sam Johnston put the T-Birds up 24 just two minutes into the fourth. Ballena followed that up with another 3-point shot a minute later to give SUU their biggest lead of the night — 29 points.
The T-Birds shot 45% from the field and 40% from downtown for the game. They also went 100% from the line on the night, making all 13 attempts.
The two teams battle one more time in Sacramento on Saturday, Feb. 20. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m. MT, and the game can be viewed on PlutoTV.