After a contested first half, the Southern Utah University women’s basketball team dominated for a convincing win over the University of Northern Colorado Bears, 77-53.
The first quarter was a pound for pound fight between the two squads with the leader changing numerous times with the largest lead coming in at the 5:47 mark where the Bears led 12-7. SUU broke away with a slim five-point lead with a layup by sophomore center Lizzy Williamson who finished with eight points on the night. The score at the end of the first quarter was 24-19, advantage Thunderbirds.
The second quarter was action-packed with the lead staying with the Thunderbirds throughout the end of the first half with the halftime score being 37-29 in favor of Southern Utah.
The Thunderbirds were lights out in the third quarter and the Bears had no answer. A three-pointer by guard Daylani Ballena was the spark the Thunderbirds needed. Ballena finished with eight points and shot 50% from beyond the arc. SUU was raining threes with Natalia Otkhemzuri making it a 58-41 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter continued with the Thunderbirds setting the scene for the win with their largest lead of 24 points, finishing the win for SUU.
Notable performers for the Thunderbirds include forward Darri Dotson matching her season-high with 20 points and tying for nine rebounds on the night with Williamson. Guard Samantha Johnston was responsible for half of the SUU three-pointers, finishing with 12 points and Madelyn Eaton scored 11 off the bench for the T-Birds.
With the win, the Thunderbirds moved to 15-9 and 11-4 in the Big Sky Conference. Southern Utah will hit the road to face off against No. 2 Montana State University in Bozeman on Saturday, tipping off at 2 p.m. The game will be available to stream on ESPN+.
Story by: Anthony Colasuono
Photo Courtesy of SUU Athletics