The Southern Utah University women’s basketball team took their seventh loss of the season on Dec. 22 against No. 12 University of Utah Utes. The Utes took control in the second quarter and never let go, winning 90-56.
The Thunderbirds were riding a wave of momentum after a win over La Sierra University and looked to get the upset versus the Utes. It looked to be possible early in the first quarter due to the Thunderbirds storming out to a 8-4 lead after a three-pointer made by junior Daylani Ballena with 7:30 left.
The Utes responded by taking the lead and going on a 12-0 run. The Thunderbirds cut down the lead to six after a layup by senior Megan Jensen with less than a minute left. Utah quickly answered with two points before the quarter ended; the Utes led 26-18.
The Thunderbird offense stalled on the court, with the Utes’ defense only allowing 10 points in the second quarter. Graduate student Chertia Daugherty scored the last bucket of the first half for the Thunderbirds, leading the team with 19 points. The Utes led at halftime 41-28.
Utah showed their offensive power in the second half, unleashing 32 points in the third quarter compared to the Thunderbirds’ 14 points and holding the advantage 73-24 by the quarter’s end. The Utes were on cruise control in the final quarter, outscoring the Thunderbirds 17-14 and winning the in-state matchup 90-56.
The loss drops SUU to 4-7 on the season. The Thunderbirds will begin Western Athletic Conference play against rival Utah Tech University on Thursday, Dec. 29, and SUU will look to extend their win streak to three games against the Trailblazers. The game will take place at the America First Event Center, tip-off at 6:30 p.m., and can be streamed on ESPN+.
Article by: Anthony Colasuono
Photo courtesy of SUU Athletics