Thunderbirds rally in the fourth quarter and advance to 6-0 in WAC play

Southern Utah University women’s basketball was victorious over a tough Utah Tech University team in St. George, winning 62-51 and snapping the Trailblazers’ undefeated streak at home this season. 

First half

The first quarter was a defensive affair with both teams stopping drives. The Thunderbirds pulled out to an early 10-6 lead at the five minute mark in the first quarter from a layup by redshirt junior Lizzy Williamson. Williamson finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds, earning her seventh double-double of the season. The Trailblazers cut the lead to one from a jumper by senior Breaunna Gillen around the four minute mark. Southern Utah increased their lead to 19-14 right before the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter was led by the Trailblazer defense, which only allowed eleven points in the quarter. Both teams traded the lead, and Utah Tech gained the advantage with less than a minute left. Senior Megan Jensen got fouled with 0:08 seconds remaining and drained two free throws to tie it 30-30 at halftime. 

Second half

The Utah Tech defense headlined the third quarter, and it resulted in buckets on the offensive side of the ball. The Trailblazers extended their lead to nine towards the end of the quarter, leading 45-36. The Thunderbirds soared back in the last two minutes and cut the lead to two with a made three-pointer from senior Tomekia Whitman, who made a return to the lineup after missing multiple games. Redshirt freshman Amber Kartchner scored with five seconds left for the Trailblazers to put Utah Tech up by four, leading 49-45 at the end of the third quarter. 

A different-minded Thunderbird team entered the fourth quarter and shut down the Trailblazer team, only allowing two points overall during the final quarter. Southern Utah went on a 17-2 run, and scoring plays from Williamson, Jensen and junior Daylani Ballena put the game to rest for the Thunderbirds. 

Next up

Southern Utah will face Grand Canyon University on Wednesday, Jan. 25, with tip-off at 7 p.m. This is the first of two meetings this season between these two programs. 

The game will be held at GCU Arena in Phoenix, Arizona, and will be streamed on ESPN+. 


Article by: Anthony Colasuono

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