By: Keller Sherman
Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics
CEDAR CITY, Utah — For a while, it was looking like business as usual for the Thunderbirds. Up 38-29 at the half, there was really no reason to believe this game was in doubt. SUU would turn on the jets in the 2nd half much like they have all season and win this one in a rout. However, in the 3rd quarter, the Thunderbirds found themselves on the receiving end of a whopping. Outscored 22-8 in the third frame, SUU found itself in a hole that got as deep as 7 points. On a day in which the Thunderbirds only saw two players score in double figures, the heroine of the game was one that had done it so many times before. Cherita Daugherty’s 32-point performance was the difference in this one.
Two Strong Efforts
With UT-Rio Grande Valley’s 3rd quarter spurt, it would be easy to expect that the Vaqueros had multiple double-figure scorers. However, they surprisingly only had one such player. Iyana Dorsey led all Vaqueros with 21 points, but Daugherty’s 32-point effort proved too much for even Dorsey to overcome. Daylani Ballena chipped in with 13 points as the Thunderbirds completed the season sweep of UTRGV. Now at 12-1 in WAC play and thanks to another result on Thursday night, Saturday will be a massive game.
Big Showdown Coming
A certain result on Thursday night could have given SUU some breathing room had it gone their way. Unfortunately for the Thunderbirds, it did not. Stephen F Austin would have fallen two games behind SUU with a loss to Utah Tech on Thursday. However, the Ladyjacks cruised to a 72-56 victory in St George to keep the Thunderbirds on their heels. When the two teams meet in Cedar City Saturday afternoon, the WAC regular season title could be decided from the result of that game. The WAC resume seeding system will determine how the two teams are seeded at the WAC tournament. If the tourney began today, SFA would have the 1 seed and SUU the 2 seed.