Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics
ST GEORGE, Utah — When Southern Utah and Utah Tech faced off in Cedar City to open WAC play, the Thunderbirds cruised to 76-61 victory. However, only a fool would expect the second go-around in this rivalry series to be just as easy a win for SUU. The change of venue also favors the Trailblazers. Since taking a 99-51 drubbing at Stephen F Austin, Utah Tech is on a three-game winning streak. Luckily for the Thunderbirds, they enter this game on a winning streak of their own at five games. That win streak has given SUU a 5-0 start in WAC play and they remain the only team undefeated in conference play.
Last Time Out
The Thunderbirds escaped two nailbiters on their home court last week. First, they edged Utah Valley 70-66 on Wednesday, then held off Sam Houston State 60-55 Saturday evening. These tests should benefit the Thunderbirds as they head deeper into conference play. Cherita Daugherty had herself a week. 18 points against UVU and 28 points against Sam Houston helped her be named WAC player of the week. She will need to have another great night at Burns Arena Thursday if SUU wants to sweep their heated rivals.
Scouting the Trailblazers
Breaunna Gillen continues to shine for Utah Tech. She had 19 points in the Trailblazers’ last outing against New Mexico State, none bigger than her game-winning three. SUU defended her excellently holding her to 10 points. That ties a season-low with Utah Valley also only allowing 10 from her. Amber Kartchner had 15 in the first game and was the Trailblazers’ scoring leader as well. Overall, SUU’s defense will need to turn in a similar effort to what they did when the teams played in Cedar City. If Gillen gets hot, it will be a difficult night.