Battle for 1st: Thunderbirds Face Stephen F Austin in Big Game

Battle for 1st: Thunderbirds Face Stephen F Austin in Big Game

By: Keller Sherman

Featured Image Courtesy of Southern Utah Athletics

CEDAR CITY, Utah — One big home game wasn’t enough to satisfy Thunderbird fans, so they’re getting another. This time, however, it flips to the women’s side. Just one day after the men’s basketball team for SUU avenged a loss to rival Utah Tech in an electric atmosphere, the women will face a big game of their own. No, it is not really a rival by any means, but SUU can take firm control of the race for the WAC regular season title with a win over Stephen F Austin.

Last Time Out

Cherita Daugherty turned in a career high 32-point performance and the Thunderbirds needed it badly. It proved to be the difference in a narrow 73-66 win over UT-Rio Grande Valley. Just two weeks ago, SUU had its biggest margin of victory in a WAC game this season when they defeated the Vaqueros 84-55 in Edinburg. UTRGV certainly looked like a different team on Thursday, but Daugherty was not going to let her team lose. The Thunderbirds will have to clean up some of the sloppy play that was on display Thursday. In particular, a disastrous 3rd quarter effort that saw SUU outscored 22-8 cannot occur Saturday. The Ladyjacks are a much better team and will bury the Thunderbirds if they play sloppily early.

Know Your Opponent

The Ladyjacks have lost two WAC games this season. Grand Canyon and California Baptist are the two WAC teams that can claim a victory over SFA this season. SUU will hope to become the third and in doing so, build a two-game lead for the WAC regular season title. Aiyana Johnson, Jordan Harrison, and Avery Brittingham, and Kurstyn Harden all average double figures for SFA. Tyler McCliment-Call scored in double figures in the Ladyjacks’ most recent game; a 72-56 win at Utah Tech. Daugherty will have to have another high scoring day, but will need some help this time around. Megan Jensen, Daylani Ballena, and Lizzy Willamson regularly hit double figures. All four will be expected to do so if SUU wants to knock off the Ladyjacks.

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